Face ID, not a fingerprint scanner, is used for biometric identification on all new iPhones except the iPhone SE and some iPads. Face ID is easy to set up on your iPhone or iPad, and you can use it to open your phone, sign in to apps, confirm Apple Pay transactions, autofill passwords, and more. Face ID is a quick and easy way to protect your phone, but it only works when it should. Face ID doesn’t work for some people, but there are ways to fix the problem. Here’s what you can try if Face ID doesn’t work on your iPhone or iPad.
Why is My Apple Face ID Not Working?
If Face ID doesn’t work on your iPhone or iPad and it hasn’t been dropped or bumped, it’s probably because of a problem with the software. If the item is broken, the only thing you can do is send it in to be fixed. If your Face ID isn’t working, you’ll see messages like “Face ID not available” or “Face ID has been disabled.” You should also keep an eye out if it takes you more than one try to unlock your phone or if it tells you to enter a PIN.
There are a few ways the device could turn off Face ID. After five failed scans, the feature will no longer work. If you just turned on or restarted the device or if it hasn’t been opened in more than 48 hours, you may need to enter your passcode. Face ID won’t work if you’re on the Emergency SOS screen or if you’ve put the phone into Lost mode with the Find My app.
Face ID may not work, though, if there is a problem with the settings, if something is in the way of the TrueDepth camera, if you are wearing a mask if the software isn’t up to date, or if there are other bugs and problems in the software. If the problem is with the program, there are some quick steps you can try that should fix it.
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How to fix Face ID not working
Check Face ID settings
There might be something wrong with the setup for Face ID, especially if it doesn’t work with third-party apps. Go to Settings > Face ID and password and make sure Face ID is turned on for all the features that can use it. Face ID can be used to unlock the smartphone and for Apple services like iTunes, the App Store, Wallet, Apple Pay, and Password Autofill.
If you’re having trouble using Face ID with third-party apps, go to Settings > Face ID and password > Other apps and turn on the apps you want to use with Face ID.
Ensure that Nothing Is Blocking the True Depth Camera
Face ID works with the TrueDepth camera on the front of your iPhone or iPad. You might have to clean the screen to get rid of smudges and other things that are getting in the way of the camera.
Face ID might not work as well if the screen is broken or the screen cover is scratched. Some thick and very tough iPhone cases might also block part of the sensor. If the TrueDepth camera is blocked by something, you will get a “camera covered” error message.
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Avoid blocking your face
Face ID is made to recognize your whole face. It works best when it can see your eyes, nose, and mouth. Face ID should work fine even if you are wearing a hat, scarf, glasses, or shades. Polarized shades, on the other hand, won’t work, so you’ll need to take them off and try again.
Face ID should work most of the time, but it might have trouble recognizing you if you change your glasses often, get facial hair, or if your look changes in a big way. In this case, you should make a “alternate appearance.” Tap Set up and alternate look after going to Settings > Face ID and passcode. On the page for Face ID and password, you can also choose “Add glasses.” Up to four pairs of glasses can be added.
If you have an iPhone 12 or later running iOS 15.4 or later, you can set up Face ID to work with a mask. Go to Settings > Face ID and password and turn on Face ID with a mask. Repeat the process of setting up Face ID with a mask on. Even if you’re wearing a mask and glasses, Face ID will still work. But it won’t work if you’re wearing sunglasses, since the “with mask” choice needs to be able to see your eyes and the area around them.
Check Your Phone Hardware
Face ID might not work because of a known bug with the TrueDepth camera. If you see a mistake that says “A problem was found with the TrueDepth camera,” you will probably have to send your device to be fixed. Face ID was turned off.” Go to Settings > General > About > Parts and service records to see what hardware your device has.
If you have an iPhone 12 or later, you can use the TrueDepth camera. If everything is working as it should, it should say “genuine Apple part.” But if there is a problem, you will see an error message that says “unknown part” or “Face ID issue detected.” Try updating the device to the most recent version of iOS or iPadOS to see if the problem goes away. But you might not have any other choice but to get the item fixed.
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Hold the Device Correctly
Face ID is so easy to use that iPhone and iPad users almost don’t think about it. But there is a right way to hold the smartphone to make sure the feature works.
Face ID works in both horizontal and landscape mode on the iPhone 13 and 14 with iOS 16 and on any iPad that supports the feature. If your iPhone is older, you will have to use it in portrait mode. Make sure the device is between 10 and 20 inches away from you and that you are facing the camera.
Restart Your Device and Reset Your Face ID
If Face ID isn’t working because of a software bug, restarting your iPhone or iPad may be enough to fix the problem. If nothing seems to work, you should restart Face ID and set it up again. Go to Settings > Face ID and password > Reset Face ID. Then choose Set up Face ID and repeat the setup process.