Oct. 18, 2020, 11:05 a.m.

Apple Watch Unlock Distance

Apple watch allows you to unlock your mac if you are close to it and touch the keyboard, to wake it from sleep. This is a very useful feature. as you do not have to type your password every time you unlock it. In addition to the security features built in to the Bluetooth / WiFi signalling protocol, you have to be "nearby" your mac for this to work.

The problem here is the definition of "nearby". Most articles on the internet will have you believe it is "within a couple of feet, usually less than ~2 feet". Unfortunately that is not my experience. With both series 5 and series 6 watches, I have had the mac unlock when I was about 8 meters away, four rooms from my office and one floor separated. How do I know? My kid tapped a key on the keyboard while I was that far away and the watch played the unlock notification sequence. I just tested it again - my office is on the first floor, when I am on the ground floor 4.5m away from the office (vertically), the mac unlocks. That is 4.5 meters through hardwood floors...

Needless to say this is a major security issue. I do not want the mac to unlock unless I am in the same room as the mac.