#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 17°C Thursday 16 September 2021

Here's how you can unlock your computer using just your phone

Provided you have the right devices, it’s possible.

Image: Anthony Devlin/PA Images

TYPING IN YOUR password again and again isn’t exactly the most fun thing to do when you’re at your computer.

But depending on the type of devices you have, it’s possible to set up a system where your computer unlocks once you’re in close proximity.

Why would you want this? Simply for the extra convenience. If you have a laptop or PC that you step away from regularly, pairing it up with your phone is easier than having to type in the same password again and again. Whether that’s possible or not depends on what you’re using.

Note: All of the below examples require you to have Bluetooth activated.


If you own an iPhone and Mac, you have a range of options to choose from. One example is Tether, a smart unlock app for your iPhone which is free to download.

Once you’ve downloaded the accompanying app for your Mac, the instructions required to pair them are straightforward. It’s free to download but you can purchase additional features like controlling media and an menu add-on.

Another alternative would be MacID, which uses Touch ID to unlock your Mac. It costs €3.99 to download the app but downloading the Mac version is free. NearLock is another similar app that offers the same functionality.

2Q== Source: Tether/App Store


Chromebooks have their own setting simply called Smart Lock and it requires an Android phone with Lollipop (5.0 or newer).

Setting it up is a matter of going into Settings on your Chromebook and visiting ‘advanced settings’. Click on ‘set up’ under the Smart Lock option and follow the instructions.

Chromebook smart unlock Source: Chromebook


Unlike Mac or Chromebook, there isn’t a specialised app or service for Windows which allows you to unlock your PC with your phone. There was a way of unlocking it through a service called BTProximity, but that was removed by the developer responsible so for now, there’s no easy method.

The same thing applies to different combinations like PC and iPhone or Mac and Android. Unless you have advanced knowledge of creating scripts and know the right tools to use, it’s better to leave it as it is.

Read: Apple denies that people are ditching its music service in droves >

Read: Here’s how you can use your smartphone to control your computer remotely >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

Read next: