We've answered some of the most commonly asked questions about Tether.
Is my Mac compatible?
Tether is compatible with Macs that are equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 (BT LE). If your Mac is one of the following then chances are Tether will work!
- iMac - Late 2012 or newer
- MacBook Pro - Mid 2012 or newer
- MacBook Air - Mid 2011 or newer
- Mac Mini - Mid 2011 or newer
- Mac Pro - Late 2013 or newer
Which versions of OS X and iOS are supported?
Tether app for Mac currently supports OS X Yosemite 10.10.1 or newer.
Tether app for iPhone requires iOS 8.0 or newer on a model 6, 6 Plus, 5S, 5C, 5 or 4S.
What if my iPhone is lost or stolen?
We recommend you unlink the lost or stolen iPhone from Tether on your Mac. This will cancel the iPhone's link and ability to unlock your Mac.
Simply click the Tether icon in your Mac status bar and select Unlink all devices from the menu.
Mac app can't be opened because it is from an unidentified developer. What should I do?
Sounds like Gatekeeper on your Mac is blocking the install and launch of apps which are not downloaded directly from the Mac App store.
You can either change this in your Security & Privacy preferences, or we recommend you simply bypass it by Right-clicking or Control-clicking the Tether app icon and choosing Open, followed by a confirming option.
How can I tell if my Mac has Bluetooth 4.0?
Follow these steps on your Mac:
- Click the Apple () menu icon.
- Select About This Mac.
- Click on the More Info... button.
- Click on the System Report... button.
- Select Bluetooth from the sidebar on the left, underneath "Hardware."
- Scan down the list of information until you find "LMP Version."
- If your Mac is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, LMP Version will say 0x6. Anything lower than that is an older version of Bluetooth.
What are you doing with my password?
Nothing, other than use it to unlock your Mac for you automatically! We securely save your password to the Mac OS X Keychain which is Apple’s preferred method of storing sensitive data.
The Tether App doesn’t interact with any other Apps on your Mac, nor does it send any information over the internet, and your password is never shared over wifi or bluetooth either so you can rest assured that your password is kept safe.
After I changed my Mac password Tether stopped working. Any ideas?
Click the Tether icon in your Mac status bar and select Update password from the menu. Then enter your new password so Tether can continue to unlock your Mac for you automatically.
Why doesn't Tether work when I log out of my Mac?
Your Mac prevents applications from running when you log out of it. While Tether is unable to run, your iPhone can't connect or attempt to unlock your Mac.
Will Tether still work if I manually lock my Mac?
When you manually lock your Mac, Tether supports the action by disabling auto-unlock when in proximity. This will remain the case while both devices are connected by Bluetooth, or until you manually unlock the Mac.
Does the iOS app have to be running in foreground?
Tether must be installed and running on both Mac and iPhone for Tether to function. Both apps can run in the background - there is no need to be seen in foreground, however the iPhone app will offer you feedback of the Mac lock or unlock status if you wish to check.
When Tether is closed or unable to run, your iPhone can not connect or attempt to lock and unlock your Mac.
Why does my Mac lock when I turn off my iPhone?
Whenever Tether is shut down on your iPhone, or Bluetooth on the device is switched off or disrupted. Tether on your Mac will register a lost connection and lock your Mac. So when you manually power off your iPhone or it turns off from lack of battery. Bluetooth is disabled and all apps running will be shut down, Tether included!
Note: Tether functions normally when your iPhone is in sleep mode. Although entered into that mode, your device is on and can still get calls, receive messages, run apps and enable Bluetooth.
How come I can access my Mac without a password even after Tether locks it?
Tether does not override your existing Mac setup. So how it performs will be based on your system preferences.
We recommend you setup as "Required password immediately after sleep" in the Security & Privacy menu on your Mac.
Can I disable screen saver and just have a blank lock screen?
No sorry. Tether initiates your Mac's lock mode which only locks your display, allowing your apps to remain running without disruption. Lock mode initiates your screen saver and overrides the "Start after: Never" screen saver preference if set. Tether can not prevent or replace your screen saver as this is default OS X behaviour for lock mode.
How should I handle the keychain prompt?
When prompted with the Keychain access prompt, during or after setup, in order for Tether to unlock your Mac for you automatically, please make sure that you grant 'Always Allow' access to keychain.
How can I tell which version of Tether I'm using?
On your Mac with Tether running, click the Tether menu bar icon and select About Tether from the list. A new window will be opened that displays the Tether icon and the software version number.
How do I update to the latest version of Tether for my Mac?
Firstly you will need to quit and uninstall the current version of Tether running on your Mac. Click the Tether menu bar icon and select Quit. Then simply uninstall Tether.app on your Mac by deleting it from your Applications folder (or wherever you placed it).
