Fix: Face ID not Working on iPhone

Your Face ID does not work primarily because of outdated OS (or beta version). Mis-configuration of Face ID or iPhone’s settings can also cause the non-working of your Face ID. This issue can also occur due to a corrupt or some corrupt modules of iOS as well.

Introduction of Face ID for iPhone took the market by storm in 2017. Since then, it is working fine but there are cases (although not a widespread issue) in which Face ID does not work. Either the user cannot set up Face ID or Face ID does not recognize the face of the user (or works intermittently at odd angles).

But before moving on with the troubleshooting process, keep in mind that your Face ID will not work:

  1. If your device has just started or restarted.
  2. If you have not used passcode to unlock the device for 6.5 days, then you are given 4 hours to unlock the device. If you fail, you will not be able to unlock the device with Face ID and would have to input the password.
  3. If your device has not been unlocked for the last 48 hours, then you will not be able to unlock it with Face ID.
  4. If Face ID has failed 5 times in a row to recognize your face, then your iPhone will not unlock through Face ID.
  5. If you have used SOS, then Face ID cannot be used to unlock the iPhone.
  6. If your iPhone device has received a remote lock command, then Face ID will not work.
  7. Keep in mind that if your phone’s battery is less than 10%, then the Face ID will not work.
  8. Also, a fractured face (hopefully, no one suffers from it) will not be recognized by your Face ID.

Before trying any of Solutions:

  1. Make sure your iPhone supports Face ID.
  2. Turn off your Face ID and then turn on to check if the problem is fixed.
  3. Remember to close all running or suspended apps.
  4. Make sure that the protector or your phone cover is not covering the front camera and any of its accessories like infrared camera etc. Also, check if there are any smudges on the front camera or any of its accessories.
    iPhone’s Front Camera and its Accessories
  5. Check if there is only your Face in the line of camera. If there are multiple faces in the line of camera, then it can cause issues in the operation of the Face ID.
  6. Remove any jewellery, hat, face mask, or glasses (although Face ID can work with many sunglasses but not all).
  7. If you are using a beta version (beta version’s bugs are fixed in the next release of the stable version) of iOS, then wait for release for the stable version and then update it to check if the problem is solved.
  8. Restart your phone and check if the Face ID is working.
  9. Make sure you are not in a humid environment like a shower room.
  10. Check if selfie portrait mode is working fine. Also, check if Face ID is working fine at a 30-45-degree angle. Moreover, use portrait orientation when using portrait mode.
  11. Make sure that your eyes, nose, and mouth are fully visible to the camera.
  12. When using Face ID, keep the device at 10-20 inches (an arm’s length) from your face.
  13. If you are using Face ID while outdoors, then make sure that Sun is not directly behind you. And if you are indoors, then check if you are not in too much dark.

Update Your Device’s iOS to the Latest Version

Outdated OS can expose a user to a lot of issues. Also, with every new release of updated software, many known bugs are fixed and performance improvements are added. If you are not using the most recent version of the OS (also if you are currently using a beta version of the OS), then it can cause issues with Face ID. In that case, updating your device’s iOS to the latest version may solve the problem.

  1. Back up data of your iPhone.
  2. Plug the device into a power outlet.
  3. Make sure your device has a working internet connection (use of Wi-Fi is recommended).
  4. Open Settings of your iPhone and tap on General.
  5. Now tap on Software Update.
    Tap on Software Update
  6. If there is a software update, tap on Install.
  7. Confirm to start the update by tapping on Continue.
  8. After completion of the update process, check if the facial ID is working fine.

Reset Your iPhone’s Face ID

Any wrong configuration or wrong input of your Face ID may cause Face ID not to work. In that case, resetting the Face ID (which will wipe out all of the existing data and settings) may solve the problem. To reset your Face ID, follow the instructions mentioned below:

  1. Open Settings of your iPhone.
  2. Then open Face ID & Passcode and then tap on Reset Face ID.
    Reset Face ID
  3. Now try to set up the Face ID again and check if the problem is solved.

Resetting the Face ID might not work in solving the problem if your phone’s settings are creating the problem or if your phone is suffering from a hardware issue.

Reset All Settings of Your iPhone

A wrongly configured setting can cause non-working of the Face ID. But to single out the problematic setting can be a long and tedious task. In that case, using your iPhone’s built-in functionality to reset the settings (your data will not be harmed but all the customization will be lost) may solve the problem. However, keep in mind that your preferences might be erased and reset.

  1. Open Settings of your iPhone.
  2. Now open General and then tap on Reset.
    Open Reset Menu in General
  3. Now tap on Reset All Settings and then enter your iPhone’s passcode.
  4. Then to confirm, tap on Reset All Setting.
    Reset All Settings
  5. After resetting the settings, check if your Face ID is working fine.

Reset Your iPhone to Factory Defaults

If nothing has worked for you so far, then the problem can be with your phone’s OS. In that case, you can reset your iPhone to its factory defaults.

For backing up data and restoring to factory defaults, visit our article on How to fix iPhone keeps rebooting and follow the instructions in the sections given in How to Back Up Your iPhone and How to Restore to Factory Settings?

Reset Your iPhone

After completion of the reset process, set up your Face ID. Make sure that you save your data and have access to the iCloud signed in your Device. If you do not have access, then you will not be able to operate the iPhone when it starts up.

Still having issues with the Face ID?

If nothing has helped you so far, then probably the issue has arisen due to a hardware issue. And in that case, you have to visit Apple, any of its authorized repair shops or use a service that will send a certified technician to repair your phone. If your iPhone is still under warranty, then make an appointment with Apple through Genius bar and visit them. They will run some diagnostics on your phone and if there is a hardware issue, then your phone will be replaced free of the charge.

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Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Face ID not Working on iPhone

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