Apple Watch Unlock Option Disappearing / Not Functioning

Community Member
edited July 2023 in Apple Watch

New thing that’s been happening since macOS 16.0:

The option to unlock 1P with my Apple Watch (series 7, fully updated) as a biometric works, but eventually it just stops functioning, and the option in the 1P Security preferences section completely disappears.

To remedy this, I can go to System Settings and toggle off and on again (in the Login Password section) the ability to unlock apps on this Mac with my Apple Watch—which will restore the option in Security in 1P. Turning it back on will allow it to work again for a time, but eventually the option again disappears (after locking 1P and stepping away for an hour last time), which starts the whole troubleshoot cycle over again.

Any ideas what to try to fix this? Really do love that feature in 1P, but it seems broken and I’m not sure if it’s the latest macOS (the unlocking feature otherwise works everywhere else, so I’m doubtful) or just a 1P bug.


1Password Version: 8.9.8
Extension Version: 2.3.8
OS Version: macOS 13.0
Browser:_ Not Provided



  • Hi there @MindFad

    This one's a tricky problem to troubleshoot, because 1Password has to be "told" by macOS that an Apple Watch is paired with the Mac, much like it does for Touch ID. 1Password actually treats the Apple Watch as a "biometric" device just like Touch ID on the keyboard.

    As such, if you're not seeing "Unlock with Apple Watch" appear in 1Password's Preferences > Security, it would usually indicate that it's not aware that an Apple Watch is paired. There's no way for 1Password to discover that on its own without being informed about it by macOS.

    Considering you've already tried the steps you listed, which would be the first thing I'd recommend, you might want to try these things (in order) to see if they help:

    1. Make sure that Do Not Disturb or Focus is not enabled on either your Mac or Apple Watch. You'll see a 🌙 crescent moon in the menu bar of your Mac and above your watch face on your Apple Watch if so. Because the unlock prompt on your Apple Watch is essentially a notification, it might be suppressed by either of these.
    2. Check for (and apply) any updates to macOS. The Unlock With Apple Watch feature, along with other security features like Touch ID (if your Mac has it) might not work if there's a pending macOS update.
    1. If your Mac has an Intel chip, try resetting the System Management Controller. (You can find out if your Mac has an Intel chip or is using Apple Silicon by clicking the  Apple menu > About This Mac. You'll see either Processor: Intel... or Chip: Apple....)
      The methods for resetting the SMC of a Mac vary depending on model, so I've included a link to Apple Support's article about how to do it here:

    ☞ This step will by definition restart your Mac, so you may want to pause here and see if the resolution lasts. Then if not, move on to step 4 below.

    1. Sign out of iCloud and back in.

    Have a try with those and let me know how things go. The team and I will be here if you need any more help. :)

    — Grey

  • mixture
    Community Member

    @MindFad, while the thread I created is about 1Password 7 and this same problem, there's one guy reporting of the same issue with 1Password 8 there, too:

  • MindFad
    Community Member

    Thanks for the reply, @GreyM1P, and the heads up, @mixture. Like the poster in the other thread, it seems to sporadically correct itself, at least briefly—and then will randomly break again.

    I should add for full clarity on the hardware situation that I am on a Mac Studio.

    My suspicion is that it is actually macOS failing to “tell” the rest of the System the Watch is nearby and good to go. Which is odd, because I can lock the computer / screensaver and immediately unlock the Mac with my Watch, but the part associated with apps—deleting App Store apps, moving Library files, or unlocking 1P that would require an unlock—thinks no Watch is present, even though the “Use Apple Watch to unlock etc....” is active in System Settings.

    I’ve tried all the usual troubleshooting, of course, but it does not seems to fix the intermittent breaking, though it will briefly fix it. I’m gonna assume this is just a Ventura bug for now and will file with Apple as well since it’s not just 1P that’s busting.

    Thanks, folks!

  • @MindFad

    Thanks for the update on the situation. It's intereseting to hear that it's not just 1Password having trouble unlocking using your Apple Watch on your Mac, so as you mentioned, it might be something more to do with macOS itself. I'll be keen to hear what Apple say, if you get a reply. If you can keep us posted on that, that could be very valuable information. :)

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User]
    Community Member
    edited November 2022

    I recently did a clean install of macOS Ventura and installed 1Password 8. I understand change being a lean advocate for over 15 years, but the bad UI design and other issues that arose had me end up reverting back to 1Password 7. When I clicked on setup for Apple Watch I had the same issue with System Settings/Privacy & Security window opening. The way I fixed it is going to System Settings/Touch ID & Password and turning on Apple Watch at the bottom. Again this fix is for macOS Ventura. See image.

