The 7 best ways to fix iPhone face ID don’t work

Apple Face ID is a really cool feature that is helping to revolutionize smartphone security and authentication. With Face ID, activities like unlocking your iPhone, apps, and authorizing payment have become convenient. However, just like optimizing the iPhone battery, Face ID sometimes faces issues that keep it from working properly. In this guide, we will cover seven (7) different ways to reactivate your iPhone’s face tag if it stops working.

Without further ado, let’s go straight to the solutions.

1. Check the iPhone camera

Face ID uses the TrueDepth camera system located on the notch on the iPhone screen to map your face and perform authentication checks before unlocking your device or apps. If the TrueDepth camera is blocked (partially or completely), Face ID may not work. You should check that no particles or debris covers the notch of your iPhone. You can wipe the camera with a clean microfiber cloth and relaunch Face ID to check if it works.

If you have a case attached to your iPhone, make sure it doesn’t cover the notch or obstruct the camera system at the top of the screen. Some screen protectors may also prevent the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone from working properly. If Face ID stopped working right after you attached a screen protector to your phone screen, you need to remove it.

2. Change the orientation of the iPhone

The Face ID is designed to work only when your iPhone is in the same orientation as your face. This means that Face ID will not work when your face is straight, but your iPhone is kept in landscape orientation (that is, holding your phone to the side). Likewise, when your face is on the side (for example, you are lying on the bed) and your iPhone is in its natural position / orientation, Face ID may not be able to authenticate your face. (Believe me, I tried it and it doesn’t work.)

Adjust your face so that it is properly aligned with your iPhone and try Face ID again.

3. Get closer to your device

Apple says Face ID works best if the distance between your face and your iPhone is 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters). If Face ID doesn’t authenticate you, try bringing your iPhone closer to your face. The closer, the better. But hey, not too close.

4. Check if Face ID is enabled

If you are trying to use Face ID for certain apps or services, but it doesn’t work, you should verify that Face ID is enabled for the affected apps / services. Here’s how to check the Face ID settings.

Step 1: Launch the iPhone Settings menu.

2nd step: Press “Face ID & Passcode” and enter your phone’s access code to continue.

Step 3: In the “Use Face ID for” section, verify that the services you want to use Face ID for are enabled.

Step 4: Then to activate Face ID for other apps, tap More apps.

You will see a list of applications that have requested to use Face ID for authentication. Make sure you activate the app (support) with which you want Face ID to work.

5. Configuring the alternative appearance

Sometimes Face ID is not defective, but you think it is not. The problem is that Face ID refused to recognize you with equipment covering your face. If you work in a job where you must wear protective equipment (for example, a face mask, infrared protective glasses, etc.), facial identification may not work while you are wearing it. Interestingly, Apple allows you to configure an alternative appearance that is completely different from the primary identity recognized by Face ID.

With an alternative appearance, Face ID will recognize you with your work and home equipment in normal clothes. Here’s how to set it up.

Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and select the ‘Face ID & Passcode’ option. Enter your iPhone password to continue.

2nd step: Select the “Configure an alternative appearance” option.

Now configure your alternative appearance as you did with the normal face ID. Remember to have your protective equipment on before recording your alternative appearance.

6. Reset face ID

If Face ID on your iPhone still doesn’t work after trying all of the troubleshooting tips above, you need to reset Face ID. While this means that you will need to configure the feature from scratch, this should help eliminate any issues that prevent your phone’s Face ID from working. Follow the steps below to reset Face ID on your iPhone.

Step 1: Log in to your device with a password and launch the Settings menu.

2nd step: Select ‘Face ID & Passcode’ and enter your phone password to continue.

Step 4: Select the ‘Reset Face ID’ option.

This will immediately reset your iPhone’s face ID. To configure it again, press the “Configure face identifier” button on the “Face identifier and access code” page and follow the prompt.

7. Update iOS

If an iOS update is available for your iPhone, installing the update could help resolve any issues or complications related to software preventing Face ID from working. Launch the Settings menu on your iPhone and go to General> Software update> Download and install.


Tired of having to go through Touch ID or Face ID every time you automatically fill in a password on your iPhone or iPad? Read the linked post below to find out if it’s a good idea to get rid of the extra security.

Last updated on April 29, 2020

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