If Face ID isn't working on your iPhone or iPad Pro

If you need help using Face ID to unlock your iPhone or iPad, authenticate purchases, sign in to apps or if you're asked to enter your passcode, find out what to do.

Make sure that your iPhone or iPad model supports Face ID. Then follow these steps. After each step, see if you still need help.

Check for updates

Make sure that your iPhone or iPad is updated to the latest version of iOS.


Check your Face ID settings

To check your Face ID settings, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode. Make sure that Face ID is set up and that the features you're trying to use Face ID with are turned on.
An iPhone showing the screen at Settings > Face ID & Passcode.

Check that nothing is covering the TrueDepth camera

Make sure that the TrueDepth camera on your iPhone or iPad isn't covered with a case or a screen protector. Also, check if there's residue or dirt covering the TrueDepth camera.

If you're using an iPad in landscape orientation, make sure that your finger or palm isn't covering the TrueDepth camera. If it is, you might see an alert at the top of the screen that says "Camera covered" with an arrow pointing at the TrueDepth camera.

An iPhone with lines pointing to the TrueDepth camera, two spots at the top of screen, one on each side of the centre notch.

Make sure that nothing is covering your face

Make sure that your eyes, nose and mouth are fully visible to the TrueDepth camera. Face ID doesn't work if anything is covering your mouth and nose, like a face mask. If you're wearing a face mask, you'll be asked to enter your passcode automatically after swiping up.

Face ID works with many sunglasses. If you're wearing sunglasses designed to block certain types of light, then your sunglasses might be blocking the infrared light used by the TrueDepth camera. Try using Face ID without your sunglasses.


Make sure that you're facing the TrueDepth camera

Face ID only works on iPhone when it's in portrait orientation and you're facing the TrueDepth camera. On iPad, you can use Face ID when your iPad is in any orientation.

The TrueDepth camera has a similar range of view as when you take a selfie or make a FaceTime call. Whether your iPhone or iPad is lying on a surface or you're holding it in a natural position, make sure that your iPhone or iPad is an arm's length or closer (25-50 cm) from your face.


Restart your device

Restart your iPhone or iPad and enter your passcode. Then try using Face ID again.


Add an alternative appearance

For most users, Face ID will continuously learn as they change. If you have an appearance that can look vastly different, you can set up an alternative appearance so Face ID still recognises you. You can't create a new appearance if you're wearing a face mask.

To set up an alternative appearance:

  1. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode. If asked, enter your passcode.
  2. Tap Set Up an Alternative Appearance.
  3. Look straight into your iPhone or iPad and place your face inside the frame.
  4. Gently move your head to complete the circle. If you're unable to move your head, tap Accessibility Options.
  5. When you finish the first Face ID scan, tap Continue.
  6. Gently move your head to complete the circle for a second time.
  7. When Face ID setup is complete, tap Done.

Reset Face ID

If you still need help, reset Face ID, then set it up again. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and tap Reset Face ID. Then tap Set up Face ID to set it up again.


Get service

If you still can't enrol your face, take your device to an Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorised Service Provider or contact Apple Support.

You should always have your device repaired by Apple or an authorised service provider. Improper repair, modification or use of non-genuine Apple components in the laser systems may prevent the safety mechanisms from functioning properly and could cause hazardous exposure and injury to eyes or skin.


If you need to enter your passcode

You might need to enter your passcode or Apple ID instead of using Face ID in these situations:

  • You're wearing a face mask.
  • The device has just been turned on or restarted.
  • The device hasn’t been unlocked for more than 48 hours.
  • The passcode hasn’t been used to unlock the device in the last six and a half days and Face ID hasn't unlocked the device in the last four hours.
  • The device has received a remote lock command.
  • After five unsuccessful attempts to match a face.
  • After initiating power off/Emergency SOS by pressing and holding either volume button and the side button simultaneously for 2 seconds.

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