Unlock desktop client with Apple Watch/WearOS (wearables)

Add support to enable the option to use your Apple Watch to unlock Bitwarden on Mac.

(See implementation of the feature in 1password: Use your Apple Watch to unlock 1Password on your Mac)

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It does even work with the Apple Watch through the TouchID interface if the Macbook display is opened. But when the display is closed, the TouchID Interface disappears and it doesn’t work anymore

Fortunately I’m move over from 1Password v6 which lacked this. It definitely would have been harder to switch and lose that feature, but I can see why they added it to 1Password.

I absolutely love the unlock with Apple Watch feature of recent MacOS (Mojave and forward), so would be killer to have it unlock BitWarden too. Please oh please add this feature to the macOS app in the AppStore. :slight_smile:

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Feature name

I would like to have biometric authentication in the macOS desktop app when the laptop is in closed-display / clamshell mode.

I am not sure if the current lack of this feature is designed intentionally or a limitation of macOS, so my apologies in advance if the Feature Request category is inappropriate.

Feature function

  • What will this feature do differently?

    Currently, the macOS desktop app supports Touch ID only when the laptop display is active and users have to use the master password to authenticate when in clamshell mode. Since you can unlock the Mac with the Apple Watch, it would be very convenient to offer biometric authentication in clamshell mode so that users can authenticate using the Apple Watch.

  • What benefits will this feature bring?

    The convenient of unlocking Bitwarden using the Apple Watch instead of typing the master password.

  • Remember to add a tag for each client application that will be affected

    I can confirm that the above applies to macOS desktop. I assume all desktop clients and browser extension is affected.

Related topics + references

  • Are there any related topics that may help explain the need and function of this feature?
  • Are there any references to this feature or function on other platforms that may be helpful?
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Just seen 1Password’s Unlock with Apple Watch feature and I’m very envious! This would be a great addition for those of us with Macs lacking Touch ID.

Weirdly enough, Bitwarden does support Watch unlock already, but only when using biometry to unlock a browser plugin! To clarify, the browser-to-desktop-app authentication seems to accept “any biometric identifier” while the desktop app authentication itself only accepts Touch ID.

This is probably because the unlocking key is stored in the macOS keychain with a requirement for Touch ID to access, while the browser unlock request only works with the desktop app already unlocked. In this state, the desktop app does not need to unlock anything, but just needs to ask macOS to authenticate the user and then hand over the corresponding key from memory.

It would definitely be cool to have Watch unlock in the desktop app itself – as it is, I have to enter my password in the desktop app in order to be able to unlock my browser with the Watch.

As an Apple Watch owner and someone who has just bought an M1 Mac Mini and as someone who has no intention of sourcing one of the new T2 Magic Keyboards with TouchID (I use MX Keys and MX Master respectively) which are currently only sold with the new 24" iMac I find it frustrating that given that on my MacBook Pro I can use my Apple Watch to authenticate the biometrics for Bitwarden there does not appear to be an option to do so on the Mac Mini.

In short here is another +1 vote to add this feature.


big +1. This would be very useful.

+1 for me too! I just bought a Mac Mini M1 and it’s such a PITA to have to type my long password every time! I also just bought the excellent Logitech keyboard and don’t want to have to waste more money buying Apple’s new overpriced keyboard with touch-id.

+1 as well. Thanks.

Not only would this be great for newer Macbooks in clamshell mode, but also for older models that don’t have touchID…

I just noticed that this feature has been implemented as of Bitwarden v1.30.0 and Firefox extension v1.55.0. No more having to type the Master Password when in clamshell mode, hooray! :smiley:

I checked both the Bitwarden desktop app and the Firefox extension, but neither showed any options to use Apple Watch to unlock. They were also using the current versions that you mentioned.

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That’s strange. Just to be clear, I cannot find an explicit option for unlocking with Apple Watch either. I simply enabled biometrics (Touch ID), and when I click “Unlock with Touch ID” in clamshell mode, Bitwarden now prompts for Apple Watch whereas it didn’t in the past.

As someone whose MacBook is closed, in a stand 99% of the time, AND has a master sentence, I can’t switch over without this. Please, please, please expedite!

+1 Please add this feature :heart:

Another +1

Unlocking with Apple Watch works on my M1 MacBook Pro but not on my iMac Pro because Bitwarden complains that there are no biometric features available.

1Password was OK with using my watch on my iMac Pro…

I just pushed a PR to Electron that should let Apple Watch owner to unlock BitWarden in clamshell mode (lid closed). Bitwarden should inherit the enhanced behavior once it will upgrade to a version of Electron that will include this fix.


Any idea when this will be merged into a prod release? Having to login to the Mac and start bitwarden before closing the lid is pretty tedious.

+1, this feature would be really awesome!