  • cortig
    Community Member

    I'd add that from what I understand, it's only available in 1Password on Mac with a T2 security chip.
    I have a iMac19,1, which supports unlocking through AppleWatch, but not in 1Password (because it doesn't have a T2 chip).


  • bradHon1Pcomm
    Community Member

    I have the same issue, Mac min 3.2 ghz i7 2018. Mac Ventura 13.0.1
    1password 8.9.10

    if I turn off watch in apple settings, then reboot turn back on 1 password opens with watch. when It sleep and come back 1password is asking for password and 1password settings/security no watch option. yet strangly in safari if I click one password icon it allows me to athorize on my watch and when I do so 1password opens. strange . any help or solution appreciate. I love 1pw! and the watch function total needed as I dont have fingerprint on studio or mini.

  • MindFad
    Community Member
    edited December 2022

    Just popping in to confirm this is still a thing—the intermittent failure to acknowledge the Watch is present for unlocking (including System-wide or within 1Password Security option, which is why I think it’s an Apple bug at the core)—in the latest macOS update (13.1).


    In dealing with this for a couple months, one pattern I do notice is that the Mac and Watch don’t seem to be aware of one another for a time after I come back to my Mac. A few minutes seated at my desk spontaneously brings everything back to normal like it used to be in Monterey with the System / 1Password (the Security feature is just back and ticked on like it should be), where this proximity awareness wasn’t a problem. Then again, other times that’s not the case and it’s fine immediately! But when the problem does occur, I’ve been away from the Mac for awhile (though never off the Wi-Fi network). 🤔

    Anyway, the mystery remains! I never heard anything from Apple feedback. Not sure what else to try for now.

  • jeffgbrock
    Community Member

    I have the same problem with my M1 MacBook Pro and my Apple Watch Ultra. The option to use the Apple Watch periodically disappears from 1Password (8.9.11). Going to 1Password settings, the only thing you see under 'unlock' is Touch ID. However, there is no correlation with the watch failing to work with the MacBook itself...the watch always works with the MacBook. Restarting 1Password does not fix it...only rebooting. Once I do, the Apple Watch is again an option in 1Password. I have not tried toggling the watch in the MacOS settings itself. I will do so the next time 1Password removes it

  • JamesHenderson
    Community Member

    I'm on 1P8 and Ventura. I found that, when it stops working, it can start working again later. No clue why.

  • MindFad
    Community Member

    If anyone was hoping, like myself, that this (still suspected to be an Apple issue) would get sorted out in Ventura 13.2, it is not, sorry. Same intermittent failures to be aware the Watch is there until you sit around for a bit. 😔

  • Drat @MindFad

    That was on my things to check this AM. I appreciate your posting. It's been a very busy morning here and you helped me gain some time back.

  • MindFad
    Community Member

    @ag_tommy Sure thing! Glad to keep checking in with this and giving a heads up.

    Out of curiosity, internally has your team been in contact with Apple about this—or acknowledgment or awareness from Apple about the issue? Happy to do my part reporting it to Apple as well, but just wondering about how far along it might be on your end. Thanks!

  • ToddHerron
    Community Member

    When unlocking 1Password on my Mac, my Apple Watch would vibrate but not show the unlock screen on the Apple Watch.

    To fix it, on your Mac:

    1. Go to Settings > Touch ID and Password > Apple Watch Use Apple Watch to unlock your applications and your Mac
    2. Toggle the switch OFF and then ON
    3. Enter your Mac password when prompted
  • MindFad
    Community Member

    @ToddHerron Yeah, as outlined before, that’s a temporary solution and doesn’t last unfortunately. It will force the Mac and 1Password of being aware of each others’ presence again, but only for a bit.

    I was more curious if there was any intercommunication with Apple and the 1Password team on solving this bug (that only showed up with Ventura) since everyone’s pretty sure this isn’t just a 1Password problem. I’ve done my part on reporting and sending feedback, but still stinks to be in the dark for months about something busted that worked flawlessly for a brief time.

