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  • Om Chachad

How to Unlock Mac using iPhone.

Updated: Jan 19

Macs have had this feature for a while now which lets you unlock your Mac, right from your Apple Watch. Although it is the most popular smartwatch on the planet, not everyone has one. I'll be showing you how to unlock your Mac right from your iPhone or iPad without any external app. Let's get started.


For this to work at its best you will need the following things:

  • iPhone/iPad running iOS 12 or newer. (Preferably with an A12 chip or newer to unlock the best experience)

  • Siri Shortcuts App

  • Any Mac.

  • NFC Tags, you can find one for as low as ₹12 or $0.16. (Requires iPhone with A12 Chip or newer. I will also show you how to do it without the NFC Tags)




Watch The Video Tutorial Here:




Steps for the Mac


On the Mac, you'll have to follow the steps mentioned below:


Open the 'Sharing' pane from System Preferences.


 

Now, you have to do a couple of things here.

  • Enable Remote Login, and Remote Management.

  • Disable 'Allow full disk access for remote users' unless you are using it for other things.

  • Only Allow Access for the user you want to unlock with your iPhone. Again, unless you are using it for other things as well.

  • Now, note down the '.local' hostname or the IP Address mentioned under Remote Login or Remote Management. Preferably use the .local hostname. Eg. Olivias-iMac.local or 192.168.123.221

  • Under Remote Login, also note down the root username which is mentioned next to 'To log in to this computer remotely.' It'll be the piece of text between 'ssh' and '@.' Eg. oliviacobbett


That's all for the Mac.





Steps for the iPhone

Install my Unlock Mac shortcut, and follow the instructions to set it up using the download option below. Preferably do not distribute the link yourself.


Shortcut Setup

For devices running iOS/iPadOS 14 or older

For devices running iOS/iPadOS 15 Beta



Steps for iOS/iPadOS 14


In case you see something similar to the prompt mentioned below, please follow the instructions mentioned on this page and before you do that, run any random shortcut you already have on your device.

After that is done, or if you had already enabled it, you can follow the steps mentioned below.



Scroll to the bottom and click Add Untrusted Shortcut

Then it’ll ask you for for your Mac’s credentials and fill in things we noted down earlier on the Mac when asked.



Now, the last section will be divided into two sections, these steps are universal for users on iOS 15, or older. Click the section suitable for you.

Steps if you have an NFC Tag.

Steps if you don’t have an NFC Tag, or have an older iPhone.



Steps for iOS/iPadOS 15 Beta


After clicking the download button for the shortcut, click Add Shortcut.

It’ll then ask you for for your Mac’s credentials and fill in things we noted down earlier on the Mac when asked.



Now in order for this shortcut to function, go to Settings → Shortcuts → Advanced and enable Allow Running Scripts




Now, the last section will be divided into two sections, these steps are universal for users on iOS 15, or older. Click the section suitable for you.

Steps if you have an NFC Tag.

Steps if you don’t have an NFC Tag, or have an older iPhone.




For Users with NFC Tags:


Head over to the Automation Section of the Shortcuts App.


 

On the top, click the + icon, and create a new Automation. And then, create a personal automation.


 

Scroll down to where it says NFC and choose it. And click Scan.


 

Then, place the NFC Tag close to the top of your iPhone and when prompted, give it a name.


 

Then, click add action and search for the Run Shortcut Action, and tap it.


 

Tap the placeholder for Shortcut, search for Unlock Mac and select it. Then, click Next on the top right.


 

Then finally, tap and disable the toggle for Ask Before Running and confirm it by clicking Don’t Ask. Click Done on the top right, and that’s it.


 

The next time you use your phone and tap the NFC Tag, it’ll unlock the Mac.


If you're on macOS 12 Monterey Beta on your Mac, and iPadOS/iOS 15 Beta on your iPad/iPhone, then it'll ask for a confirmation before it unlocks the Mac, I'm working on fixing it, hopefully by the time of the Public release, I'll be able to get it to work without an additional prompt.



If you do not want it to ask for TouchID or FaceID when you try to use this when the iPhone is locked, then you can remove the continue in shortcuts app action present at the beginning of the shortcut.



For Users Without NFC Tags:


In order for NFC Tags to work natively via the shortcuts app, you need an iPhone with the Neural Engine, or in other words, iPhones with the A12 Chip or newer. But if you don't have a newer iPhone, have an iPad or don't want to buy an NFC Tag, I've got you covered. I'll showcase this using an iPad, but the steps are identical across all devices.



In the Shortcuts App, find the Unlock Mac Shortcut we just installed, it should be on the top of the All Shortcuts list. Then, long press/right click the shortcut and choose Details.



In the Details section, select Add to Home Screen. (This is a screenshot taken on the iPadOS 15 Developer Beta, the UI might be different on your screen, but the options should still be the same)



Tap the icon, and select Choose File.




Choose the icon you like, I have made a set of icons (Blue, Black and iTech Everything icon pack edition icons for every type of Mac) for this purpose. You can download them here:



I've chosen the icon I like, after you've done the same, click Add.



It'll then show up on the Home Screen of your iPhone or iPad, the next time you click this icon, your Mac will unlock.


You can also ask Siri to do so. If you do not want it to ask for TouchID or FaceID when you try to use this when the iPhone is locked, then you can remove the continue in shortcuts app action present at the beginning of the shortcut.



If you're on macOS 12 Monterey Beta on your Mac, and iPadOS/iOS 15 Beta on your iPad/iPhone, then it'll ask for a confirmation before it unlocks the Mac, I'm working on fixing it, hopefully by the time of the Public release, I'll be able to get it to work without an additional prompt.



Thanks for reading, I hope this helps you out. Enjoy unlocking your Mac with your iPhone and share it with other Mac users too!






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