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How to unlock the Mac with an iPhone

We all know how important it is to configure the Mac to lock the screen automatically every time you move away from it or are absent from your workstation for a period of time.

The fact is not to prevent your colleagues or colleagues from spying on your work or what you are doing at that time, but also because our Mac collects a lot of personal information, including passwords, payments and login details.

So, if you don't want to have to manually enter your password every time you return to your job, or look away to attend a conversation with a partner, what can you do?

If you have an Apple Watch, things are easier, because you can configure your Mac to unlock automatically when you are nearby. To do this, you must own a relatively new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with Touch ID bar.


Without a doubt, these are practical ways to quickly unlock your Mac. But what happens if I don't have an Apple Watch or a new generation Mac with Touch ID? Can I use the iPhone to unlock the Mac?

Yes, it is possible to use the iPhone to unlock the Mac, but you will need to use an application developed by third parties and available on the App Store. For some reason, Apple has not yet integrated this option into iOS, or macOS.

We will begin by explaining how to use a free iPhone application to unlock the Mac with Face ID or Touch ID, before analyzing other alternative options that turn out to be paid.

How to unlock the Mac with a free iPhone

It is more than likely that Apple already has the magic wand so that the next versions of iOS, iPadOS and macOS can work with each other and allow you to unlock nearby devices when they have the same Apple ID associated.

Meanwhile, we have to resort to third-party applications found in the App Store. It is the case of the free Near lock that we see next, and that also has a Pro payment method with additional functions.

Next, we teach you how to use Near lock to unlock your Mac with your iPhone

Near lock

  • Free version
  • Download for iOS and to macOS

The main purpose of this App is that you can use your Touch ID or Face ID on your iPhone to unlock your Mac. It also allows you to unlock or lock your Mac automatically depending on the proximity between both devices. We show you how it works:

  1. Download the iPhone application from App Store.
  2. Download the macOS version of the developer website.
  3. Install the application on both devices.
  4. Open the application on your iPhone and Mac and proceed with the pairing of both devices. Ignore the warning on your Mac about deleting the Bluetooth cache and click Add new device.
  5. See a message that your iPhone wants to connect. Accept it.
  6. You see a message that the devices are connected and an indication of the distance between your iPhone and Mac; This is important since you can modify the distance at which the Mac will be locked or unlocked when your iPhone moves away. You can do this and more if you click on Settings in the left column.
  7. Before adjusting the Near Lock settings, you should change the security settings of your Mac to allow Near Lock to unlock the Mac. Go to System Preferences> Security and Privacy> Accessibility and click on the lock and enter your password. Then check the box next to Near Lock. See a warning about Near Lock that you want to control system events: click OK.
  8. Now go to the Settings options for Near Lock. Click and check the boxes that you find interesting or to your liking.
  9. We have enabled proximity blocking. By default you see that it is 1 meter away, but you can change it. You have the option to lock the Mac when the iPhone leaves the proximity radius. You can also choose to have the Mac go to sleep or activate the screen saver when it is locked.
  10. There are also unlock options that include: Double tap, Touch ID or Face ID, or even by notification.
  11. From now on, check that when you move your iPhone more than a meter away from your Mac, the device crashes. Then, as you get closer, the Mac's screen unlocks just by looking at the iPhone.

Other iPhone applications used to unlock the Mac

Next, we offer you a brief description of other applications available in the App Store that also serve to unlock your Mac helped by the iPhone, using the Face ID or Touch ID functionality.

Finally, if what you want is to be able to unlock your Mac helped by the Apple Watch, follow these simple steps. Remember that it is essential that you wear the Apple smart watch and that it is unlocked.