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Completely reset Apple Watch's Mac auto-unlock

Written by Rob Allen / Original link on Sep. 30, 2020

Recently, the ability for my Apple Watch to automatically unlock my Mac started failing on Big Sur betas and then on my main Catalina installation. I'm not sure, but it's possible that updating to WatchOS 7 caused it, though it might have been related to re-pairing to fix the battery life issues I was having. Or, of course, some other software gremlin!

Whatever, it was annoying.

Scouring the Internet, I discovered what to do in order to reset auto-unlock with Apple Watch, so I'm documenting it here so that I can find it again. Follow these steps at your own risk, but they worked for me.

Step 1: Keychain Access

Firstly open Keychain Access from the Utilities folder within the Applications folder:

Quit Keychain Access.

Step 2: Finder

Next, we open Finder:

Close the Finder window.

Step 3: Factory Reset the Bluetooth of all Apple connected devices

Ensure that you have a wired keyboard connected and mouse! I can't emphasise this enough as you're about to disconnect all your Bluetooth devices and will need a keyboard & mouse to reconnect them. A recent Magic Keyboard and Mouse are fine as these can be connected via their lightning ports.

Step 4: Enable auto-unlock

Open System Preferences.

That's it!

Hopefully, it stays fixed…

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