Face ID Not Working? How to Fix it Step by Step


The face ID not working issue on Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads is a common concern for many users. Worse, many of them don’t even know the cause of the face ID not working issue.

While some people like to be old school and use a passcode to log in to their device, others have been drawn to this face ID thing. Which is why it really pisses you off when you have to deal with the face ID not working issue. Surely you can use the passcode to unlock your phone but its still annoying not to know the reason why face ID is not working. 

Not to worry though as you have come to the right place to find a solution to the face ID not working issue. To know the solution though, you must also first learn what is causing the face ID not working issue.

To fix the Face ID not working issue, first make sure that your face is not covered with any cloth, hat or jwellery. There also mustn’t be any other face while using the Face ID. Now, clean the camera and sensor so that your face can be captured correctly. You might need to reboot your iPhone. Maintain good distance between your phone and face for the Face ID to work properly. 

Face ID Not Working

Before you take any further step, I advise you to check the setup process twice so that you can be assured that everything is normal.

There is more than one way in which you can fix the face ID not working issue. Let us get down to each of them without wasting any more time.

You can choose whichever solution works based on the problem and fix the problem. I can guarantee you, these methods will definetly help you in fixing the Face ID issue.

1. Restarting your iPhone or iPad

Restarting the iPhone or iPad is the best way to deal with the face ID not working issue to begin with. Sometimes the face ID not working issue is the result of a miniscule glitch in software. That can be fixed by a simple rebooting of the device.

  • Press the side button on your device along with the any one of the volume buttons for long.
  • You will see that an option appears on your screen which says “slide to power off”.
  • Just slide your finger from left to right on the red and white power icon to shut down your device.

After waiting for a minute, press the same buttons again and wait for the Apple logo to appear on your screen. Once the device switches on, see if the face ID not working issue still persists or not.

Rebooting the device hey siri not working

2. Maintain adequate distance between your face and your device

Let us assume that the previous method did not work and the face ID not working issue is still there. It could be because you are holding your phone too close to your face. The minimum distance required for the face ID to work is 10 or 20 inches.

While less than 10 inches can be problematic, more than 20 inches will also cause the same trouble. Extending your arms straight in front is therefore necessary to prevent the face ID not working issue. 

Although, you might feel that the Face ID used to work in any position earlier, sometimes it might only work at the right distance. Also, too much light or glare can cause the Face ID sensor to be unable to recognize your face.

Make sure the camera is able to capture your face clearly without too much background noise. Stand before a clear background.

3. Check Face ID settings on your device

Is it possible that you have mistakenly removed Face ID from device unlocking or for activating some apps and functions? It may sometimes happen without your knowledge.

So, it is important to check the Face ID settings of your iPhone or other iOS devices to see all the functions where Face ID is required.  You can use the toggle buttons to select the apps and functions that must require a Face ID authentication. The steps are very easy, as mentioned below:

  • Go to settings > Face ID & Passcode
  • Enter your passcode
  • You shall be able to see all the apps and features that use Face ID. Check if the toggle button is enabled for iPhone unlock.

Face ID Not Working check settings

If you find the Face ID option turned off for iPhone unlock then there is your solution. Just swipe the button against iPhone Unlock option to the right and the Face ID authorization will be enabled for lock screen. The Face ID not working problem has been resolved for you.

If this step does not work for you, we still have many different ways to solve iPhone Face ID not working problem.

4. There mustn’t be any other face while using the face ID

You iPhone or iPad might get puzzled if there are more than one faces near you when you are trying to use face ID feature. As a result, you will have to encounter the face ID not working issue.

This can happen if you are in a busy street and two many people are in the background. In order to prevent the face ID not working issue, find yourself a less populated space. In case you are showing off to your friends, make sure that there is sufficient distance between you all.

5. Any kind of jewellery or clothing that covers your face must be removed

A hat, a scarf, a necklace, a piercing, or even a “mask” may cause the face ID not working issue. This is because your iPhone or iPad will not be able to recognise your face with all of that on or near your face.

To prevent the face ID not working issue, all you have to do is remove these extra items, use the face ID and then wear them back.

