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Since I've had the Apple Watch, I've been using the option to automatically log into my Mac with it. After recently having to make a change to my Apple ID, the option was disabled for security reasons. It was only in the three days until I reactivated it in the system settings that I noticed how much I like the function. That's why I'll explain below how you can unlock your Mac with the Smartwatch;)
So that you can unlock the Mac with the Apple Watch or log into your user account, both devices must be logged in to the same WLAN and Bluetooth must be activated. Then they both recognize each other (along with the shared Apple ID) as trustworthy devices and interact. If you are then with your Apple Watch on your wrist near an Apple Mac, iMac or MacBook, you no longer have to enter a password to dive into macOS.
Before you go through the steps listed below and only then notice that your Apple computer does not support automatic unlocking at all, here's a tip: Check the computer's system information to see whether it says "Automatic unlocking: Supported". You can get to the system information by holding down the Option key (Alt, ⌥) and clicking on the Apple menu (Apple at the top left). The first point is thanks to the keyboard shortcut "System Information ..." instead of "About this Mac". Click on it and this overview will open up:
Apple shows in the relevant support document HT206995 which requirements must be met so that the login on the Mac works with the Apple Watch. In summary, these are the following points:
Has the checklist been completed? Well then there is basically only one thing left to do. Open the on the Apple Mac System Settings from macOS, click there Safety and then continues in the tab General the tick next to "Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac".
Do you have any questions about the topic, the Apple Mac, the Watch, the iPhone or iPad? Feel free to write me your request and I'll help you find a solution!
I heard from a reader that this feature appears to be a bit "buggy" under macOS Catalina and may not work. My reader Norbert found a workaround that restores functionality for him:
As soon as he has opened the "System Preferences> Apple ID" window, unlocking with the Apple Watch works as usual again.
I assume that Apple will soon fix the bug with a bug fix for Catalina, but if you still don't want to do without this convenient function, you can try it out to see if the trick works for you.
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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.