FaceID Issues
FaceID Issues

Face ID, the facial recognition feature by Apple, has changed how we unlock our iPhones. However, like any technology, it has its issues. If you’re having trouble with your iPhone’s Face ID, you’re not alone. This article discusses common problems and provides practical solutions to help you get your Face ID working well again.

Face ID Troubleshooting Guide

IssuePossible CauseSolution
Face ID doesn’t recognize your face– Face is partially covered (mask, glasses, hat)Remove any obstructions and ensure your entire face is visible.
– Face is not positioned correctlyHold your iPhone at arm’s length directly in front of your face.
– Poor lighting conditionsMove to a well-lit environment or adjust the screen brightness.
– Significant appearance changes (hairstyle, makeup)Train Face ID again with your new appearance.
– Dirty TrueDepth cameraClean the TrueDepth camera with a soft, lint-free cloth.
– Outdated iOS versionUpdate your iPhone to the latest iOS version.
Face ID is slow or unresponsive– iPhone is in Sleep/Wake modePress the side button to wake your iPhone.
– Attention Awareness feature is disabledGo to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enable Attention Awareness.
– iPhone is overheatingMove your iPhone to a cooler environment and wait for it to cool down.
Face ID requires passcode too often– Face ID hasn’t learned your face well enoughReset Face ID and set it up again, paying close attention to the instructions.
– iPhone restarted or powered offFace ID requires initial authentication after restart or power off.
– Face ID hasn’t been used in a whileUse Face ID more frequently to help it learn your face better.
Face ID is disabled– iPhone has been restarted or powered off more than 4 times with Face ID not being usedUse your passcode to unlock your iPhone and Face ID will be automatically enabled again.
– iPhone has not been used for more than 48 hours with Face ID not being usedUse your passcode to unlock your iPhone and Face ID will be automatically enabled again.
How To Setup FaceID
How To Setup FaceID

Additional Tips:

  • Make sure your eyes are open and looking directly at your iPhone when using Face ID.
  • If you wear glasses, try setting up Face ID with and without them to improve recognition.
  • You can add an alternate appearance to Face ID if you have significant changes in your look.
  • If you continue to experience problems with Face ID, contact Apple Support.

Understanding Face ID Challenges

Common Causes of Face ID Failures

Several factors can lead to Face ID not working correctly. These include:

  • Obstructions: Anything covering the TrueDepth camera, like a screen protector or case, can hinder Face ID.
  • Face Obstructions: Sunglasses or masks might block facial recognition, though iOS updates have improved mask compatibility.
  • Damage or Dirt: Physical damage or dirt on the camera can prevent Face ID from recognizing your face.
  • Software Glitches: Sometimes, software issues can cause Face ID to malfunction.

Troubleshooting Face ID Issues

Basic Checks and Fixes

Start with these simple steps:

  • Clean the Camera: Ensure the TrueDepth camera is clean and unobstructed.
  • Check Your Settings: Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and make sure Face ID is set up for the features you want to use.
  • Face Positioning: Ensure your face is in full view of the camera, without any coverings.

Advanced Solutions

If basic troubleshooting doesn’t work, try these methods:

  • Reset Face ID: Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and reset your Face ID.
  • Software Update: Keep your iOS updated to the latest version for improved Face ID performance.
  • Alternate Appearance: If your look varies significantly, set up an alternate appearance in Face ID settings.

There’s an issue with your iPhone’s ability to use Face ID

There's an issue with your iPhone's ability to use Face ID
There’s an issue with your iPhone’s ability to use Face ID

If you get the error message: there’s an issue with your iPhone’s ability to use face ID then try these steps to see if you can get it working again.

Basic Checks:

  1. Restart your iPhone: A simple restart often fixes temporary glitches. Press and hold the side button (or the volume up and down button on older iPhones) along with the power button until the “slide to power off” slider appears. Slide the slider to turn off your iPhone, and then press and hold the side/power button again to turn it back on.
  2. Check for iOS updates: Make sure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS. Outdated software can sometimes cause issues with Face ID. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and install any available updates.
  3. Clean the TrueDepth camera: The TrueDepth camera, located at the top of the iPhone near the notch, is used for Face ID. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to gently clean the camera lens.

Face ID Settings:

  1. Ensure Face ID is enabled: Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and make sure Face ID is turned on for “Unlock iPhone” and other desired features.
  2. Reset Face ID: If Face ID still isn’t working, try resetting it and setting it up again. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and tap “Reset Face ID.” Then, follow the on-screen instructions to set up Face ID again.
  3. Check Attention Awareness: Attention Awareness is a feature that requires you to be looking at your iPhone for Face ID to work. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and make sure “Attention Awareness” is turned on.
Face ID Is Not Available
Face ID Is Not Available

Additional Troubleshooting:

  • Remove any screen protectors or cases: Some screen protectors or cases can interfere with Face ID. Try removing them temporarily to see if it helps.
  • Check for Face ID obstructions: Make sure your entire face is visible to the TrueDepth camera. Remove any hats, scarves, masks, or sunglasses that might be covering your face.
  • Adjust lighting conditions: Face ID works best in well-lit environments. Try moving to a brighter area or adjusting the screen brightness.
  • Contact Apple Support: If you’ve tried all of these troubleshooting steps and Face ID is still not working, contact Apple Support for further assistance. They may be able to diagnose the problem and provide additional solutions.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried all the above steps and Face ID still isn’t working, it might be a hardware issue. In such cases, contacting Apple Support or visiting an Apple Store is advisable. Remember, only a trained technician should handle hardware repairs to avoid further damage.

User Experiences and Solutions

Real-world experiences from iPhone users highlight various Face ID issues and solutions:

  • Screen Protector Interference: One user found that a bubbled screen protector was the culprit behind Face ID failure. Removing it solved the issue.
  • Hardware Malfunctions: Another user faced a persistent problem where Face ID stopped working due to a hardware issue, leading to a decision to live without it or upgrade their phone.
  • Brightness and Face ID: A unique case involved Face ID failure coinciding with screen brightness issues. Adjusting display settings provided a temporary fix, indicating a possible software glitch.

Summary of Facts

  • Face ID issues can arise from obstructions, settings, or hardware problems.
  • Basic troubleshooting includes cleaning the camera, checking settings, and ensuring proper face positioning.
  • Advanced solutions involve resetting Face ID, updating iOS, and setting up an alternate appearance.
  • Persistent issues may require professional assistance from Apple Support.


Why is my Face ID not working even after cleaning the camera and updating iOS?

If basic troubleshooting doesn’t resolve the issue, it could be a hardware problem. Consider resetting Face ID or seeking help from Apple Support.

Can Face ID work with masks and sunglasses?

Face ID has improved to work with masks in recent iOS updates. However, some sunglasses may block the infrared light used by Face ID, causing recognition issues.

What should I do if my Face ID stops working suddenly?

First, ensure there’s no obstruction or dirt on the camera. If the problem persists, try resetting Face ID or updating your iOS. If these steps don’t work, contact Apple Support for further assistance.

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