Yesterday I installed macOS Sierra and now I want to enable this new feature - unlocking MacBook with Apple Watch.

I opened Security & Privacy settings and tried to check this option (Allow your Apple Watch to unlock your Mac). It asked me for my iCloud (Apple ID) password, I provided it, but then it showed me the following message:

enter image description here

Some additional info (if it's relevant):

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
  • macOS Sierra 10.12
  • Bluetooth LMP Version: 4.2 (0x8)

And yes, I have two-step verification enabled in my Apple ID for about a year now:

enter image description here

So, to have this feature enabled I need to reduce protection of the entire Apple ID? Can I bypass this requirement and use the watch to unlock my Mac?

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    I'm going to edit the why and focus on the existence of any workarounds. Someone will clearly answer your post with - "No - there isn't a workaround" so be open to that possibility. – bmike Sep 21 '16 at 16:12
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    Make sure you review this recent article on how to unlock your Mac with your Watch. It might answer your questions. – fsb Sep 21 '16 at 16:15
  • Great question, by the way - I sure hope I'm wrong and there are options. Even if it's a deep dive into how this works and it's fragile or hacky - I'd love to learn more about how we can customize Apple's hardware even if their software wants you to follow the pack with their mainstream options. – bmike Sep 21 '16 at 16:18
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    I think you need to disable 'two-step verification' and use 'two-factor authentication', instead. – fsb Sep 21 '16 at 16:29
  • @fbara you are right. I did not know, that Apple introduced two-FACTOR authentication after having two-STEP verification. I switched to it and everything's fine now. You can write this as an answer. – retif Sep 21 '16 at 17:11

You need to disable two-step verification and enable two-factor authentication.

If you follow the steps in this article, it will show you how you can use your Watch to wake-up your Mac. One of the key parts is at the bottom of the article:

For those of you using the original Two-Step Verification instead of the Two-Factor Authentication feature introduced with iOS 10, you will need to disable Two-Step Verification on the Apple ID management site and then enable Two-Factor Authentication on an iOS device. A passcode also needs to be established on the Apple Watch.

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    What's the difference between Two-Step Verification and Two-Factor Verification? – Stevoisiak Mar 31 '17 at 17:57

No - Apple's code to perform the unlock explicitly doesn't support two factor. I was willing to change my security, but understand your concerns.

The workaround would be to use a third party unlock service like https://www.macid.co and use their software to unlock your computer.

Sadly, I don't think their implementation is as efficient, reliable or secure as Apple's so I'm making the change Apple asked. My speculation is two-step will be shut off within a year and that two-factor will become more secure than it is today. Those are guesses and opinion, though.

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