Next you need to visit our Downloads section and download the latest version available on to your Mac. Once downloaded, we recommend that you reboot your Mac to ensure that Bluetooth is forced to restart.
After rebooting, click and run the updated version as normal.
Can I set the distance at which Tether locks and unlocks my Mac?
From version 1.4.1 of the Mac app we have introduced the Trigger Setting. This new feature allows you to customise the proximity at which Tether triggers an auto-lock and unlock of your Mac.
Trigger setting is not an accurate fixed distance (e.g. within 1 meter) because environments differ and Bluetooth does not account for physical obstacles or wireless interference that may directly affect performance. Therefore the trigger setting allows you to simply tailor how Tether performs for you, in your environment.
Where can I customise my Trigger Setting?
To launch Trigger settings, click the Tether menu bar icon and select Tether setting from the list.
On the Trigger Setting window click and drag the slider to move the iPhone icon nearer or further away from the Mac. Click the 'Apply this setting' button to close the window and apply the new trigger setting.
Note: if you do not click the 'Apply this setting' button after making an adjustment to the slider the trigger setting will not change.
Why does Tether ask to send me notifications?
When you first install Tether for iOS you will be asked to "OK" Tether notifications on that device.
If you "Don't Allow" notifications you will not be alerted when new Tether updates are available for your Mac or iPhone.
What are Add-ons?
Add-ons are collections of extra features and functionalities which can be purchased in-app on iOS. Each add-on expands on the standard auto-lock and unlock functionality provided by Tether.
Add-ons are accessible by tapping the titled button on iPhone. After in-app purchased, Add-ons can be accessed on your Apple Watch from a force touch menu.
How do I purchase Add-ons?
Open the Add-ons view on your iPhone and swipe to navigate between collections. Tap the purchase button and follow the sequence of info and payment options presented by Apple in-app purchasing.
Once complete, the newly purchased Add-on's functionality will be unlocked and made available on iPhone and Apple Watch.
Add-ons are collections of extra features and functionalities which can be purchased in-app on iOS.
With the Apple Menu add-on you can remotely trigger '' menu actions on your Mac from your iPhone or Apple Watch. Remotely lock and unlock your Mac, set it to sleep, restart, shut down or even log out.
Add-ons are collections of extra features and functionalities which can be purchased in-app on iOS.
With the Mac Media add-on you can remotely control the playback and volume of media playing on your Mac. Mute sound, play videos, skip tracks, pause movies… all the media key controls of your Mac, triggered remotely from your iPhone or Apple Watch.
Can I restore previously purchased add-ons?
Certainly, in-app purchases are linked to your Apple ID. And as long as your device is setup with the same Apple ID you can easily restore purchases to unlock add-ons.
When viewing an add-on collection on your iPhone simply tap the restore purchase option and follow the steps presented by Apple in-app purchasing.
Why is "Proximity auto-unlock disabled!" shown on my iPhone?
When you manually lock your Mac, Tether supports the action by disabling the standard behaviour of auto-unlocking when in proximity. This will remain the case while both devices are connected by Bluetooth, or until you manually unlock the Mac.
If the Bluetooth connection between devices is broken while locked (e.g. manually switched off or due to distance or interference.) Proximity functionality is re-enabled, and as soon as both apps re-connect the Mac should auto-unlock.
How does Tether handle Log Out via add-ons option?
When you action Log Out via the Apple Menu add-ons, the Mac locks and OS X default behaviour is to pause the log-out for 60 seconds. During this time OS X may block and prevent Log Out if an application can not quit without user attention (e.g. an unsaved document is open).
To account for these events, Tether first locks your Mac when a log-out action is triggered. If after 60 seconds OS X has not blocked the action, the Mac will complete Log Out. If the action is blocked, the Mac will remain locked as a fail-safe.
What about an Apple Watch app?
Tether version 1.4 for iOS introduces Apple Watch app for iPhone. Apple Watch support offers the convenience to check the lock or unlocked status of your tethered Mac with a quick glances at your wrist.
Purchase Tether add-ons on your iPhone, and the extra functionality is also reflected on the Apple Watch app. Force touch in-app to bring up purchased add-ons and discreetly trigger actions provided by add-ons direct from your watch.
Can I use Tether with multiple Macs or iPhones?
Tether does not currently support multiple devices.
For example, a single iPhone can not be linked to lock and unlock two or more Macs. Equally, two or more iPhones can not be linked to lock and unlock a single Mac.
How do I uninstall Tether?
Click the Tether menu bar icon and select Quit. Then simply uninstall Tether.app on your Mac by deleting it from your Applications folder (or wherever you placed it).
I'm stumped! Tether doesn't work for me. What should I do?
Normally, restarting Bluetooth on your Mac or iPhone solves a lot of the communication issues, but if you have a particular issue with Tether that you can’t resolve then please get in touch with us via Twitter or Facebook and we’ll try to help.