Face ID Not Working on iPhone 12/13? Here's How to Fix It!

Face ID Not Working on iPhone 12/13? Here’s How to Fix It!

Face ID Not Working on iPhone 12/13? Here's How to Fix It!

“My Face ID isn’t working!” is the last thing you want to say about your iPhone. Not being able to use this convenient iOS feature is simply a hassle, so we made a quick guide on what you can do to fix it!

If you’re having trouble setting up Face ID on your iPhone, if Face ID is not available, or if your Face ID suddenly doesn’t recognize your face or has stopped working, we’re here to help.

In this post, we’re on a mission to help you get your Face ID to work again. Just go through the 13 quick fixes below that we’ve completed with pictures, so you should enjoy your iPhone’s fullest potential in under 12 minutes or less!

Why is my Face ID not working?

Face ID failure can happen when you overexpose your iPhone to moisture, causing a short circuit or electricity leakage. Dropping your phone also makes matters worse, as Face ID parts are mostly made of glass. 

Here’s more: 

  • The Face ID sensor could be blocked by a smudge, dirt, or even your palm.
  • The feature may not work if you’re covering your mouth or your nose.
  • Your iPhone model is outdated and doesn’t support the feature. 
  • Your iPhone needs the latest iOS update.
  • You’re already done five Face ID attempts but are still unsuccessful. 
  • Your iPhone has been given a remote lock command. 
  • Your iPhone has not been unlocked in the last 48 hours.

How to Fix Your Face ID

By a quick process of elimination, you should be able to fix your iPhone Face ID woes. Simply follow the methods listed below to get the feature alive and kicking in record time. 

1. Check the Face ID settings.

Difficulty LevelEasy
Number of Steps 11
Estimated Time of Completion20 seconds or less

First things first: Enable the Face ID feature on your phone’s settings. You save yourself tons of trouble if you don’t overlook this rather obvious step. 

Do these steps to check Face ID settings on your iPhone:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select Face ID & Passcode.
  • Type your passcode when asked.
steps to check Face ID settings on your iPhone
steps to check Face ID settings on your iPhone
steps to check Face ID settings on your iPhone

Note: If you don’t have a passcode set up, you’ll have to create one. This serves as a backup identity verification method in case Face ID fails.

After confirming that Face ID is enabled, you can move on to the next method. If not, you have to set it up by following the instructions below.

Follow these steps to setup up your Face ID:

  • Click Set Up Face ID.
  • Click Get Started.
steps to setup up your Face ID
steps to setup up your Face ID
  • Fit your face in the frame.
  • Move your head slowly and fill the circle.
  • Click Continue for the second scan.
  • Move your head again until the circle is filled.
  • Click Done.

2. Check the Face ID permission on third-party apps.

Difficulty LevelEasy
Number of Steps 7
Estimated Time of Completion15 seconds or less

Are you using the Face ID feature to authenticate your identity on third-party messaging apps, banking, and other payment methods? If yes, then you need to allow the necessary permissions for Face ID to work.

Using an app without Face ID permission can be taxing as it will require you to input your passcode every time as an alternative. 

Here’s how to enable permissions for third-party apps:

  • Open Settings.
 how to enable permissions for third-party apps
  • Select Face ID & Passcode.
  • Type your passcode when asked.
 how to enable permissions for third-party apps
 how to enable permissions for third-party apps
  • Click Other Apps.
 how to enable permissions for third-party apps

Also, you can view the apps with Face ID permission with these steps:

  • Open Settings.
  • Scroll down/click any app.
  • Toggle Face ID on.

3. Clean the Face ID sensors.

Difficulty LevelVery Easy
Number of Steps 3 to 5 
Estimated Time of Completion10 seconds or less

Another obvious but easily overlooked detail when using Face ID is whether or not the camera sensors are blocked. If there’s a speck of dirt, gently wipe the camera sensors using a soft clean cloth to remove it.

Be mindful of how you’re holding your phone as well. For example, hold it in such a way that your finger or your palm is not covering the camera sensor.

Using a thick phone case or screen protector may also cover the sensor. Remove them if possible.

4. Make sure your face isn’t covered.

Difficulty LevelModerately Easy
Number of Steps 7
Estimated Time of Completion15 seconds or less

Keeping your eyes, nose, and mouth completely visible helps the camera scan your face properly. In this regard, take care not to cover them with anything for Face ID to do its job.

On that note, it’s actually possible to use Face ID with a face mask or glasses on. Unfortunately, this is only supported on iPhone 12 or later devices with IOS version 15.4 and above.

Here’s how to set Face ID with facemasks/glasses:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select Face ID & Passcode.
  • Type your passcode when asked.
 how to enable permissions for third-party apps
 how to enable permissions for third-party apps
  • Scroll down/toggle Face ID with a Mask on.
  • Click Use Face ID with a Mask to confirm.
  • Follow the previous instructions to set up Face ID again.
 how to enable permissions for third-party apps
 how to enable permissions for third-party apps

If you only had a facemask on when setting Face ID, you can add glasses afterward by clicking Add Glasses under Face ID & Passcode. From there, you just need to follow the instructions on screen.

 how to enable permissions for third-party apps

Note: To use Face ID with a Mask, your eyes and the areas around it must be perfectly visible. As such, the feature will not work when wearing sunglasses.

