macOS Sierra Auto Unlock teaser 003

Some features of Apple’s operating systems are hardware-dependent, for one reason or another. iOS 10 and macOS Sierra are no exceptions. For example, Raise to Wake on iOS 10 requires devices with Apple’s embedded M9 motion coprocessor, currently found in the iPhone 6s/Plus and iPhone SE.

Following our preview of Auto Unlock, we noticed that commenters are wondering if this feature requires any special hardware so here are Apple’s official system requirements for Auto Unlock.

Your devices and Apple ID must meet certain requirements for Auto Unlock.

Auto Unlock system requirements

Auto Unlock requires the following:

  • Mid-2013 Mac or newer running macOS Sierra
  • Apple Watch with watchOS 3
  • iPhone 5 or newer with iOS 10 or later
  • Mac, Apple Watch and iPhone must use the same iCloud account
  • Apple Watch must have a passcode set up
  • Mac’s user account must have a password
  • Apple ID must use Two-Factor Authentication, not Two-Step Verification

If your Mac was manufactured before 2013, you won’t be able to use Auto Unlock.

If you’re unable to activate Auto Unlock, ensure that your Apple ID is protected with the more modern Two-Factor Authentication feature. Apple IDs that use the older and less reliable Two-Step Verification method cannot be used with Auto Unlock.

TUTORIAL: how to set up and use Auto Unlock

There’s no direct upgrade path for Two-Factor Authentication so if you’re using the older Two-Step Verification you must disable it before enrolling in Two-Factor Authentication.

TUTORIAL: how to protect your Apple ID with Two-Factor Authentication

See our Auto Unlock preview for detailed information about how this feature works, then learn how to set up Auto Unlock on your Mac and Apple Watch.

You can find more information about Two-Step Verification in Apple’s FAQ.

  • Nick

    I have an early 2013, and all the rest, and mine doesn’t offer that check box in that preference tab. So I’d say that early 2013 isn’t apart of the 2013 group here.

    • Not so fast. This is a beta so quirks are expected. Try restarting your Mac, iPhone and Watch, worked for me.

      • Nick

        I mean, no offense, but obviously I tried restarting my devices…still no go. Maybe I need to reinstall or the software on each…

  • Wouldn’t recommend doing this right now with the IOS 10 Beta issues for TFA.

  • Meh, I never wanted this feature any.. says disgruntled users with pre 2013 Macbooks lol. My self included.

    • Steve R.

      I’m sad that my late-2012 iMac won’t be able to do this :/ But at least my 2014 Macbook Air will be able to 😀

  • Al Fresco

    Yeah I don’t need this feature. It looks cool though.. I guess. As long as my 2012 rMBP can use SIRI I’m happy

  • Wilber Alexander Flores

    Mid 2012 MacBook Pro ftw

    • The Afroman

      does it work for you? i haven’t tried it but i have the same machine

      • Wilber Alexander Flores

        No I haven’t tried it I read it wasn’t supported and didn’t wanna update it since I’m also running windows with boot camp don’t want to risk messing up that partition

      • I have tried it. But no option to enable the auto-unlock.

      • Wilber Alexander Flores

        Hopefully a hack or something comes out to enable it. I doubt it but hopefully

  • Eric Swinson

    Considering the Late 2012 Mac mini wasn’t updated until late 2014, this kind of sucks

  • AbareSaru

    Just get Mac ID it is already superior to this in every way.

    Seems like apple have continued to cloning great invention and hard work out there. Taking out all the good bits and implementing a half-assed version that everyone needs to upgrade all of their hardware to use. Thanks for curing me of my FanBoy-dom. Slowly losing the will to stay Apple!

    • Steve Robinson

      Would you still recommend Mac ID. I’m a bit neverous as it’s not in theMac App Store?!!

  • Kelsey J Beers

    Are there similar system requirements for Siri in MacOS? Because I downloaded the public beta and she won’t work…… I’m running a mid 2010 MBP

  • Bangali

    Can someone confirm/deny – can you unlock with ur iPhone or is it watch only?!

  • K3NSH1R0

    Damn it!!! Mid 2012 MBP…..I’ll have to stick with MacID
    No way I’m buying a new MBP just for Auto Unlock.

  • kris

    Have everything and still can’t get it in the security and general tab..2015 MacBook Air too

  • John Keiffer

    Just a quick note on using the unlock feature. on your account page on the apple website where it lists your devices you have to make sure it shows your apple watch running os3.0 it took me to shut down my watch and restart before it showed up and now works perfectly.

  • Steve Robinson

    Are there apps they will auto unlock my iMac late 2012. Which is the best and should I trust them