Approve App Authentication Requests with Your Apple Watch in Catalina

Tired of typing your admin account password whenever you try to install software or change security settings on your Mac? A new feature in macOS 10.15 Catalina removes that requirement for Apple Watch owners. In System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General, select the checkbox for “Use your Apple Watch to unlock apps and your Mac.” Then, whenever an app asks for your account credentials, you can instead just double-press the side button on your Apple Watch. Of course, if you forgot to wear it or its battery has died, you can always fall back on entering your password.

There are a few requirements for this to work:

  • Your Mac must be running macOS Catalina.
  • Your Watch must be running watchOS 6.
  • Your devices must be within about three feet of each other.
  • Your Mac must support Wireless-AC (all Mac models 2013 or later).
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi must both be enabled on your Mac.
  • Both devices must be on the same iCloud account.
  • Your Apple ID must have two-factor authentication.
  • A passcode must be enabled on your Apple Watch.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)