Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

TheCookie

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 9, 2008
165
4
Boston
I updated to an iPhone 12. After I did, my Apple Watch stopped unlocking my MacBook Air. When I tried to re-enable the feature, I got this error:
Screen Shot 2020-10-25 at 12.32.48 AM.png


After two sessions chatting with an adviser and various troubleshooting (including a statement of certainty that updating my MacOS would solve the problem), they admitted the following:
Apple has received reports regarding this issue and is working hard to resolve this as quickly as possible. As this is not an issue specific to your device I would like to advise against further troubleshooting at this point.

The best option at this time would be to wait for a resolution from Apple which may come in the form of an update. The hardest part of my job is to ask you to wait for a resolution to your issue, I wish I could resolve this for you today. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. However, you can always leave a feedback in our feedback page.
So don't waste your time if unlock stops working!
 

D3ggy

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2019
467
332
There is a fix posted here somewhere. It involved clearing out the auto unlock items in keychain.

Once done it will work as expected.

Do a quick search

Update

I had this saved from when I had to do it


I followed these exact steps.

1. Open "Keychain Access"
2. In "View", enable "Show Invisible Items”
3. Search for "Auto Unlock"
4. You should see a whole bunch of application passwords for "Auto Unlock: XXXX's ..."
5. Select all records and delete (this will reset/disable auto unlock on other Macs if you use multiple Macs)
6. Whilst still in "Keychain Access", search for "AutoUnlock" (no space)
7. There should be 4 entries for "tlk" "tlk-nonsync" "classA" "classC"
8. Select 4 records and delete (don't worry if they re-appear, the system repairs this automatically)
9. Open "Finder" and navigate to "~/Library/Sharing/AutoUnlock"
10. There should be two files "ltk.plist" and "pairing-records.plist"
11. Delete both files
13. Open "System Preferences" and try enabling auto unlock. You may need to enable it twice, the first attempt will fail

Those were my exact steps. If everything is working, in your Keychain you'll see an Auto Unlock - Your Watch Name.... Previously, that never showed up. Notice how it's missing step 12. Step 12 was when I rebooted the computer the first 3 times. The only time it worked was when I didn't reboot the computer.

The other thing is, previously, my ltk.plist and pairing-records.plist would be empty every time I tried it. This time, I saw information (encrypted I think), in them.

Hope this helps someone.
 

btrach144

macrumors demi-god
Aug 28, 2015
2,328
5,445
Indiana
There is a fix posted here somewhere. It involved clearing out the auto unlock items in keychain.

Once done it will work as expected.

Do a quick search

Update

I had this saved from when I had to do it


I followed these exact steps.

1. Open "Keychain Access"
2. In "View", enable "Show Invisible Items”
3. Search for "Auto Unlock"
4. You should see a whole bunch of application passwords for "Auto Unlock: XXXX's ..."
5. Select all records and delete (this will reset/disable auto unlock on other Macs if you use multiple Macs)
6. Whilst still in "Keychain Access", search for "AutoUnlock" (no space)
7. There should be 4 entries for "tlk" "tlk-nonsync" "classA" "classC"
8. Select 4 records and delete (don't worry if they re-appear, the system repairs this automatically)
9. Open "Finder" and navigate to "~/Library/Sharing/AutoUnlock"
10. There should be two files "ltk.plist" and "pairing-records.plist"
11. Delete both files
13. Open "System Preferences" and try enabling auto unlock. You may need to enable it twice, the first attempt will fail

Those were my exact steps. If everything is working, in your Keychain you'll see an Auto Unlock - Your Watch Name.... Previously, that never showed up. Notice how it's missing step 12. Step 12 was when I rebooted the computer the first 3 times. The only time it worked was when I didn't reboot the computer.

The other thing is, previously, my ltk.plist and pairing-records.plist would be empty every time I tried it. This time, I saw information (encrypted I think), in them.

Hope this helps someone.
Thank you for sharing but I did this and it worked for like 5 days and now I have a new problem. When I go to unlock my Mac, it tries to use the watch, fails, and requires me to input my password.

Something is really messaged up on Apple's end. I still have not seen a end all fix.
 

Chris.J

macrumors member
Sep 30, 2010
74
102
I've tried all of the above and cannot get this to work. Not even once or temporarily. I get the error message as per the OP and nothing else.

I guess we have to wait for an official fix, but at least it has been acknowledged by Apple.
 

nippyjun

macrumors 68000
Jul 26, 2007
1,567
260
I was having the same problem and read about making sure that handoff was enabled on my phone which it was not. I enabled it and rebooted my Mac and my phone and my watch and then it worked.
 

techno-Zen

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2015
1,544
2,282
Gilbert, AZ
There is a fix posted here somewhere. It involved clearing out the auto unlock items in keychain.

Once done it will work as expected.

Do a quick search

Update

I had this saved from when I had to do it


I followed these exact steps.

