not unlocking mac

Unlock Mac with Apple Watch is not working! My iWatch Does it For Me.

I never knew the Apple watch's unlocking feature had gotten me so addicted until one day. I had to manually unlock my Mac even when I was wearing my Apple watch. After some research, I figured out that this issue of "apple watch not unlocking Mac"usually happened after the macOS Big Sur update.

Let me explain how you can fix this problem after running Big Sur.

Check the Basic Requirements

The most evident and fundamental step in fixing this problem is checking the requirements. Your primary setup must adhere to the condition for the Apple watch's unlock feature to work. Check the following to see if your system is compatible with this feature.

  • Your system must be a 2013 Mac or the latest to use the Apple Auto-lock feature.
  • Two-factor authorization is required for this feature too. In case this is not available, then you must enable the two-step verification procedure.
  • Also, make sure your Apple Watch and Mac are using the same account to log in. If you have separate accounts logged in both devices, Auto-lock won't work. It happens a lot within my family *Blush*
  • Both your devices must have password-enabled accounts.
  • Last but not least, the compatibility of systems is essential.
For Apple watch series 0,1,2
WatchOS 3 or later
macOS Sierra or later
Apple Watch Series 3
WatchOS 4
macOS High Sierra or later

Sign Out of iCloud And Sign in Again

To sign out of your Mac, navigate to Apple Menu>System Preferences. Now click your Apple ID and go to the overview tab and click the Sign out button.

sign out of icloud

To sign out of your iPhone, go to Settings>Your Name and click Sign Out.Enter your Apple ID password, and tap Turn Off. Select the data that you want to keep on your device and click Sign Out. Tap Sign Out again to confirm signing out iCloud.

sign out iphone

Disable the Automatic Login

Automatic login does not work with the auto-lock feature, so you must ensure this is disabled. Navigate to Mac System Preferences>Users Groups Options, set automatic log in to "off".

automatic login

Check Updates

If your system has any compatibility issues and updates are available, then running an update is your best bet to fix any software glitches.

  • On your iPhone, launch the iWatch app.
  • Goto My WatchGeneral tab.
  • Click on software update and install the available updates.


For your Mac

  • Launch Mac App Store Updates.
  • Install the available macOS update.

check update on Mac

You must check if the auto-lock is working after rebooting the system to re-enable it.

Reset the Radio

You must check that the auto-lock feature works by both Bluetooth version 4.2 and Wi-Fi connections. Sometimes, these connections can go idle, thus disabling the auto-lock functionality. To reset these connections, you can turn the device in airplane mode, which will disable all connections. Now disable airplane mode, and the device will reconnect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You should disable and enable connections on Mac too.

Delete Keychain Auto Unlock Files

  • Open "Keychain Access".
  • In the top menu bar, select "View" and enable "Show Invisible Items".
  • Search for "Auto Unlock" entries.
  • Select all entries with Auto Lock --- and delete. Beware, this will reset/disable auto-unlock on other Macs if you use other Macs.
  • Now search for AutoUnlock.
  • You will see 4 entries like "tlk" "tlk-non-sync" "classA classC." Delete them too.
  • autounlock

  • Open "Finder" and go to "/Library/Sharing/AutoUnlock".
  • Delete two files "ltk.plist" and "pairing-records.plist"
  • library

  • Go to System Preferences > Security Privacy. Check to enable "Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac." If the first attempt is not successful, try again, and even trying after several hours works for some people.
  • enable autounlock

    Reboot everything

    • To hard-reset your Apple Watch, press and hold the digital crown and side button for at least 10 seconds till you see the Apple logo.


    • On your Mac, click the Apply button and press the Restart button.

    restart mac


    Ensure you make a backup of your devices before attempting this solution, as it can result in loss of data.

    8. Re-pair Apple Watch

    A misconfigured connection between your iPhone and Apple watch can make your Auto-lock feature malfunction. Though re-pairing is an undesired activity, it has the potential to fix the issues.

    • Start Watch app on your iPhone.
    • Go to the My Watch tab.
    • Click on ___'s Apple Watch and then click the info button, i.e., I with a circle.
    • Click unpair Apple Watch.


    You will have to follow the pairing process again and re-enable Auto-unlock in your Mac's system preferences.

    If the no solution discussed above works, then your last resort is to contact Apple. They can see if your devices have any hardware or software issues.

    Bonus: How to Unlock iPhone?

    Apple devices are the most secure gadgets in the market. However, this blessing sometimes turns into nightwear if you forget your Apple Id or password. iMyFone LockWiper is an application that helps you come over Apple ID and iCloud ID and password issues.

    lockwiper unlock iPhone passcode
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  • Windows version Mac version


    Mac updates can cause this issue but then these updates are essential to keep all the features working. This article discusses the most reliable solutions to the problem of "apple watch not unlocking Mac".However, the success of these solutions depend on the underlying cause of the issue