I am thinking about getting an Apple Watch. One of the most interesting features is Auto Unlocking of Mac. Does Apple Watch auto unlock need network and two-factor authentication?

The AirDrop function says it needs open Wi-Fi. I used to think that it needs a network. Later I found that two devices need not be connected to a common access point for AirDrop to work. So I think network isn't necessary.

Another problem is the Two-factor authentication. Is it necessary? My password is very secure and I don't want to enable this feature. Apple's help page says Make sure that your Apple ID is using two-factor authentication instead of two-step verification. I don't understand what this sentence means. Should Two-factor authentication be turned on or must not use two-step verification?

1 Answer 1


Does Apple Watch auto unlock need network and two-factor authentication?

To use Apple Watch Auto Unlock feature, you need to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on both your Apple Watch and Mac. It is similar to AirDrop, the radios must be turned on for the feature to work.

Also, your account must have Two-factor authentication turned on. Having Two-factor authentication enabled provides an extra layer of protection and doesn't compromise your Apple ID in any way.

My password is very secure and I don't want to enable this feature.

It doesn't matter howsoever strong password you use, once someone else gets hold of it (which could happen accidentally), they have complete access to your Apple ID account. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by having the user to obtain and enter an additional, randomly generated code.

Two-factor authentication is more advanced than two-setp verification. Apple highly recommends protecting your account with Two-factor authentication, so much so that if you use it at-least for a couple weeks, you couldn't turn it off.

For more details refer to the linked Apple Support articles:

  • In fact, the more important reason is that my parents use my id on the iPad, I don’t want to call them when there is a special case for verification.
    – maP1E bluE
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 17:51
  • @maP1EbluE You won’t need to. You need to be in possession of just one out of a maximum of 10 iOS devices that can be linked to an Apple ID. The verification code is sent to all the devices linked to an Apple ID. On another note, you can (should) create a different Apple ID for use on your parents iPad. Using Family Sharing, you can easily share your purchases with them. Having a separate Apple ID provides you a way to contact them if needed.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 17:54
  • I have ids in 4 different countries and often switch between them. It's too complicated to figure out the limitations of this feature(two-factor ).
    – maP1E bluE
    Commented May 31, 2019 at 18:28

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