  • @MindFad @ToddHerron

    Our development team are consulting with Apple about this issue and although there isn't anything to report from that ongoing discussion just yet, it's something that's on our joint radars.

  • MindFad
    Community Member

    @GreyM1P Awesome, thanks for getting back! Good to know it’s definitely on Apple’s radar too. And apologies, I didn’t mean to sound snarky. 1Password support is always incredible—the feeling of being in the dark is more the Apple side of things, since it’s more of a black box and crapshoot on whether or not they respond to intricate issues like this.

  • Nah, not at all @MindFad I took it as pure passion in the search for a resolution. :)

  • @MindFad

    macOS 13.3.1 was released today with an apparent Apple Watch Unlock fix. Currently, I can't verify if this was the issue we mentioned. The update covers some possible security concerns too. Would you be able to update and let me know if the trouble continues? There are additional releases for other device types. So it looks like it's time to update all around.

    I can't say this will help your situation, but at least your device will be updated and secured. Thanks.

  • MindFad
    Community Member

    Heya @ag_tommy! Was just about to chime in: I was also excited about the Watch Unlock fix (though this specifically was a new bug in 13.3 for that would prevent even screensaver unlocking from working, but that is fixed with 13.3.1; I think they just reverted from that).

    Unfortunately, the main problem persists. I’ve already had it “go missing” under 13.3.1 in the same fashion as before—again, after a brief time “away” from the computer—where 1Password (or Finder unlock functions) doesn’t trigger these unlocks (other than screensaver, of course; that’s always fine).

    Our journey continues for the golden era of it working perfectly under Monterey! 😅 It did fix some other bugs, at least, so I’ll take it. It’s gonna be a shame going an entire OS cycle with it being busted, but so it goes.

    Take care, till next release!

  • Thank you kindly. I appreciate your reply.

  • Bakj
    Community Member

    I am on MacOS version 16.4 Beta 2 (developer) and can confirm that this issue has not been resolved.

  • Thanks @Bakj. I'm sorry. I'm affected too. Here's hoping for something in the next update of macOS.

  • Hello everyone,

    Our development team is having trouble reproducing the intermittent Apple Watch unlock behaviour that you reported when using the latest version(s) of watchOS (9.5.2) and macOS (Ventura 13.4.1).

    We'd like to know if you're still experiencing the issue and, if you are, to let us know what versions of watchOS and macOS you're currently running. If you're not already on the latest version of both watchOS (9.5.2) and macOS (Ventura 13.4.1) you can update to them by following these steps:

    Let me know if you can still reproduce the issue, and what specific versions of watchOS and macOS you're running, and I can pass along your report to our development team.


    ref: dev/core/core#18393

  • Experiments
    Community Member

    Problem still persists, typically following an iMac Sleep (but not always) works about half the time --

    MacOS Ventura 13.4.1 (22F82)
    Watch OS 9.5.2
    iOS 16.5.1

    iMac = Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020
    Iphone = 14
    Watch = Series 8

    TBH, I don't think your developers are trying hard enough to reproduce the problem, I feel like the user community are doing all of the work on this...please don't tell me to contact Apple to tell them about the problem, that's what I pay licence fees to you guys for...

    Sorry to sound so cranky, but its gone on way too long...


  • Dave_1P
    edited July 2023


    I'm sorry that you're still running into the issue. Our developers have investigated the behaviour that you and others have reported regarding Apple Watch unlock and believe that it's being caused by an issue in macOS for which a bug report has been filed with Apple. However we're continuing to investigate to see if this behaviour can be improved from our end.

    I've updated the internal work item to note that you encounter the issue even on the latest versions of macOS and watchOS so that our developers are aware. Thank you for the detailed reply.


  • CG101
    Community Member

    Getting the same issue. Also, when not logged in, clicking the Safari add-in briefly flashes the login screen, I'm guessing thinking that the watch will log in, but doesn't login... once I login with the 1Password app, it's fine.

  • I've noted your report @CG101 Thank you. The team is continuing to work with this issue.

  • JamesHenderson
    Community Member

    I'm the same as @CG101

  • Noted @JamesHenderson

    Apologies for the trouble.