1. Open "Keychain Access"
2. In "View", enable "Show Invisible Items”
3. Search for "Auto Unlock"
4. You should see a whole bunch of application passwords for "Auto Unlock: XXXX's ..."
5. Select all records and delete (this will reset/disable auto unlock on other Macs if you use multiple Macs)
6. Whilst still in "Keychain Access", search for "AutoUnlock" (no space)
7. There should be 4 entries for "tlk" "tlk-nonsync" "classA" "classC"
8. Select 4 records and delete (don't worry if they re-appear, the system repairs this automatically)
9. Open "Finder" and navigate to "~/Library/Sharing/AutoUnlock"
10. There should be two files "ltk.plist" and "pairing-records.plist"
11. Delete both files
13. Open "System Preferences" and try enabling auto unlock. You may need to enable it twice, the first attempt will fail

Those were my exact steps. If everything is working, in your Keychain you'll see an Auto Unlock - Your Watch Name.... Previously, that never showed up. Notice how it's missing step 12. Step 12 was when I rebooted the computer the first 3 times. The only time it worked was when I didn't reboot the computer.

The other thing is, previously, my ltk.plist and pairing-records.plist would be empty every time I tried it. This time, I saw information (encrypted I think), in them.

Hope this helps someone.
Didn't work for me.
 

Coltaine

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2012
225
220
I have had this happen twice. When I upgraded from the AW Series 5 to 6 and then back again from 6 to 5 (had to send the 6 back due to an issue with the microphone) it did not work on my Series 5 anymore. I did all of the troubleshooting already proposed here, yet to no avail. After some time (one or two days), it just started working again without me doing anything specific. When I re-upgraded from my Series 5 to my new Series 6, it happened again. Then, after a few hours, the Unlock feature just kicked in again by itself. Mac was just asking me, if I wanted to activate it.

Really weird....
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,207
11,778
Temecula, CA
I would expect this behavior with a new watch, it's a new device ... I followed the procedure outlined above and it worked for me, but it's sometimes flaky but seems stable now for me
 

movieator

Contributor
Sep 17, 2009
1,368
975
LA, CA
It happened for me. Tried the solutions found in other threads. It would work, then not off and on.
But for the last couple of weeks, it seems to have stuck and is working as it should.
 
  • Like
Reactions: techno-Zen

jwolf6589

macrumors 68030
Dec 15, 2010
2,789
583
Colorado
I updated to an iPhone 12. After I did, my Apple Watch stopped unlocking my MacBook Air. When I tried to re-enable the feature, I got this error:
View attachment 974317

After two sessions chatting with an adviser and various troubleshooting (including a statement of certainty that updating my MacOS would solve the problem), they admitted the following:

So don't waste your time if unlock stops working!

This is the exact same problem I am having as I today upgraded to the iPhone 12. All suggestions suggested on Macrumors have not worked for me. I need to wait for an apple update.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ISprainedMyUvula

trifero

macrumors 68000
May 21, 2009
1,599
1,218
It worked right in mty Macbook 12. After the last update is not working any more. So disgusted.

Updated: After uncheck and check again "Use Apple Watch for…" , and two reboots, it´s working again.
 
Last edited:

BreakingKayfabe

macrumors demi-god
Oct 22, 2020
535
1,282
Southern Cal
There is a fix posted here somewhere. It involved clearing out the auto unlock items in keychain.

Once done it will work as expected.

Do a quick search

Update

I had this saved from when I had to do it


I followed these exact steps.

1. Open "Keychain Access"
2. In "View", enable "Show Invisible Items”
3. Search for "Auto Unlock"
4. You should see a whole bunch of application passwords for "Auto Unlock: XXXX's ..."
5. Select all records and delete (this will reset/disable auto unlock on other Macs if you use multiple Macs)
6. Whilst still in "Keychain Access", search for "AutoUnlock" (no space)
7. There should be 4 entries for "tlk" "tlk-nonsync" "classA" "classC"
8. Select 4 records and delete (don't worry if they re-appear, the system repairs this automatically)
9. Open "Finder" and navigate to "~/Library/Sharing/AutoUnlock"
10. There should be two files "ltk.plist" and "pairing-records.plist"
11. Delete both files
13. Open "System Preferences" and try enabling auto unlock. You may need to enable it twice, the first attempt will fail

Those were my exact steps. If everything is working, in your Keychain you'll see an Auto Unlock - Your Watch Name.... Previously, that never showed up. Notice how it's missing step 12. Step 12 was when I rebooted the computer the first 3 times. The only time it worked was when I didn't reboot the computer.

The other thing is, previously, my ltk.plist and pairing-records.plist would be empty every time I tried it. This time, I saw information (encrypted I think), in them.

Hope this helps someone.
This has worked for me on the two occasions that this issue happened to me.
 

trifero

macrumors 68000
May 21, 2009
1,599
1,218
"Unlock with Apple Watch" has always been tricky. I hope that Apple, once and for all, get to fix this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jwolf6589

lc96

macrumors member
Oct 29, 2011
80
44
And the watch update 7.1 mentioned this exact issue. Updated my watch yesterday and it worked! For exactly 24 hours. Now back to it not working again.
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 68030
Dec 15, 2010
2,789
583
Colorado
And the watch update 7.1 mentioned this exact issue. Updated my watch yesterday and it worked! For exactly 24 hours. Now back to it not working again.
I updated to 7.1 and it fixed the problem for the moment that is.
 

jwolf6589

macrumors 68030
Dec 15, 2010
2,789
583
Colorado
Report back in a day or two. Probably spent 20 hours on this since July with tier 2 support.
If it fails again I will give up on it. I don't have time to deal with support for so many hours over such a minor feature.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.