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How to Automatically Lock and Unlock a Mac With an iPhone



Keeping a mobile device secure is something many worry about. But if you have an iPhone or iPad, the security of any Mac can be increased when paired with the Keycard app.

The way that the Keycard app works is that the iPhone or iPad is connected to the Mac computer over Bluetooth. When the user walks away from their computer with their device in hand, the screen of the mac locks automatically.

This is a great help for those who work out of coffee shops, or just use their Mac in public places often. The automatic screen locking provides an additional barrier to thieves who may be looking to steal information off a users laptop. It may not keep them from stealing the laptop, but Keycard provides a good step toward keeping your information private.

How to Setup Keycard.

The Keycard application is available on the Mac App Store so follow these steps to install it.

Tap App Store.

Tap App Store

In the upper right corner use the Search area to type in Keycard and hit Enter.

Search Keycard

On the results page choose the highlighted app:

Select Keycard

On the next page select Buy App. 

Buy App

When the app is finished downloading and installing locate it in the Applications folder and Open Keycard.

Open Keycard

Once the application opens it needs to be configured to work with the user’s iPhone. The application window will appear like below:

Configure Keycard

To setup Keycard select System Preferences. 

Open System Preferences

Select Bluetooth.

Tap Bluetooth

Be sure that Bluetooth is On, and then tap Setup new device in the bottom left corner.

Setup new device

The iPhone also must be ready to be paired with the Mac. On the iPhone tap Settings.

Tap Settings

On the next screen, select Bluetooth.

Tap Bluetooth (iPhone)

Be sure that Bluetooth is set to ON.

Going back to the Mac, the name of the iPhone should appear as a Bluetooth device. Select that iPhone and tap Continue.

Select iPhone

The computer will generate a code and the user then needs to compare this code with the one that is on the iPhone screen like below:

Compare Codes

As long as the codes match, tap Pair.

Pair iPhone

When the iPhone has successfully paired to the Mac it will show the window above, and the user should tap Quit.

Pairing Succesful

Click the Keycard icon in the top bar, and select Settings button in the top right of the window.

Tap Keycard Settings

Tap Add a new device.

Add a new device

Select the iPhone and tap Connect device.

Connect iPhone

Enter the 4 Digit passcode of the iPhone. This also is a good time to check Open on start-up so that the Keycard app is always ready to use.

Enter Passcode

When the Keycard app has been correctly configured with the iPhone it will show that it is connected to the device.

Connected to iPhone

When the user walks away from their Mac now this screen will appear and the screen is effectively locked:


It generally locks when you get about 10ft away from the computer. By approaching the computer the app will recognize that you have returned and unlock automatically.

The app does a fairly good job of locking and unlocking but it can be a little buggy at times. It is possible to manually enter the passcode if the computer does not automatically unlock. The biggest trouble I had with the app so far is at close distances having the screen lock and unlock randomly. Overall the experience with the app is a good one, but there are still a few kinks to work out.



  1. Christin Griffin

    02/10/2013 at 9:47 am

    my classmate’s ex-wife makes $67 every hour on the internet. She has been without a job for seven months but last month her income was $17038 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  2. khadeer

    02/11/2013 at 5:53 am

    Hiii, You have given great info here. Thank you. I’m definitely try this steps to get this apps to my iPhone.

  3. Ryan

    06/26/2013 at 3:44 pm

    How do you get the iphone to pair to the computer? Its pretty well documented that an iPhone won’t pair with a Mac

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