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 third-party apps. So it can be concerning if Face ID is not working on your iPhone or you’re getting a “Face ID has been Disabled” error!
Luckily, you can fix these issues with several different solutions. Let’s take a look at what you can do to troubleshoot the issue and why you are getting the error.
Note: You may need to enter your passcode or Apple ID instead of using Face ID if:
- You 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 didn’t use Face ID 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
Additionally, you must own an iPhone X or above to use Face ID. If none of the above are true and Face ID still isn’t working, keep reading for some reliable solutions.
Why am I getting a Face ID disabled error on iPhone?
Broadly speaking, it could be due to hardware failure or a software glitch. Face ID is made up of complex hardware. The module can be damaged easily and is difficult to repair.
Typically, the facial recognition hardware gets damaged when the phone is dropped in the water. It can also occur due to other physical damages like dropping the iPhone.
Improper display replacement or repair can also cause Face ID issues. Get your iPhone serviced with genuine Apple Parts. And always check whether the Face ID is working or not. Sometimes the facial recognition feature might stop working due to software issues. Read on to know how you can fix Face ID.
Simple steps to fix non-functional Face ID on iPhone
I have listed the most efficient ways that helped fix Face ID on my iPhone. One of the fixes below should help you resolve the problem.
- Restart your iPhone
- Disable Face ID and enable again
- Reset Face ID on iPhone
- Ensure Face ID is not obstructed or physically damaged
- Update iOS
- Put iPhone in DFU mode
- Reset all settings on iPhone
- Factory Reset your iPhone
- Reach out to Apple Support
1. Restart your iPhone
A quick restart can potentially resolve many issues on iPhone. When you restart, all apps and processes will restart, fixing any minor glitches. Besides, it is recommended to restart your device every once in a while.
If you aren’t sure how to do it, check out our explainer on how to restart your iPhone.
2. Disable Face ID and enable again
You can restart Face ID by disabling and enabling it again. This is almost like a power cycle. Go to Settings → Face ID & Passcode → Use Face ID → Disable iPhone Unlock.
Now, restart iPhone and enable Face ID with the following steps: Open Settings → Face ID & Passcode → Use Face ID → Enable iPhone unlock. Check whether the Face ID is working. If not, proceed to the next section.
3. Reset Face ID on iPhone
Sometimes a software glitch in Face ID could be a culprit. It is best if your current facial data is erased and reset. You can do so by resetting your Face ID. Here’s how:
- Open Settings.
- Select Face ID & Password.
- Tap Reset Face ID.
Now, follow on-screen instructions to register your face again on your iPhone. Once done, lock your phone and see if Face ID works.
4. Ensure Face ID is not obstructed or physically damaged
Sure, it sounds like a pretty small thing, but it’s worth checking that nothing is covering the TrueDepth front camera on your iPhone. If you have installed a screen protector, ensure it is not obstructing the sensors. Furthermore, check for dust or lint that may have accumulated.
Moreover, if the Face ID circuit is exposed, experts say it is susceptible to water damage. Typically, circuits would get shorted after water damage. This is why technicians should ensure there are no openings surrounding the unit.
Additionally, if Face ID is not working on your iPhone, ensure that nothing is covering your face. Keep your mouth, eyes, and nose fully visible to the front camera on your device. You can also set up an alternative appearance to use Face ID when wearing a mask.
5. Update iOS
Build-specific bugs could sometimes cause Face ID issues. In such cases, an iOS update can help fix the issue. To check if the update is available for your device, go to Settings → General → Software Update. If available, download it.
6. Put iPhone in DFU mode
DFU or Device Firmware Update mode is similar to Recovery Mode on a Mac. It Is useful to troubleshoot and fix issues on iPhone. Further, DFU mode is also helpful in fixing failed software updates.
So, back up your iPhone and use DFU to restore. The entire code is erased, and all software issues will be fixed. You can check our explainer on how to put iPhone into DFU mode if you don’t know how to do it.
Once done, check whether the Face ID is working. If not, proceed to the next step.
7. Reset all settings on iPhone
You can try to reset all settings on your iPhone. This will wipe out all the existing settings including Wi-Fi passwords and website login details, but your media (photos, videos, etc.) and contacts will be unaffected.
- Open Settings → General → Transfer or Reset iPhone.
- Now, tap Reset → Reset All Settings and then enter your iPhone Passcode if you have set one and press Confirm.
8. Factory Reset your iPhone
As a last resort, you can factory reset your iPhone. Before resetting, back up your iPhone. This way, you won’t have trouble restoring the device. The Reset should fix issues caused by corrupt apps and services. Keep your fingers crossed. Our detailed guide will help you factory reset all iPhone models.
After factory reset, choose Setup new iPhone. Add your facial details and see if your Face ID is working.
9. Reach out to Apple Support
You are out of luck if none of the above steps worked. Contact Apple Support and ask for a resolution. Apple will fix Face ID for free if your iPhone is under warranty. In the case of AppleCare+, you may have to pay nominal fees.
Note: Apple charges a bomb for Face ID replacement. They quoted more than half the phone value to replace Face ID on iPhone 12 Pro Max. Hence, it is better to buy a new iPhone in that case.
I hope this guide helped you fix the software-related issue. If the hardware is faulty, you will have to get it fixed from Apple’s support. So, which fix helped resolve the issue for you? Share in the comments below for our readers.