Have you got stuck while unlocking your iPhone with your Face ID? Face ID authentication brings such seamless interaction with our iPhones that it’s problematic when it is not available. But worry not! Here, I’ll share some troubleshooting tips to fix Face ID not working on your iPhone.
- Check the Face ID settings on iPhone
- Allow Face ID in third-party apps on your iPhone
- Keep a clear view of your facial features
- Restart your iPhone
- Check for camera blocks on your iPhone
- Hold your iPhone properly
- Set up an alternate appearance on iPhone
- Reset Face ID
- Check for your iPhone hardware issues
- Other basic fixes
1. Check Face ID requirements and settings on iPhone
Before diving in on the fixes, note that there are certain situations when your iPhone will temporarily disable your Face ID and require you to enter your password first or wait for a while:
- Your device hasn’t been unlocked for more than 48 hours
- You used your Face ID five times unsuccessfully
- You just turned on, restarted, or force restarted your iPhone
- Your device was remotely locked via the Find My app.
- You’re on the Power Off or Emergency SOS screen
- You have used your iPhone but haven’t used your Face ID in the last four hours and password for six and a half days
Besides, if your iPhone didn’t recently suffer from physical damage like a drop or water exposure, it’s likely a software issue. So first, check your Face ID settings to confirm they’re correctly configured. If it’s failing with specific apps, it’s likely a setup issue. Do the following:
- Go to Settings → Face ID & Passcode.
- Enter your passcode.
- If your Face ID is already set up, toggle on everything under the Use Face ID For section.
If not, tap Set up Face ID and follow the onscreen instructions.
2. Allow Face ID in third-party apps on your iPhone
If you’ve ever refused an app’s request to use Face ID for login authentication, you’ll be asked for your passcode as a substitute for Face ID on subsequent uses. So, it may seem that the Face ID on your iPhone is not working. You must enable Face ID for a third-party app to fix this issue.
- Head to Face ID & Passcode in Settings → Tap Other Apps.
- Then, toggle on the apps you want to authenticate with facial recognition.
3. Keep a clear view of your facial features
When authenticating, ensure that your eyes, mouth, and nose are fully visible to the TrueDepth camera. Face ID cannot function if your mouth and nose are covered. The only exception is when you’ve set up Face ID with a face mask. If that’s the case, position your iPhone slightly higher or adjust your mask to ensure it doesn’t obstruct your eyes.
If you wear specs, you may also add your looks with glasses. So, Face ID can seamlessly recognize you. However, sunglasses can interfere with functionality as they might block the infrared light the TrueDepth camera relies on to identify your facial features. So, if your Face ID isn’t working with sunglasses on, try removing them.
Similarly, if you have other pieces of clothing or jewelry covering parts of your face, it may trouble Face ID to recognize your face.
4. Restart your iPhone
Face ID not working may just be a software glitch. That said, try restarting your iPhone to iron out such issues. Once your iPhone has turned on, enter your passcode to unlock it. Then, try using Face ID again.
To restart your iPhone,
- Press and hold the Volume Up or Down and the Power Button simultaneously
- Release the buttons when you see Slide to power off the screen. Follow the instruction and power off your iPhone.
- Now, wait for some time (15 seconds), and press and hold the Power Button to restart your iPhone.
5. Check for camera blocks on your iPhone
Your iPhone uses its front-facing TrueDepth camera for facial recognition. Wipe it with a soft, dry cloth to remove any gunk, dust, or grease from its surface. So the camera or sensor’s view is not obscured.
It’s also possible for thick screen protectors or heavy-duty cases to obstruct the sensors. Try removing these accessories to see if Face ID is working correctly without them. If so, they’re likely interfering with Face ID’s ability to recognize your face.
6. Hold your iPhone properly
When using Face ID, hold your iPhone at a natural distance, approximately an arm’s length away, as if taking a selfie or engaging in a video call. For iPhone 13 and 14 models with iOS 16, Face ID is functional in both portrait and landscape orientations. However, if you have an earlier model, note that you can only use Face ID in portrait mode.
7. Set up an alternate appearance on iPhone
From every facial recognition scan, Face ID learns your face and updates its representation of your face as it changes. However, if your current appearance looks vastly different—say you grew a beard or had it shaved, it’s best to set up an alternate appearance so your Face ID won’t find it hard to recognize you. To do so:
- Go to the Settings app → Select Face ID & Passcode.
- Enter your passcode.
- Tap Set Up an Alternate Appearance. Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
8. Reset Face ID
If Face ID is still not available, resetting it might help. However, doing so removes the face or faces you’ve saved.
- Go to Settings → Face ID & Passcode.
- Select Reset Face ID.
- Tap Set up Face ID and follow the instructions to enroll your face again.
- Hit Done once the Face ID setup is done.
Note: Your iPhone won’t ask for confirmation before deleting your saved faces, so tap Reset Face ID only when you’re sure you want to delete it.
9. Check for your iPhone hardware issues
If your TrueDepth camera encounters any issues, such as impact from a fall, exposure to liquid, or even a slight bump, it could disrupt Face ID functionality. You might even see the error “A problem was detected with the TrueDepth camera. Face ID has been disabled.”
Similarly, if you’ve recently had your iPhone’s screen replaced or any repairs done by an unauthorized service provider, this can affect Face ID. Official repair processes require the new Face ID sensor to be authenticated with Apple’s servers. Using nongenuine iPhone parts may lead to Face ID not working as intended.
10. Other basic fixes
Here are also several other basic fixes that you can try:
- Update your iOS: Apple frequently releases updates that address bugs, enhance security, and introduce new features. So, outdated versions may cause your Face ID to malfunction. To update, go to Settings → General → Software Update → If any new iOS version is available, tap Update Now.
- Reset All Settings: Consider resetting your iPhone’s settings if issues persist. Navigate to General → Transfer Or Reset iPhone → Reset → Reset All Settings. This won’t delete any of your data or media.
- Contact Apple Support: If nothing works and you’re unable to enroll your face or get Face ID to recognize you, it’s time to reach out to Apple Support for expert assistance.
We hope the guide above helped you resolve issues preventing Face ID from working. If a hardware issue is to blame, your best bet would be to go to the nearest Genius bar and get the necessary repairs. Please let us know which solution proved effective. Share it in the comment section below!
- How to use Face ID on iPhone and iPad Pro (Ultimate Guide)
- How to Make Face ID Faster on iPhone and iPad Pro
- Face ID vs. Touch ID: A comparative analysis
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