05 NOV

Unlock Your Mac by Knocking on Your iPhone with ‘Knock’

by Marianne Schultz

knock-ios-iconAre you tired of entering your password to unlock your Mac? Or do you even forego setting up a password for your Mac to avoid the hassle of unlocking it? If you’re like me and tend to carry your iPhone with you everywhere, developer Knock Software released today a unique solution to unlock your Mac using a simple gesture and your iPhone and doesn’t require you to touch your keyboard.

With Knock installed on your iPhone, along with the free companion app for your Mac, all you need to do is knock twice on your iPhone to unlock your Mac. Sounds crazy easy, right? It is and it does work. Here’s a cute promo video for it:

How does it work? The answer is through the magic of Bluetooth Low Energy, a Bluetooth protocol present in Apple’s newest Macs and iOS devices. Through Bluetooth and the Knock app, your Mac will recognize when your iPhone is nearby. When you knock on your iPhone, this signals to Knock to unlock your Mac and it enters your password on your behalf. It works even if your iPhone itself is locked and is in your purse or pocket.

Setting up Knock is easy and the apps will walk you through the process which takes a minute or two. Once you’ve got it set up, Knock will remain active in your Mac’s menu bar to detect your iPhone and enter your password when you knock on it.

Click to enlarge

Knock is similar to Keycard, a Mac app I reviewed that pairs with your iPhone via Bluetooth and automatically locks it when you (and your iPhone) get out of Bluetooth range and unlocks it when you get back to your Mac. However, Knock is different in one key way – you have to prompt it intentionally, whereas Keycard relies only on the proximity of your iPhone to your Mac, which could result in unintentional locking or unlocking.

To use Knock you’ll need both a newer Mac and iOS device that have a Bluetooth 4.0 radio. For guidance on which Macs will work, check out Knock Software’s FAQ.

You can get the Knock app for your Mac for free straight from Knock Software’s site and you can get the iPhone app, which costs $3.99, from the App Store through the link below.

  • Utilities

    Knock – unlock your Mac...

    Last Changed:
    2 weeks ago
    3.50 (30)
    iOS iPhone

    Knock and Apple Watch: a match made in heaven. Knock 2.0 makes unlocking your Mac faster and more secure than ever. You keep your iPhone with you all the time. Now you can use it as a password. You...


  1. AlbertTCB

    Love the app. It’s so simple. Not sure yet what to prefer: Knock or KeyCard.

  2. Leo Castillo

    I was impressed was about to buy it… then it hit me.

    Doesn’t this make your Mac LESS secure? Someone else can now easily unlock your Mac.
    Remember it works even if your iPhone is LOCKED.

  3. Phil

    I love the app but echoing Leo, the app needs an option to require iPhone to be unlocked.

  4. Herbert

    According to your post, this enables you to unlock your mac simply by knocking on your phone. It’s interesting and I like it.

  5. Allen

    Why not make this really great use the unlock feature as stated, but with the iPhone 5 the fingerprint will unlock it, the we are talking :) also go a step further integrate a keychain using that fingerprint for the website. Instead of lessening security increase it.

  6. ososX

    DO NOT BUY ! Just installed, tested and immediately removed. Firstly you have to knock so hard that you almost break the iPhone screen. If it doesn’t work in the first time – and it usually doesn’t – you have to keep on knocking six or eight times till it unlocks your MAC. On top of that you have two applications running in the background, one on you MAC the other on the iPhone. Conclusion – I’d rather knock my head against the wall, sorry for throwing my money !

  7. Pointless Peter

    I look forward to the day, no doubt very soon, when this app wins the “Most Pointless App Ever in the History of the World” award!

  8. Tom


  9. Naeem Malik

    Great App, but as few people have said earlier won’t it make my MAC vulnerable. Just in doubt… :(

  10. Nigel Fennell

    So you have to get your phone out of your pocket or wherever to knock. This opens your iMac. Then what?
    you sit down and put your hands on the keyboard. It takes me less time to enter my password than it would to fish my phone out of my pocket, knock it, check to see if it worked and put it back again. About as useful as a chocolate fireguard!.

  11. alan

    Thanks for this great tutorial. Only problem is that you need to knock it quite hard which sometimes may hurt the screen of your iPhone. Had this been a softer knock, it would have been better. Anyways its worth a try, rest is the wish.

