Anyone who owns Apple’s smart watch can easily unlock a Mac using your Apple Watch. But did you know you can even enter passwords and unlock apps using an Apple Watch on a Mac?
For this, macOS checks whether you are wearing your Apple Watch and immediately the requested password is automatically entered. This means you no longer have to enter your Mac password, which in turn has additional advantages. This way you can set a more difficult and longer password on your Mac so that it is better protected against malicious parties.
Enter Mac passwords with your Apple Watch
In addition to various conditions, you must of course also save your login details on your Mac. This can be done via iCloud Keychain or directly in Safari or the Keychain application. If this is the case, macOS can automatically enter the passwords and you can confirm this with your Apple Watch instead of a password.
For this, macOS checks whether you are wearing your Apple Watch and whether it is unlocked. macOS then sends a notification to the smart watch so that you can indicate whether you want to enter the password. In addition to entering passwords in Safari, the Apple Watch can also confirm the unlocking of apps or notes, approve the installation of apps, manage access to your Mac, etc.
Pair Apple Watch with Mac
- Open ▸ System Preferences
- Navigate to ‘Security and Privacy’
- Check the option ‘Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac’
- Enter your Mac’s password
- The option is activated
Please note, the option will only be visible if you meet the conditions. If the option does not appear, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone ▸ My Watch ▸ General, activate ‘Enable Handoff’ and then tap Apple ID. Check whether your Apple ID is activated here, tap ‘Login’ if necessary, or enter your password via Settings ▸ your name ▸ iCloud ▸ Tap your account.
In addition, you must also activate automatic password entry in Safari via the app of the same name ▸ menu bar ▸ Safari ▸ Preferences ▸ Passwords. Unlock the window with your Mac password and enable the option ‘Enter usernames and passwords automatically’.
How to enter passwords with Apple Watch on Mac
As soon as you have to enter a password, confirm access to an app, or, for example, if you want to unlock a note, you will also feel a vibration on your Apple Watch in addition to the password field on your Mac. You will be informed via a notification and you can confirm the registration. You do this by pressing the side button of the Apple Watch twice.
You will then automatically be logged in or the app/function will be unlocked. This option also allows you to automatically log in to your Mac when the login window is displayed.
Conditions for unlocking your Mac with an Apple Watch
WatchOS 6 or newer is required to use this feature and you must have a mid-2013 Mac or newer with at least macOS Catalina. You also need to be signed in with the same iCloud account on your Mac, iPhone, and Apple Watch, the main point being that your Apple ID is secured with two-factor authentication.
It is also required that both devices are connected to the same WiFi network and that Bluetooth is active on your Mac. Finally, the Apple Watch must of course be paired with your iPhone, on your wrist, and unlocked.