UPDATED 03:22 EST / JULY 06 2016


macOS Sierra beta 2: How to use the new Auto Unlock feature with your Apple Watch

In addition to releasing iOS 10 beta 2 and with it new features like organ donation signup, a Messages App Store and tweaks to the Apple Music app, Apple has also released macOS Sierra beta 2 for developers.

Auto Unlock, the feature that allows you to unlock your Mac automatically while wearing your Apple Watch, caused much excitement at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference on June 13. However, until now with the release of macOS Sierra beta 2, the new feature was not available for developers to test drive.

We look at what you will require, like macOS Sierra beta 2, watchOS 3 and Two-Factor Authentication, before you can start using Auto Unlock. We also take you through the steps of enabling Auto Unlock and the various features that have already been introduced for macOS Sierra.

Requirements to use Auto Unlock

Before you are able to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch using Auto Unlock there are various prerequisites that you will need to complete prior to following the Auto Unlock steps below.

macOS Sierra beta 2

To have access to Auto Unlock and the various other macOS Sierra features you will need to download the beta 2 by following the steps below.

  • Create an archived backup on your Mac.
  • Go to Apple’s Developer site > click on Develop > Downloads > log in with your developer account > next to macOS 10.12 beta 2, click Download > click Redeem.

Note: If the redeem code in the text field is missing you can copy and paste the code from the Downloads page shown next to macOS Sierra. Alternatively, if you get a message saying ‘This code has already been redeemed’ go to the Mac App Store > Purchased > download the macOS Sierra developer preview there.

  • Once the download is complete, click Continue > agree to Apple’s Terms and Conditions > click Install and follow the instructions. Your Mac will reboot and start the install.    
  • Once the install has completed you can start exploring Auto Unlock and the other macOS Sierra features. Click on Continue > sign in with your Apple ID and password > click Get Started.  

watchOS 3 beta 2

To use the new Auto Unlock feature in macOS Sierra you will also need to have watchOS 3 beta 2 installed on your Apple Watch. iMore details the steps to follow to install the latest beta of watchOS 3.

Two-Factor Authentication

If you don’t have Two-Factor Authentication enabled on your Apple ID account you will need to enable it before you can use Auto Unlock. Enabling Two-Factor Authentication also requires that you switch off Two-Step Verification.

  • Sign into the Apple ID website.
  • Turn off Two-Step Verification: In the Security section, select Edit > under Two-Step Verification, select Turn Off Two-Step Verification. Follow the steps to create three security questions.
  • Turn on Two-Factor Authentication: Click on the Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details > Security > click Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.       

How to use Auto Unlock

Now that you have the latest betas of macOS Sierra and watchOS 3 installed and have enabled Two-Factor Authentication, it is now possible to test out the new Auto Unlock feature.

  • Make sure you have a passcode set on your Apple Watch. If you haven’t done this, tap the Watch icon on your iPhone > My Watch > Passcode > tap Turn Passcode On > on your Apple Watch enter a passcode > re-enter your code.
  • On your Mac, open System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General > check the box next to Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac.
  • Enter your Mac’s password and a ‘Turning On’ message will be displayed.
  • Lock your Mac and go grab a cup of coffee. When you return, wearing your Apple Watch obviously, a message will display: Unlocking with Apple Watch and your Mac will unlock automatically.  

Note: If you try to unlock your Mac without having your Apple Watch on, you will merely see the normal password screen.

macOS Sierra features revealed in beta 1

macOS Sierra has already revealed a variety of cool new features for Mac users, including a Universal Clipboard, new features for Photos, and tabbed windows for Mac apps. Other features include the introduction of Siri on Mac, allowing users to find files, multitask, pin Siri search results, and more. macOS Sierra also introduces Picture in Picture mode and Optimized Storage.   

Source: 9to5Mac; iMore

Image via: Apple

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