Face ID Not Working? – Check These 7 Different Ways to Fix Face ID Issues on Any iPhone!

By Novak Bozovic / January 25, 2021

Face ID is an unbelievably useful system whose functionality extends beyond going past your iPhone's lock screen. It's used to authenticate all kinds of actions on your phone. Therefore, if you're having issues with Face ID, you'll encounter many obstacles. With that said, if Face ID isn't working on your iPhone, we're here to offer a series of solutions.

Before we jump in, a useful note: all of the solutions found below help you resolve software issues with Face ID. However, if your front-facing camera's hardware is broken (physically), you will need to visit your local Apple store. Considering that the majority of Face ID issues are software-related, let’s hope that this guide will help you find a solution. 

7 Proven Ways to Fix Face ID Not Working Issues on iPhone! 

It's true – there are seven different things you can do to fix Face ID "not working" issues. These range from updating your device, diving into Face ID settings, up to resetting Face ID – so, let's start with the easiest and quickest solutions. 

1. Check & Install the Latest iOS/iPadOS Update

In general, making sure your iPhone is up-to-date is always a good idea. Apple releases major iOS updates once a year and incremental updates every couple of months. Each of those updates helps resolve issues in the background, making your iPhone's software more stable (and that includes your Face ID as well). 

With that said, here's how to check if there’s a new update for your iPhone's operating system (and how to install it as well).

Steps to Check iOS Software Update

2. Give Restarting Your iPhone a Try

One of the unspoken rules to keep your iPhone's performance at its best is to restart it every now and then (at least once a week). If your phone's Face ID doesn't work, and if a software error causes that, give it a try restarting your device, as explained just below.

3. Recheck Your Face ID Settings for Any Problems

To make sure your Face ID works as expected, it's worth rechecking its settings. That means you should navigate to Settings > Face ID & Passcode. Once you do so, pay attention to the following things. 

Steps to Review Face ID Settings

4. Is Something Covering the TrueDepth Camera? 

We're sure that many of you use iPhone cases and screen protectors. After all, no one wants to see their smartphone scratched or damaged by accident, right? Even though cases and screen protectors come as a solution, they can also cause Face ID to stop working. That's because they can cover the TrueDepth camera, effectively disabling Face ID. 

Colorful iPhone Cases

There's something interesting to note here. When you place a screen protector, your iPhone's front camera might still work without any issues. However, just because your phone's front-facing camera works doesn't mean that Face ID works as well. That's because Face ID sends out light projectors to capture images of your facial features. 

In other words, your iPhone's entire notch comes filled with different types of hardware components that comprise what's known as the TrueDepth camera. With that said, make sure that no part of that notch is covered (by a case), and use a screen protector that supports Face ID. And lastly, apply a screen protector very carefully to avoid any residue or dirt showing up across the TrueDepth camera.

5. Is Something Covering Your Face? 

We hope that you're wearing a face mask, keeping yourself and others protected. The COVID-19 pandemic has (rather quickly and unexpectedly) forced us to wear face masks, giving our personal devices very little time to catch up. Therefore, it's not surprising that Face ID doesn't work if you're wearing a face mask. Instead, you will be asked for a passcode to unlock your phone. 

Person Holding an iPhone Wearing a Protective Face Mask

It's also interesting to note that Face ID should work with most glasses without any problems. However, sunglasses designed to block certain light types will cause Face ID to stop working (as they prevent Face ID's infrared light). Therefore, we recommend trying to interact with Face ID without anything covering your face. 

6. Try Adding an Alternate Appearance to Face ID

You might not know that Face ID is a feature that keeps on growing - on its own. Face ID continuously learns about your facial features and expressions, becoming more successful and more precise as you use it. However, there's something you can do to further help Face ID recognize you. 

Apple has built-in an interesting feature into Face ID, letting you create a new appearance and then add that appearance to your locally stored database. With that said, here's how to add an alternate appearance. 

Steps to Set Alternate Appearance Face ID on iPhone

7. Try Resetting Your iPhone's Face ID 

And lastly, we have one more solution to fixing Face ID – by resetting this feature. In other words, we'll instruct you to delete your existing Face ID database and then set a new one from scratch. Make sure to go through the following steps. 

Steps to Reset Face ID on iPhone

So, did you manage to fix Face ID? Which of the solutions to resolving Face ID problems from this article worked for you? Let us know via the comments section below. And of course – thanks for reading!

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