Chapter in this post:
Since the release of watchOS 7, it seems automatic unlocking of the Mac with the Apple Watch no longer working. While some people get an error message, when I woke up the Mac simply waited for my password to enter the login screen and pretended that the automatic unlocking feature was not activated at all.
Communication between your Mac and Apple Watch has failed. Make sure Apple Watch is unlocked, on your wrist, and iPhone is unlocked.
Apart from the fact that my iPhone is always locked when my watch unlocks the MacBook Pro, I'm pretty sure that my watch is always unlocked as soon as I put it on my wrist. The reference is therefore relatively meaningless.
If you have problems with the function after the update to Big Sur, then I have the following solution for you from another reader:
After that, Big Sur should work again.
There is another (long!) Way below how you can possibly fix the above error, but for a start you can test whether my solution works for you:
Now the Mac should ask you for your administrator password and you can close the system settings.
Funnily enough, when I switched the automatic unlock function on and off several times for the article screenshots, what other users see happened: The error message with the disrupted communication between Mac and Apple Watch was displayed.
To fix the error, I just had to deactivate and activate the option again. I was fine again ...
My reader Frank just wrote me in the comment that my approach was unsuccessful with him because he received this error message that a connection with the Apple Watch was not possible. He then selected the option "Deactivate Bluetooth" on the Mac via System Preferences> Bluetooth and then switched Bluetooth back on. Then he was able to tick the option "Unlock with your Apple Watch apps and your Mac" (under System Preferences> Security> General).
Have you restarted the Mac AND the Apple Watch and the automatic unlocking still refuses to work, then I have a last one Instructions from the Apple Support Forum for you who take the whole thing a little deeper.
The following instructions will completely reset the automatic login and the feature will then have to be set up again on your other Macs.
Since such "gimmicks" in system folders are always associated with a certain risk of deleting something wrong, I would always make a backup before working in the system.
I hope that the automatic unlocking with the Apple Watch works again for you. If you've found another way that helps, please let me know.
Immediately available! iPhone 13 Mini in the 30 GB Vodafone tariff: € 99 additional payment - Advertisement
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.