Apple is about to release their official macOS Sierra. Do you what’s coming? One of my favorite feature: Auto Lock.
As a Mac and Apple Watch owner, you should be stoked to hear this. Auto Lock is going to change the way you unlock your Macbook.
With this functionality, users can quickly unlock their Mac using the Apple Watch. It was first introduced during the WWDC keynote. While the macOS public update isn’t out yet, many people have been using Auto Lock since watchOS 3 beta 2.
I’m just taking advantage of it earlier. Want to learn more? Keep reading.
How to enable Auto Unlock on Apple Watch
First of all, let’s see if you have setup Auto Unlock on your Apple Watch correctly.
- Make sure you have Passcode enabled on your watch running watchOS 3
- On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General, and look for Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.
- Click on the checkbox right next to it. If prompted, enter your Mac’s password.
To see if Auto Lock is working or not, close your Mac or log out and lift the screen back up.
If you see a message that says, “Unlocking with Apple Watch” and the lock screen turns into a regular Mac screen then everything is working as expected.
Auto Lock is not Working on Mac
When things gone wrong, you need to follow the steps below in order for Auto Unlock to work properly with macOS.
- Apple Watch needs to run watchOS 3 beta 2 or higher
- Your Mac needs to have macOS Sierra Developer Preview Seed 2 or later
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication or 2FC for your Apple ID (see this)
- Auto Unlock will not work if the Apple Watch is not on your wrist
- If your Mac is awake but on the lock screen, click Cancel to activate Auto Unlock
If everything above is in place, then Auto Lock should start working again or for the first time. I think this feature will go well for Apple Watch owners with a Macbook or desktop (iMac, for example).
Another error that people often see is:
Your Mac was unable to communicate with your Apple Watch.
To fix this problem, all you have to do is go on your iPhone, navigate to Settings > General > Handoff. Then, disable and re-enable Handoff on your device.
Is My Mac Compatible with Auto Lock?
If nothing that we provided so far doesn’t mean, chances are your Mac doesn’t support the Auto Lock feature. But let’s not take any guesses.
To check if your Mac supports Auto Lock on the Apple Watch, do the following:
- Click on the Apple logo in the top left-hand corner of the screen
- Choose About This Mac
- Under the Overview page, click System Report…
- From the sidebar, select Wi-Fi option and look for Auto Unlock
- If your Mac does support this functionality, it should say “Supported” as shown below.
Be sure to let us know what you think and if this article has helped you fix problems with Auto Unlock.
Unlocking your Mac with an Android Phone
A lot of people sent me this:
I love Auto Lock, but I don’t have an iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock the device securely.
Well, here is an interesting application I recently discovered on Product Hunt.
DroidID is an Android application that allows you to unlock your Mac computer “with your device’s fingerprint sensor.”
Why is this important?
It depends on the person, really. If you own a Macbook or iMac you obviously also own an iPhone or Apple Watch.
This is nothing new!
I also happen to know a few people who owns a Mac yet an Android phone at the same time. One thing they complain a lot about was the ability to unlock their Mac with their Android device. I hope they can shut up now.
DroidID unlocks your Mac when:
- Your Mac is sleeping
- Screensaver is running
- Resume the power via a click or mouse movement
By default, the app will not unlock your Mac on the first boot-up. If you want to change that, just add DroidID to one of the Login items (Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups)
How to Use DroidID on Android and Mac
Unlike the Auto Lock feature, DroidID isn’t a built-in feature. This means you will have to connect both apps from your Mac and Android phone.
- Click here to download the Mac client app
- On your Android phone, click here or go to the Play Store and install DroidID
- Go through the on-screen setup process
A few more things to keep in mind:
- For Android: the device has to be running Marshmallow (or above) / Lollipop (or above)
- For Mac: running El Capitan or above
So far, I think DroidID is the easiest and safest way to unlock your Mac using your Android phone’s fingerprint sensor.
You can skip the process of entering your password each time, especially if it’s long and complicated.
P.S: Support for Windows is coming soon.