If you have a newer model MacBook, you can easily unlock your computer using Touch ID. Older models can’t necessarily add Touch ID to their machines, but a free iOS and Mac app can give you a pretty decent workaround.
With Near Lock, not only can you use Touch ID on your phone to unlock your Mac computer, you can also have it automatically lock your computer as you walk away from your screen.
How to Unlock Your Mac Using Your iPhone
- Download the Mac app to your computer and the iOS app to your phone.
- Open the iOS app on your phone first and grant it access to your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
- Open the Mac app on your computer as the iOS app begins to scan for nearby devices.
- You’ll see a message saying that your iPhone wants to connect. Click Accept.
- Go back to your iPhone and choose a password for your app and click Connect.
See the set up process in action below:
Now that your phone and computer paired, just click the NearMe icon in the menu bar. With the free version of the app, you have to have the iOS open for it to work. The pro version, which costs $3.99, works in the background.
- Toggle the Near Lock option on.
- Choose your distance (with a minimum of 3 feet and 3 inches to a maximum of 32 feet and 9 inches) using thee slider. This is how far your phone should be from your computer before Near Me activates the lock.
- When you walk away from your computer, your computer lock when you get to the distance you specified. (Remember to keep the app open on your phone if you’re using the free version.)
- You should see on your phone that your computer has been locked and you can unlock it with Touch ID.
Other Features of Near Lock
According to Near Lock’s developers, the app uses Bluetooth low energy technology so it shouldn’t affect your battery life, and your user data should be encrypted and never leaves your device, and nothing is saved to a server.
Photos: If you’re using a version of Mac OS earlier than Sierra, you can also get the app to take a photo every time someone tries to log in to your computer using the wrong password. With the free version of the app, you get 3 photos.
The app is able to take photos when you use Touch ID to unlock your phone. In order to delete those photos, you’ll have to enter you Mac password, or conveniently just use Touch ID on your phone with the Near Lock app open.
Select Wi-Fi Networks: Another feature available only to Pro users is the ability to keep your Mac unlocked on select Wi-Fi networks.
Widget and 3D Touch: With both the free and pro versions of the app, you can use 3D touch to pull up a context menu to lock and unlock your Mac, to turn the app off on your computer. You can also add a Widget, but it’s features are only available for Pro users.
There are other similar apps out there like MacID, but Near Lock distinguishes itself by offering a free version of the app.