How to unlock your Mac with Touch ID

By , Jan 31, 2014

UnlockID 01

UnlockID is a super-cool new jailbreak tweak that does exactly what the headline says—it allows you to unlock your Mac using the Touch ID sensor found on the iPhone 5s. Using Bluetooth Low Energy, the tweak features a Mac component that allows your iPhone 5s to communicate with your OS X installation.

Although the tweak’s practicality may be up for debate, there’s no debating the fact that this is one of the most innovate and coolest looking Touch ID tweaks we’ve seen thus far. We’ve taken UnlockID for a thorough walkthrough. Check out our hands-on video after the break.

First and foremost, you will need an iPhone 5s in order to use this tweak, because it relies exclusively on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor found only on that device. Once you install UnlockID, you’ll be given a link to install the Mac component needed to communicate with the iPhone.

The iOS portion of the setup includes a preference panel for UnlockID, which includes a kill switch for quickly disabling the tweak. You’ll also find detailed compatibility info for OS X, a link to the Mac utility, and a section for changing the authorization code used to talk with the Mac.

Resized UnlockID

The Mac portion of UnlockID is basically a little menu bar utility that runs in the background and listens using Bluetooth Low Energy. With that in mind, you’ll need to make sure that you have Bluetooth enabled on both your Mac and your iPhone 5s.

In the preferences of the menu bar utility on your Mac, you’ll find a tab for establishing the initial connection between the two devices. This is done by generating a passcode on the Mac, and typing that passcode on the iPhone. The setup is super-simple and only takes a few seconds of you time.

UnlockID 03

Once the connection between the two devices is established, lock your Mac, and hold a valid finger on the Touch ID sensor. Your Mac should unlock shortly thereafter. If you use an invalid fingerprint, your Mac’s login window will shake to indicate an invalid attempt. The nice thing about UnlockID is that you don’t have to be on the iPhone’s Lock screen in order to unlock your Mac; you can be anywhere on the iPhone and still use the Touch ID sensor to unlock your Mac.

The unlocking experience happens fairly quickly, probably just as fast, or perhaps a bit faster than manually typing in your password with the keyboard. Ultimately, you’re not going to save a lot of time using UnlockID, unless you have some behemoth of a password. But UnlockID is not really about saving time. This is a tweak provides an interesting look into the future, when all Apple created devices that use passwords will come equipped with a Touch ID sensor.

UnlockID includes a separate component in the Mac utility’s preferences for managing passwords on websites. In other words, you can, in theory, login to websites on your Mac using Touch ID validation. I tried this, but wasn’t able to get it to work very successfully. Not only that, but it doesn’t appear to work with websites that don’t use the .com top level domain, which makes it a deal-breaker for many sites that I visit. For that reason, I look at this aspect of the tweak as more of a bonus feature, not the real meat and potatoes of the experience. Besides, most of you probably already use some sort of password manager that’s a lot better than what UnlockID offers.

UnlockID 02

As one of the most innovative jailbreak tweaks of the iOS 7 era, UnlockID is a release that everyone with the proper hardware should try. The secure password managing portion of the tweak is its primary shortfall, but everything else about UnlockID is solid. The bottom line is that this tweak isn’t going to save you a whole lot of time, but it’s good to show off to your friends, and a nice, if not a slightly bit cumbersome way to mate Touch ID with OS X. It’s a surefire glimpse into what the future holds for the Mac.

You can find UnlockID on Cydia’s ModMyi repo for $2.99. Let me know what you think about the tweak in the comment section below.

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  • Zaidan Umar

    No comments about you being first to comment….CUZ UR NOT!!!!

    • Jonathan

      I have an urge to report that.

      • “NOT” Steve Jobs

        Jonathan !! y u hate everything !!!!
        i f*&^ing love u for this !! :D :D :D

      • Jonathan

      • David Gitman

        compliment because you are an awesome dude :P

      • Jonathan

        lol okay. =P
        And for the record, I don’t hate everything, just first commenters putting it in everyone’s face.

      • David Gitman

        hehe its okay to hate
        haters gonna hate

      • Jonathan

        Not really.

  • Framboogle

    Holy shit this is amazing

  • ★LEA – MILEY – DEMI★

    Can I ask why someone have stickers in front of their iSight camera on their Mac’s?

    • Jonathan

      Because the government stalks us.

      • Cool

        and hackers.

      • Jonathan

        That too. >_>

    • http://www.ideaprison.com/ ideaprison

      Extremely paranoid people.. since the light is wired with the cam, and yes there were reports that there was a hack to bypass this, but seeing is quiet literally believing, so I’m still not believing that is possible, perhaps on older macs only..

  • Jonathan

    Now all I need is an iPhone 5s.

    • Svs

      Why are you even looking into this topic then?

      • Jonathan

        Because I want to know how to do this when I do get one.
        In other words, you’re saying I shouldn’t look at jailbreak posts if I don’t have a jailbroken device.

