Face ID Not Working on iPhone? How to Fix the Issue

Face ID is usually a breeze to use and prevents other people from getting into your phone. You can even use it to lock Google Drive, WhatsApp, or other apps. So it can be concerning if Face ID is not working on your iPhone. But you can fix it with several different solutions. Let’s have a look at what you can do to troubleshoot the issue.

However, before we move on, please note that you may need to enter your passcode or Apple ID instead of using Face ID if:

  • You have just turned on or restarted your device
  • Your device has been locked for more than 48 hours
  • You have not used your passcode to unlock the device in the last 6.5 days and Face ID has not been used to unlock the device in the last 4 hours
  • Your device has been remotely locked
  • You have already had five unsuccessful attempts to unlock with Face ID
  • You initiated power off/Emergency SOS by pressing and holding the side button and either of the volume buttons together for 2 seconds

If none of the above are true and you are still facing Face ID issues, keep reading for some reliable solutions about what you can do.

How to Fix Face ID Not Working on iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 11, X, or iPhone XR

Is There Anything that Covers Front Camera?

Sure, it sounds like a pretty small thing, but it’s worth checking that nothing is covering the TrueDepth front camera on your iPhone. Make sure the screen protector or the case that you are using is not blocking the lens. Also, ensure that the area around the front camera is clean as dirt or residue might be preventing it from working properly.

Further, remember that Face ID only works on iPhone in portrait orientation and not in landscape. So hold your phone upright. Also, keep your device about 10-20 inches from your face as Face ID has a similar range of view as when you make a video call or snap a selfie on your device.

Make Sure Your Face is Unobstructed

If Face ID is not working on your iPhone, make sure that nothing is covering your face. Keep your mouth, eyes, nose fully visible to the front camera on your device. Or you can set up an alternative appearance to use Face ID when wearing a mask.

Further, even though the face recognition technology works with a variety of sunglasses, it might not support the ones that block certain types of light. If you are wearing such sunglasses, they might be blocking the infrared light used by the TrueDepth camera.

Turn Face ID Off/On on iPhone

Step #1. Open the Settings on your iPhone → Tap on Face ID & PasscodeEnter your iPhone Passcode.

Tap on Settings then Face ID on iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max, or iPhone XR

Step #2. Under Use Face ID FOR section, turn off the switch next to each option.

Turn Off Face ID on iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max, iPhone XR, or iPad Pro

Step #3. If you use Face ID with third-party apps, tap on Other Apps → then turn off the switch next to each app.

Turn Off Face ID for Third-party Apps on iPhone or iPad

Now, turn off your device. Next, head over to Settings → Face ID & Passcode and then turn on the switch next to each option. Also, tap on Other Apps and then turn on the switch for each app.

Now, try using Face ID again. It should work now. If it doesn’t, move on to the next solution.

Reset Face ID on iPhone

Launch Settings → Tap on Face ID & PasscodeReset Face ID. This will wipe out all the existing mathematical representations of your face, and you will have to set it up all over again.

Reset Face ID on iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max, or iPhone XR

Follow the instructions on-screen to re-register your face on your iPhone. Once done, lock your phone and see if Face ID works.

Force Restart your iPhone

This is also known as hard reset and can help fix the issue of Face ID on your iPhone. For the full instructions about force restarting your device.

Reset All Settings on iPhone

If none of the above steps have worked, you can try to reset the settings on your iPhone. This will wipe out all the existing settings including Wi-Fi passwords and website login details, but your media and contacts will be unaffected.

Step #1. Open SettingsGeneralReset.

Tap on Settings then General then Reset on iPhone

Step #2. Now, tap on Reset All Settings and then enter your iPhone Passcode if you have set one and press Confirm.

Reset All Settings on iPhone X, Xs, Xs Max, or iPhone XR

Update to the Latest iOS Version

Now is the time to go for the software update. Needless to mention that it’s become the biggest troubleshooter in recent times. Moreover, Apple keeps on refining iOS, improving performance, and eliminating the bugs that keep cropping up now and then. So, it deserves a shot as well.

Open Settings app → General Software Update → Download and install the latest iOS version as usual.

Tap on Settings then General then Software Update on iPhone

Summing Up

So, now you know how to fix Face ID if it’s not working on your iPhone. Let us know in the comments below which solution worked for you. Or if you have any further questions, we’ll be happy to answer them.

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Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of iGeeksBlog.com who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.

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