Proteins fold under mechanical forces in a number of biological processes, ranging from muscle contraction to co-translational folding. As force hinders the folding transition, chaperones must play a role in this scenario, although their influence on protein folding under force has not been directly monitored yet. Here, we introduce single-molecule magnetic tweezers to study the folding dynamics of protein L in presence of the prototypical molecular chaperone trigger factor over the range of physiological forces (4-10 pN). Our results show that trigger factor increases prominently the probability of folding against force and accelerates the refolding kinetics. Moreover, we find that trigger factor catalyzes the folding reaction in a force-dependent manner; as the force increases, higher concentrations of trigger factor are needed to rescue folding. We propose that chaperones such as trigger factor can work as foldases under force, a mechanism which could be of relevance for several physiological processes. © 2017 The Author(s).