  • Shingo

    need one for PC/windows

  • iBanks

    Sucks it doesn’t support my Mac Mini. :(

    • Steven Honey

      Really? What model? Mine has Bluetooth capabilities running mavericks. Would this work for mine or is it all Mac mini models?

      No I didn’t real all of the article.

      • Jonathan

        *read
        and thank you for saying that so people don’t go yelling at you. :P

      • iBanks

        I have the early 2009 version that also includes Bluetooth but based on the details, 2012 or higher.

  • “NOT” Steve Jobs

    why is there a sticker on his camera !!! somebody spying on him ! ?

    • Jonathan

      Got proofz?

      • “NOT” Steve Jobs

        there is a sticker on his camera !!! why do u think it’s there ?

      • Jonathan

        No no, that somebody is spying on him…

    • Vivek Raja

      Its because someone can access your camera without the green light coming on. So he’s just taking precautions.

      • “NOT” Steve Jobs

        i’m going to buy some stickers :O

  • x-commando-x

    Sory for being off-topic here but any one knows how to continue a dowonload while the screen is locked ?????
    it doesnt stay for longer than ten minutes because of IOS resirictions

    • x-commando-x

      No reply ????

  • Chuck Finley

    Is this the same as BioUnlock? Has the guy changed the name of the tweak, or is it by a different guy?

    • Mike Colacone Saal

      Looks different to me. Castro was the other guy and the YouTube vid for this that’s on Cydia is someone else

    • 01011001001

      It’s a different tweak. This is to unlock your Mac, that’s its main feature. I haven’t tried the other stuff – using it for logging on to websites etc.

  • Rob_Huska

    The first preview was called BioUnlock… II dont thnk this is the same app. It’s nice, but I want to see if that one comes out soon.

  • Laszlo Gaspar

    Very cool

  • fernando

    lets make one for the ipad so we can have touch id for ipad!!!!

  • Jonathan

    Is that download actually safe, like spyware/virus free?

    • Vivek Raja

      No. Are you like 14?

      • Jonathan

        I’m 2 :D
        And I was being sarcastic LOL

    • Cool

      not sure I haven’t tried it but it seems legit

  • M L

    And my iphone 5s will NOT connect with my 2013 macbook pro…. Seems to be common issue.
    Great work apple!

    • 01011001001

      I had this problem as well on my MacBook Pro 2013, however this jailbreak works for me. What I did was download this app and the unlock ID Mac utility, change the authorization from it and just worked.

      Try that and see. I’m gonna try it on my 2012 MacBook Air later as well.

      • M L

        Well not for me :) Even just upgraded to ‘Maverick’ to see if that would help.

      • 01011001001

        it has nothing to do with Maverick, perhaps it’s IOS 7 itself and using Bluetooth 4.0 low power blah blah – don’t know.

        try this, on the unlock ID mac utility, change the authorization code, then go to your iPhone and enter that code on the unlock ID app. the tweak itself is flaky, takes a few tries.

        Reboot your phone too, disable any tweaks that maybe using touchID (I had a couple of them).

      • M L

        yup still no go…..what happened to “simply works” lol

  • 01011001001

    It’s not bad. Good tweak but it’s needs polishing up. There’s an issue with using this on MacBook Pro 2013 model re Bluetooth pairing with iPhone 5/s model. However it took a bit of tries and worked but as I said it needs polish.

    • 01011001001

      Just an update and I confirm that for some reason (haven’t noticed it before myself) that Bluetooth pairing with either a macbook pro 2013 or macbook air 2012 does not work and you can’t pair it using with an iPhone 5s (don’t know about iPhone 5). Google “bluetooth pairing with macbook pro or macbook air” and you’ll see others have reported the same issue.

      However and for some reason, this tweak works. I go through the BT pairing process, confirm the code etc. then using the unlock mac utility app I then generate a new code and I enter that on the unlock ID on the iPhone. w/o doing that I haven’t been able to unlock my mac with touchID.

      I’m not sure If I’m gonna keep this running, it’s a novelty, it’s cool but it’s very flaky. It takes a few tries (for some reason), definitely not faster than typing my password.

  • ND Tou

    Not working on my 2010 Macbook Pro

    • Ben

      It requires newer computers, I read that somewhere. Not sure what years but I remember 2010 MacBook Pro doesn’t work.

  • Jacob S

    Why bother when knock knock is already there and pretty easy to use, no jailbreak no headaches!

  • http://www.officialimeiunlock.com/ Nicolas Anderson

    Too difficult for me better get samsung

  • Fozy

    doesn’t work with my 2011 macbook pro (late model). Yes i know it says it’s for 2012 onwards but would be great if they supported the models which became dormant just before the new 2012 ones.

  • Ben

    In my opinion, its easier to just enter my password.

  • anonmuz

    It requires Bluetooth Low Energy (4.0). Which is on all newer models only so, for Mac Pro users like myself I have to buy the 2013 Mac Pro.

  • The Captain

    Does not work for me either – keep getting an bluetooth connection access error….glad I paid $ for something unusable….

  • Schuster Loredena

    Iphone 5S not connected whith macbook.
    Doesn’t support my MacBook pro