Wearable technology is truly revolutionary for it offers such convenience to its users. And the Apple Watch is no different. The best part–if you also own a Mac, unlock it with your Watch–how convenient is that?
Provide your login credentials when you turn on your Mac, and after that, the watch does it every time you wake up your Mac.
All you need is to wear the watch and be near your machine. But like life, problems appear–and for the Apple Watch and Macs, the error unable to communicate with your Apple Watch is all too witnessed.
Some users have faced an error when trying to set up this feature on their watch.
The error message “Your Mac was unable to communicate with your Apple Watch” keeps appearing when you try to set up my Watch to unlock your Mac or MacBook. Although there is no sure answer as to what causes this error, we have some suggestions and solutions that fix the problem.
- 1 Meet the conditions to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch
- 2 Fixes for Macbook unable to unlock or communicate with your Apple Watch
- How to clean and disinfect your Apple Watch
- 12 ways to fix when your Apple Watch is unable to install watchOS updates
- How to set up 6 digit passcode on Apple Watch
- Apple Watch Not Working? Troubleshoot Your Problems Today
Meet the conditions to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch
There are certain things you need to ensure before setting up your Autolock feature for Mac.
- You Apple ID is using two-factor authentication
- Both WiFi and Bluetooth on Mac are turned on
- Same Apple ID is used on both the Mac and Watch
- Apple Watch has a passcode
- On your Mac, check “Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac” This option is located in System & Preferences. Click Apple Menu & then System Preferences and then finally Security & Privacy.
If all of these conditions are met and your Watch is near the Mac, you should not have any problem.
Double-check that you use the same WiFi network for all these devices i.e. Mac, iPhone, and the watch. Using different WiFi networks results in this error.
Fixes for Macbook unable to unlock or communicate with your Apple Watch
Some users who face this problem found relief with the handoff option. Disabling it and then enabling it again does the trick.
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Handoff.
- Toggle it off then wait momentarily and toggle it back on again.
- Then go to the Apple Watch App > General > Enable Handoff and perform that same toggle off and on.
- Finally, check also that Handoff is enabled on your Mac: System Preferences > General > Check the option for Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices
Disabling the option of using the iPhone to unlock the watch can also fix the problem of not being able to connect with Mac.
- To do that, launch the Watch App on your iPhone.
- Then go into Passcode > Switch off Unlock with iPhone.
Perhaps FileVault is causing the problem from your Mac’s side of things.
Try to disable FileVault and see if that does the trick
- Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault and turn it off.
- Turning FileVault off means that your Mac’s data is not encrypted automatically, so proceed with caution.
Check Your WiFi
Readers with similar problems but found that their iPhone (paired with their watch) was on a different WiFi network than their MacBook. If you have several networks available, use a range extender, or have a multiple band router, check that you connect to the same network on all devices and Macs.
Look at Keychain
Disable and then Enable iCloud Keychain on your paired iPhone
- Go to Settings > Apple ID (for older macOS tap iCloud) and scroll down to Keychain.
- Tap it and toggle iCloud Keychain off and then back on.
- It asks if you want to turn Safari AutoFill off for passwords, select Keep on My iPhone.
Make sure that your Keychain login and user account login passwords MATCH
They HAVE to match for this feature to work. To fix this, open Spotlight, search for “Keychain Access” open the app. Right-click on “login” on the left under the big padlock icon and then select the “Change Password” option and set it as the same password as your user account.
Make sure the password you enter is secure.
Your Mac lets you know when it isn’t secure enough. Once a new password is saved, go to System Preferences > User Accounts and Groups and change your user account’s password to match the one you just entered in Keychain Access.
Latest watchOS Upgrade
Ensure that you have the latest OS installed both on your Mac and Watch. Check your watchOS version by launching the Watch App on your iPhone then tap on My Watch and going into Settings > General > Software Update.
Auto Unlock is a very cool feature of the watch that makes it useful with your Mac also. You can unlock your Mac with very little effort as the watch does it for you. One of these solutions should eliminate the problem and enable you to use this feature.
- This worked for me: unpairing my apple watch, removing my apple watch from my Apple ID account, repairing my watch with my iPhone, restarting everything (Mac, Watch, iPhone), and enabling auto-unlock
- Putting my phone into Airplane mode, and then connecting the watch through settings on the Mac was what finally worked for me. After I connected the watch I took the phone out of Airplane mode and everything was still working as expected
- Make sure keychain is ON in your iCloud settings on your iPhone. As soon as I turned it back on, everything worked
- Log out of iCloud on both iPhone and MacBook and then log back in from Apple watch app
- Go to your Mac’s Bluetooth settings and then pair your iPhone to your Mac
- Just toggling Airplane Mode on my watch multiple times seems to have solved it for me
- Forget your WiFi on the iPhone and Mac. Then disable Bluetooth on the iPhone. Join the same WiFi network on the iPhone and Mac. And finally, turn on Bluetooth back on the phone