October 03, 2021

When Apple released the iPhone X, one of the biggest features and differences between it and previous models was the inclusion of Face ID. This was a sign that Apple were moving away from the previously traditional Touch ID security that had been introduced into the iPhone 5s back in 2013. 

Touch ID also paved the way for full screen displays and the removal of the home button, enabling Apple to create a sleeker looking phone to match competitors. Since then, it has been an integral part of every model (except the iPhone SE 2020) and has become more and more reliable.

However, sometimes you can end up with errors such as "Face ID Not Working." When this happens, it can become frustrating having to continually punch in your pin code to unlock your iPhone, especially when it often needs to be 6 digits long.

In this article, we take a look at some of the common ways to fix your Face ID if it is not working. 


Common ways to fix your Face ID not working:

Update iOS:

Whenever an app or feature develops an issue it's usually a good idea to see if there are any updates available for iOS or the app itself. With Face ID being a feature developed by Apple, it is controlled by iOS software. This software, from time to time, can get bugged and cause issues. It is one of the most common reasons why Face ID stops working, but thankfully a simple update often fixes things.

To check whether you have an iOS software update pending, go to Settings > General > Software Update, and see if any updates are available. If there is, tap on it, follow the prompts and your phone will do the rest! 


Check Your Camera: 

Face ID has a lot to do with your selfie camera and sensors at the top of your front screen. Because of this, any damage or obstruction to your camera will cause Face ID to stop working. 

Because of this, it is important to check that your selfie camera is working by checking on your camera app and it also pays to check on a third party app (Instagram or Snapchat etc.). If it is working, then great! 

Now check that nothing is obscuring the camera. This could be your case, a broken screen protector or maybe even your finger is getting in the way! Anything that is covering the camera will affect your Face ID, so it is important to clear anything away to give it a clear view. 

With iPhones, Face ID will only work when your phone is in a portrait position, so make sure you're holding it in a vertical orientation. It is also a good idea to give your camera a quick clean, as even dirty fingerprints and debris can cause Face ID to stop working. 


Make Sure Face ID Settings Are Correct:

If this is the first time you're using Face ID on an iPhone, or if you've recently updated your iPhone, then there's a chance that the settings may not be exactly as they should be to enable the feature to work correctly. 

To ensure they are set as they should, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and then check to see if the feature is enabled and that all the options in the 'Use Face ID for:' section are turned on.


Check Your Face Is Not Obscured: 

While Face ID is rather excellent at recognising your features, there are a few ways that it can be thrown off, resulting in it not working. Apple states that some sunglasses which block infrared rays can also stop the TrueDepth sensor from working and also normal glasses. It is important that when you set up Face ID, you put on any facial features that you regularly wear throughout your day. 

Set Up Alternative Appearance: 

Sometimes it can be good to set up an alternative appearance just incase your phone has remembered your original appearance wrong (which is does from time to time). Alternative appearance allows you to have two different faces enabled to unlock your phone. 

To do this, simple go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Set Up an Alternate Appearance and follow the process outlined to you through the prompts. 

This is perfect if you have glasses that you wear sometimes and want to ensure that you can unlock your iPhone with them on. Or, it is also helpful if you are having to wear a mask frequently due to the current pandemic! 


Reset Face ID: 

If none of the solutions above have solve your issue of Face ID not working on your iPhone, it may be time to try and reset your Face ID in order to ensure that there are no settings or issues that are causing problems. 

To do this, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Reset Face ID.

Follow the prompts to complete the reset. This will instantly remove all the previous stored Face IDs, leaving you free to run through the set up of Face ID and begin the process again. Hopefully, this time around, you'll be able to use the feature without issue!


If all of these common solutions do not solve your Face ID issues, there may be a more technical problem that needs to be looked at by a trained technician. Here at DeXTech we have a team of technicians that would be happy to take a look at it for you! Get in touch if you are needing assistance through our website or social media! 


Here at DeXTech, we are here to help you with your technology requirements. We stock a wide range of Apple products, from the iPhone 4s all the way through to the iPhone XS, plus the iPad range. Along with this, we carry a huge range of Android smartphones and tablets, including Samsung, Pixel and LG. With these devices on hand we are able to offer technical support every step of the way from assisting to get your device setup to dealing with issues such as network issues or software troubleshooting. We have a helpful team who can lend a hand via our tech support email address: support@dextech.co.nz. Do not hesitate to reach out!

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