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Chromebook Smart Unlock – Only When Your Phone is Within Arm’s Reach

Got Smart Unlock working on your Chromebook? Isn’t it a really handy? I love this feature. I tend to keep strong passwords for my Google account which includes letters, numbers and symbols. Entering this complex password each time I boot up or unlock my Chromebook is not really easy. With Smart Unlock, I can keep my complex Google Account password, and also easily unlock the Chromebook.


I do not want the phone to unlock my Chromebook from the maximum possible Bluetooth range, say 30 feet (9m). Thanks to a new flag introduced in the Dev channel of Chrome OS, I can now limit this to  1 foot (30cm) or, “within arm’s reach” as the team calls it.

Here is how you enable this:

  1. Enable the flag  chrome://flags/#enable-easy-unlock-proximity-detection
  2. Restart your Chromebook
  3. Go to Settings and look for Smart Unlock
  4. Under Smart Unlock, check “Only unlock this Chromebook when your phone is within arm’s reach”

That’ll do it! Now, the Chromebook will unlock only when my phone is right next to it, not when I am away in the parking space here.

Thanks François Beaufort! This one is really cool!

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  1. This shoud be implemented on Phones + Wear too

    1. Not sure if they will, because, your Wear is always on your wrist (Watch for now, or any wearable in the future) and expected that you are near too.

      What do you think?

      1. If I’m not mistaken, on I/O 14 Sundar Pichai demo that if you take off your Wear from your wrist, the phone asks for password. It’s very very great, better than BT connected or not because your Wear can be on another room then your phone.

        Dont you agree?

        1. I agree.
          I remember that bit now! I should enable Wear + Phone unlock then!

          1. YAYYYYYY ! 🙂

  2. sigh.. my phone still isn’t at lollypop.. no fun for me..


    1. This one is worth upgrading too 🙂

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