How to Set Up Chrome OS’ “Smart Unlock” (Or Unlock Chromebook When Your Phone is Nearby)

Smart Unlock, which Google used to call “Easy Unlock” is now live and available on your Chromebook. This showed up in the dev channel sometime back, but never worked for me. Yesterday I told you all that this feature is now part of the Chrome Admin Console. Today, thanks to, I tried this again. And yes, it worked!

What is Smart Unlock

Smart Unlock is a proximity based unlock system for Chrome OS. You can set up your Chromebook to unlock without entering password when your phone is near by. It works only with Android for now.

I have a fairly simple password set up for my home pc. It is not a big deal entering that to login. (I use it rarely, that also helps!) But on my Chromebook, I have ti enter my complex (I hope!) Google account password each time I login or unlock the screen.

Enter Smart Unlock. I set this up connecting my Nexus 4. Or, I authorize my Nexus 4 to unlock the Chromebook. My phone becomes something like a physical password.

When you say unlock using phone, it does not mean that the login screen goes away and desktop is displayed. It just keeps the device unlocked, with a green lock screen, next to the login button. You need to click this to login to the device. On the phone, a message is displayed to let you know that your Chromebook was unlocked using your phone.

And yes, you can always unlock using your password when the phone is not nearby.


You will need the following:

  •  Chromebook with Chrome OS 40 with Bluetooth and
  • Android phone with Android 5.0 and Bluetooth

How to Unlock Your Chromebook Using Your Android Phone or Tablet

Here is how to set this up:

  1. Go to Settings and search for Smart Unlock
  2. Click Set Up Smart Unlock
  3. Enable Bluetooth on your phone, and make sure that it is “visible” to other devices
  4. Click Find your phone
  5. Once ready, click “Use this phone”
  6. To test, click “Try it out”

That’s it! Here are some screenshots from my set up process.


Thanks  Mike McLoughlin!

12 responses to “How to Set Up Chrome OS’ “Smart Unlock” (Or Unlock Chromebook When Your Phone is Nearby)”

  1. Dinsan, do I need to always have bluetooth on on my both devices, phone and chromebook?

    Also, does this work only when I lock my CB and want to unlock it, or every time I turn it on (and my phone is nearby) I won’t have to type my password?

    1. Dinsan – Bangalore, India – Digital Minimalist & Content Developer. Drinks Tea and writes Stuff (mostly about Chromebooks). My views are mostly copied from others.

      1. Yes, you need Bluetooth enabled both on your phone and your Chromebook.
      2. Both.

      1. Ok, thank you. ^^’

  2. Doesn’t seem to work on the Cr-48. My device isn’t detected. It’s not lollipop though.

    I can see it using hcitool in the console but I can’t connect to it… weird.

    1. I got it to pair OUTSIDE of Smart Lock, but Smart Lock still can’t see it.

    2. Dinsan – Bangalore, India – Digital Minimalist & Content Developer. Drinks Tea and writes Stuff (mostly about Chromebooks). My views are mostly copied from others.

      Are you using a phone or a tablet?

  3. Hi,
    Could you specify flags names which should be enabled? In Chrom OS version 40.0.2214.25 beta (64-bit), there is :
    first off and second on.
    But there is still no Smart Lock Section in Chrom OS settings. Im not sure if it’s important but I am using polish language on my Asus Chrombook.
    Any idea what I’m doing wrong?

  4. Mistake above, should be first on and second off 🙂

  5. DJ Majestik – DJ Majestik is Jim Giordano, DJ and producer of dance and electronica. He has been heard on MTV's "Making the Video", ORock 105.9 radio station in Orlando, FL, on a production of a Dallas Cowboy video, and on WSBU the Buzz in St Bonaventure, NY. He has also been heard around the Western / Central New York area DJ'ing everything from hip hop to Club to Dance, even Progressive and Trance. After moving to Murfreesboro, TN at the end of 2013, he has seen his career skyrocket! At the end of 2013, his hit single "Blazin' feat Mr Shammi & Fiorina" was signed by Zion Records and released globally in Jan of 2014. It has peaked at #29 of the Reggae/Dub charts on Beatport. Also in Jan of 2014 he was named #1 DJ/producer in Murfreesboro, TN by ReverbNation. Recently his two tracks "Element 115" and "Go Hardcore" were signed by Breach Records and were released as an EP on Beatport in March and globally on April 1st. DJ Majestik will be focusing his efforts over the next few months on promoting his new EP Intergalactic with 2Four, however, a full-length album is in the works. DJ Majestik and 2Four are currently building a tour across the Southeast region, with sights set on coordinating a larger tour across U.S. college campuses.

    Tried this with my HP chromebook and my note 3, I can find it in bluetooth on the chromebook but when I click connect, it says cannot connect. When I go into the smart unlock, it does not find my phone, even though I have BT discovery on with my phone.

    Any ideas how to get this working?


  6. thebestoftheinternets

    My Toshiba Chromebook can NEVER find my HTC One M8.
    I have the necessary system requirements on both devices.

    1. I’m having the exact same problem, did you ever get it figured out?

      1. thebestoftheinternets

        No. I gave up trying.

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