Unlock macOS with your Watch – Fixed

I love that my macOS computer unlocks when I sit down.  This little piece of magic is due to my Watch.  It has to be on your wrist and unlocked. You also must enable the ability in macOS System Preference (step 5-6 below) to work.  Your watch, iPhone, and Mac must be on the same network.

Sometimes, after it’s been working for a while, it may just stop.  Usually because something has changed.  In my case, it was a new iPhone (actually replacement due to failure) that caused mine to stop working.  Here is how I fixed it. These steps were provided by Apple Support and augmented with my own experience.

  1. System Preferences > iCloud > uncheck Keychain
  2. Keychain Access > Preferences > Reset My Default Keychains
  3. Reboot Mac
  4. You’ll be asked to enter your iCloud password – enter it. If not, then go into iCloud setting and recheck Keychain. You may be prompted to enter multiple passwords. Follow the prompts.  Once it stays checked, then give iCloud a few minutes to sync up.
  5. System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Click the lock to make changes (ensure it’s UNLOCKED – if it already is, skip this step)
  6. Check Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac
  7. Enable Back to Mac. (This is not needed for Mojave.)

I also find that my Phone must be reasonably close by.  All of this magic depends on bluetooth and wifi. If your phone is misreporting your location, it may not work.

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