6. Check if you are in a sufficiently lit space

Another reason behind the face ID not working issue is illumination or how much your room is lit up. As with the distance aspect, too much as well as too little light can lead to the face ID not working issue.

This is because the sensors and camera of your device will not be able to recognise your face in that kind of lighting. Try using a naturally lit space in order to prevent the face ID not working issue.

7. Keeping the sensors and camera in front clean

If you don’t clean your iPhone or iPad too often, chances are that dirt and dust may accumulate on it causing the face ID not working issue. The camera or the sensor may be covered by some kind of gunk which needs to be cleaned.

You may not realize it but it is a serious issue. Specially if you are outdoors for long duration of time, using your phone then it can accumulate a lot of dirt and get unclean.

Use a laptop cleaner spray and soft cloth to wipe the camera as well as the sensors. In the winters, sometimes the camera lens can get foggy and could be unable to capture your face clearly. You can just wipe it with a clean cloth and that should fix it. 

8. Remove the screen protector or case from your iPhone

A screen protector or a case is important as it can prevent your device from breaking if it accidentally slips from your hand. But when it comes to using the face ID, they might pose a problem.

They may cause the face ID not working issue by interfering with the sensor or camera of your device. If you have recently changed your iPhone case then maybe its the cause of your Face ID not working problem. 

Remove it once and check if the face ID is working now or not.

9. Reset your face ID after deleting the previous one

Another way of fixing the face ID not working issue is by deleting the previously set ID and then creating a new one. Chances are that when you had set it up the first time, there must have been some mistake which is now causing the face ID not working issue.

Deleting the face ID is very easy. 

  • Just go to Settings and select the Face ID & Passcode option.face id not working reset face id
  • Enter the passcode and then tap the face ID you would like to delete.
  • Select the Delete Face option.
  • Once that is done go back to the same option and then select the Enroll Face option.
  • Follow each instruction on screen and you will have a new ID.

If there are multiple Face IDs for your iPhone then check if the iPhone is unlocking using any one of those. If not, even then you don’t need to disable all of them unless after resetting your Face ID the problem corrects but still occurs with other Face IDs.

10. Update the software of your device

Being a new feature in your iPhone, the face ID not working issue can be caused due to glitches or bugs that happen as a result of not updating for too long.

  • To know if there is an update pending, open the Settings option
  • Go to General followed by Software Update.
  • If you see that there is an update available, click on the Download & Install option. 

New updates of the system or apps help make your device run faster. It removes the problems and bugs of the earlier versions and makes your phone more efficient. It is important to regularly update your iPhone.

11. Reconfiguring all the settings

If you are reading this method, then the previous 9 ones have not worked out in all probability. Reconfiguring all the settings in your device may reset the settings to its default status. This step is helpful as it may detect the software problem which is causing the face ID not working issue.

  • Go to settings and then select General.
  • Then open “Transfer or Reset iPhone” followed by Reset and then Reset All Settings.
  • You have to type your passcode in and then click on the Reset All Settings option from the popup that asks for your confirmation. 

Please note, resetting will set your iPhone to the basic default mode. All the previous settings of apps and iPhone will be erased. So, do this only if you are very sure of losing all the previous settings.

It is advised to create a backup of your device before resetting it. Be very careful while resetting your iPhone and make sure you know what you are doing. Create multiple backups if you must to avoid losing access to your data.

12. DFU restoration

This is the last method at your disposal to fix the issue. DFU restoration is like the last resort when you are trying to fix the face ID not working issue. DFU stands for Device Firmware Update. 

DFU reloads the software and firmware of your device. It literally erases and reloads every bit of code of the operating system.

It usually fixes the most persistent of software issues and by extension the face ID problems as well. However, doing so might also delete all your important files and documents which is why you create a backup for them before performing a DFU restoration. 

These were the key reasons why Face ID not working problem happens and how to resolve them. The last two solutions will set your phone to default settings and will erase your data for conducting a full system restore. It is important you create a full backup of your phone before performing any kind of system restore.

You can use data backup solutions like iCloud, Dr. Fone or FonePaw.



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