Unlock Your Mac Using Touch ID with MacID: A Guide

Unlock Your Mac Using Touch ID with MacID: A Guide

While my 27-inch iMac is safely ensconced in my home office, typically out of reach from anyone but my feline companions, I ensure it locks automatically if I step away for even a brief period. This security measure, however, requires me to input a lengthy, frequently changing password each time I return to my desk. I’ve often found myself wishing for a Touch ID feature on my iMac. Fortunately, the introduction of the MacID app, priced at $3.99, has brought us close to this convenience by allowing the iMac to be unlocked via my iPhone’s Touch ID with a simple tap.

Setting up the app is straightforward.

Unlock Your Mac Using Touch ID with MacID: A Guide

It begins with a quick download from the App Store, followed by installing a free companion app for Mac from developer Kane Cheshire’s website. After installing, you link your iOS device to act as a key for your Mac by entering your Mac’s password twice. Once set up, the Mac app runs quietly in the background and starts automatically upon system boot, while the iOS app requires just a quick launch and selection of the desired Mac for authorization.

Now, whenever the Mac is locked and you initiate a wake command via the touchpad or keyboard, a notification pops up on your iOS device. Unlocking the Mac is as easy as swiping and tapping the Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad.

An innovative addition is the ability to unlock your Mac using a Magic Trackpad if your iPhone or iPad isn’t around.

This feature, called Tap To Unlock, involves a specific sequence of taps (like two fingers, one finger, three fingers) to authorize access.

My experience with MacID was largely positive, though there was a hiccup when the app seemed to lose communication with my iPhone, despite both apps indicating they were connected. Given that this is a version 1.0 release, a minor bug isn’t unexpected. A quick restart of the Mac app resolved the issue smoothly.

Unlike the earlier Knock app, which also costs $3.99 and requires a physical knock on your iPhone to unlock your Mac, MacID offers a more seamless and less conspicuous method. It’s an excellent tool for keeping unauthorized users away from your Mac while providing a quick and easy unlocking mechanism.

MacID is compatible with any Mac or iOS device that supports Bluetooth LE, including MacBook Air models from 2011 onwards, MacBook Pro models from 2012, iMac models from 2012, Mac mini from 2011, and Mac Pro from 2013.


Mary is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a deep love for technology, Mary brings insightful and engaging content to the blog. She has a knack for breaking down the latest updates on the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, making them accessible to all readers. Mary’s expertise and enthusiasm for Apple products shine through in every article, helping readers stay informed and excited about the tech world.