Apple Watch Unlock Mac Not Working In watchOS 9 (Fix!)

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iPhone Tricks > Errors and Issues

Posted in Errors and Issues by Tyrone on September 20, 2022

Apple Watch unlock Mac watchos 9 issue

Apple Watch Unlock Mac not working anymore after the watchOS 9 update? Macbook displays the Unlocking Apple Watch message, a spinning wheel shows up, but unlocking fails and you’re prompted to type your account password?

Apple Watch Unlock Mac Issue

Apple Watch unlock Mac not working
This problem has been reported by Shana on our watchOS 9 review page:

“Apple Watch 6 no longer unlocking my MacBook Pro after the update. Have force restarted my watch and restarted my MacBook. Watch, phone and MacBook are all on the same WiFi and logged into iCloud with the same ID.”

I could replicate this watchOS 9 issue with an Apple Watch 7 and a Macbook Air running macOS 12.6. Others are experiencing it too on Reddit:

“Can’t unlock Macs anymore with Apple Watch after WatchOS 9!”

and Apple’s Discussion Forums:

“Since I installed watchOS 9 and MacOs Monterey 12.6, unlocking Mac wit Apple Watch is nearly impossible.”

How To Fix Apple Watch Unlock Mac Not Working

Fortunately, this issue can be fixed if you follow these troubleshooting methods:

1. Reconfigure Auto Unlock Permission

reconfigure Unlock Mac with Apple Watch

  • On Mac go to System Preferences -> Security & Privacy.
  • In the General tab, uncheck Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps on your Mac option.
  • Wait a couple of seconds and re-enable the feature.
  • Type Mac password when requested!
  • Fact: Getting the Your Mac was unable to communicate with your Apple Watch error, although Apple Watch is unlocked and on your wrist and paired iPhone is unlocked too? Proceed to the next step!
    your mac was unable to communicate with your Apple Watch

2. Restart Devices

Macbook shut down
If the problem persists, reboot both devices:

  • Apple Watch: begin with your wrist-worn gadget. Simultaneously press & hold the Digital Crown and Side Button until the Apple logo is displayed on the screen.
  • Mac: After the watch boots back up, click the Apple logo available in the top-left corner of the Mac status bar and go for Shut Down. Wait a couple of seconds and turn your Mac back On.
  • Tip: The first time after a reboot Mac always asks for your password. Enter it, then click the Apple Logo again and go for Lock Screen. Now, it’s time to test if unlock Match with Apple Watch works again!

3. Reconfigure Auto Unlock Manually

Apple Watch unlock Mac fix
If Apple Watch still won’t unlock Macbook, you have to manually delete auto unlock configuration in KeyChain Access to force macOS to reconfigure.

This is a 10-step procedure that we covered in the past. Tap here for a detailed step-by-step guide with screenshots included!

Have you managed to fix Apple Watch unlock Mac error in watchOS 9? Do you have a better solution or additional questions? Use the comments section to share your feedback!

Related: Take a look at other common day-one watchOS 9 issues including:
– Apple Watch compass not working
– Snooze Double Pinch popup showing up every wrist raise.
– Apple Watch slow charging issues and more.

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