  12. Bob

    Just read the EULA and you’ll not want anything to do with this app. Why do they need to track me etc et… Just read the EULA FIRST if you’re serious about trying this.

  13. Paulo

    A sign of times of how people get more and more stupid on a daily basis.

  14. Laurence

    Tried it. Unlike everyone is saying, you don’t actually need to knock your iPhone that hard. It’s a lot more secure than Keycard (it doesn’t automatically unlock based on proximity) and easier than typing in my password.

  15. simon

    So what happens if you lose your iphone and need to log into your mac to check it’s location? hmm… now that’s a thought.

  16. simon

    … or if you left your iphone at your friends house and came home, with a few important emails to send. Locked out of your mac?!

  17. Loke

    Wow some of you people crack me up. This app works frigging great. If it doesn’t it’s your fault for not keeping your system clean. And for those worried about being tracked. read the FAQ’s and besides, your not that important or interesting to worry Im sure.

  18. simple simon


    i’m sure you can still type in your password with that appendage you’ve stuck up your nose.

  19. Sohil Memon

    The app is worth to use! Amazing concept!

  20. Uncle Walrus

    Wait. There are actually people who can’t be bothered to type a password? Who are these freakishly busy people?

  21. m

    But doesn’t Bluetooth basically suck? I wouldn’t want to rely on it. Besides, while it’s a funky idea, it basically sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me…

  22. Smokey hoecake

    Still pondering chocolate fireguard :)

  23. kalmiya

    I would wait for Knock version 2. Rumors are that you don’t even hack to knock the phone anymore – but you get instant access. Doesn’t get more convenient than this. My guess is they will implement a special system to disable the password on your mac.

    But seriously, doesn’t anyone question wether this is a good idea, especially in light of the recent privacy revelations?

  24. Noe

    I have a MackBook Pro 2011…
    I want a cry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Thomas

    I have downloaded this app and it a good app. I can have my phone in my pocket and knock on it to unlock my macbook for a friend who wants to use my computer or myself. I have a long password and this eliminates the need to type in my password.

  26. Paula Levin

    A great apps but I don’t know will I break my iPhone screen or not. LOL

  27. da

    so now you still have to unlock your iphone…and unlock your laptop

  28. Telegram Sam

    REALLY? This has to be the most useless app ever , or maybe just a scam to get people to buy more iPhones because they keep beating theirs to death…HA! I have to say if I actually saw somebody knocking on their iPhone while standing in front of their macbook at starbucks I would question their sanity

  29. Josh

    I guess I have to be the one to say it…

    This is dumb. I shouldn’t have to explain why.

  30. penn

    Knock Knock,
    Who’s there?
    Just stole your phone.

  31. Penn

    and your mac.

  32. Lakshman Teja

    Amazing concept and I suggested my friend to use it. Now he is feeling happy. Once again amazing app and amazing concept.

  33. Chris

    Nearly all of these comments are complaining about something which has already been thought of or fixed. I have used it for nearly a year and it works as advertised.

    You don’t need to knock hard.

    Obviously, not anywhere in the realm of possibility is the possibility for the screen to crack under normal conditions.

    You knock twice, it’s very discreet and you would not draw any attention to yourself. I can barely hear it.

    The mac can instantly unlink the phone if it’s stolen. If both are stolen iCloud.com can help.

    I’d read their website or try it before making (some of) these really odd comments … everything I said was on there.

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  37. terre

    That’s a GREAT idea. Banging on a piece of precision technology- in case you’re one of the 5 people whose screen isn’t broken already!

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  39. Edmond V.O. Katusz

    “and besides, your not that important or interesting to worry Im sure.”


    Perhaps you have about the NSA tricks, about Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks perhaps? Now you and I as single persons are not really important, but all the millions people who are scrutinized, whose data are collected and analysed make it possible for the governments to decide what is “good” for us. How to keep us in check. If you know what is “good” for you, you’d beter think twice, I’m sure.
    Salut! Edmond V.O. Katusz

  40. Ajet

    Wow I came to know about this trick tried it with my iPhone and My mac and it worked amazingly. I must say amazing concept 😀

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  42. ram

    I look forward to the day, no doubt very soon, when this app wins the “Most Pointless App Ever in the History of the World” award!

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