5. Hold your iPhone correctly.

Difficulty LevelSuper Easy
Number of Steps 1
Estimated Time of Completion3 seconds or less

Face ID is limited to working in portrait orientation for the iPhone so make sure that you’re holding your phone properly. On iPad, any orientation works, so all you have to do is make sure you’re facing the camera.

Another thing to consider is the distance between your face and the phone. Ideally, you want to keep the distance between 10 to 20 inches, as this is the TrueDepth sensor’s field of view.

6. Restart your iPhone.

Difficulty LevelEasy
Number of Steps 5
Estimated Time of Completion8 seconds or less

Restarting your phone will soft reset it and shut down all the apps and processes that are currently running.  This is a basic troubleshooting method to fix simple malfunctions and errors — or in this case, when Face ID isn’t working.

Plus, it’s actually quick and easy to do which means it should be the first thing to try before using more technically complicated methods.

Follow these steps to restart your phone:

  • Press/hold the side button and one of the volume buttons.
  • Drag the power-off slider when it appears.
  • Wait until the device is fully turned off.
steps to restart your phone
steps to restart your phone
  • Press/hold the side button to turn it back on.
  • Wait until the Apple logo appears.
steps to restart your phone
steps to restart your phone

7. Update your iPhone.

Difficulty LevelEasy
Number of Steps 6
Estimated Time of Completion15 seconds or less

Using the latest version of IOS or iPadOS gives you access to all the available Face ID features for your device. This also equips your phone with performance improvements to make sure everything works as intended.

Face ID with a Mask is an example of a Face ID feature that is exclusive to certain iPhone models and IOS versions. You can check if your device supports the Face ID functionality on Apple’s support page.

Follow these steps to update your phone:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select General.
  • Click Software Update.
 steps to update your phone
 steps to update your phone
 steps to update your phone
  • Click Download and Install.
  • Type your passcode when asked.
  • Click Install Now.
 steps to update your phone
steps to check Face ID settings on your iPhone

Note: If there is more than one available update, choose the latest one and click Download and Install.

8. Set up an alternate appearance.

Difficulty LevelModerately Easy
Number of Steps 9
Estimated Time of Completion20 seconds or less

Do you look drastically different depending on the amount of facial hair, makeup, face tattoo, and accessories you’re wearing? 

In this case, setting up alternate appearances will help Face ID recognize your face better, even if you change it in any way.

Do these steps to set up alternate appearances:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select Face ID & Passcode.
  • Type your passcode when asked.
how to enable permissions for third-party apps
how to enable permissions for third-party apps
  • Click Set up an Alternate Appearance.
  • Look into the camera and fit your face in the frame.
  • Move your head slowly and fill the circle.
steps to set up alternate appearances
steps to set up alternate appearances
  • Click Continue for the second scan.
  • Move your head again until the circle is filled.
  • Click Done.

9. Reset then set up your Face ID.

Difficulty LevelEasy
Number of Steps 5
Estimated Time of Completion8 seconds or less

Try resetting your Face ID and setting it up again if none of the methods above worked thus far. Do this to correct your Face ID settings and fix the mistakes in your previously saved faces.

Here’s how to reset Face ID:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select Face ID & Passcode.
  • Type your passcode when asked.
how to enable permissions for third-party apps
how to enable permissions for third-party apps
  • Click Reset Face ID.
  • Follow the previous instructions to set up Face ID again.

10. Reset all settings.

Difficulty LevelEasy
Number of Steps 6
Estimated Time of Completion10 seconds or less

If Face ID isn’t working after resetting it, you can try harder: reset all your iPhone settings. Doing this will wipe all the changes you’ve made to your device, including the network settings, home screen layout, keyboard settings, etc.

Don’t worry! This process will not delete any of your personal information and data. All of your photos, music, videos, and apps will remain.

Here’s how to reset all settings on your phone:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select General.
steps to update your phone
steps to update your phone
  • Click Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  • Click Reset.
how to reset all settings on your phone
how to reset all settings on your phone
  • Click Reset All Settings.
  • Follow the previous instructions to set up Face ID again.

11. Factory reset your iPhone.

Difficulty LevelModerately Easy
Number of Steps 9
Estimated Time of Completion15 seconds or less

Do this as a last resort. Performing a factory reset completely wipes your phone’s data and reverts it to the default settings it came with from the factory.

Consider doing this if Face ID isn’t working after trying all the methods listed above. Before you proceed, it’s recommended to back up your device with iCloud, Mac, or PC so you can restore them afterward.

Here are the steps in performing a factory reset:

  • Disable the Find My.
  • Go to Settings > Find My and disable Find My iPhone.
  • Type your passcode when asked.
steps in performing a factory reset
steps in performing a factory reset
steps in performing a factory reset
  • Go back to Settings.
  • Select General.
steps to update your phone
steps to update your phone
  • Click Erase All Content and Settings.
  • Click Continue.
steps in performing a factory reset
steps in performing a factory reset

Note: Click Back Up then Erase instead if you haven’t backed up your data.

  • Type your passcode when asked.
  • Click Erase on the pop-ups that will appear.
steps in performing a factory reset

12. Make sure all repairs are only done by Apple.

Difficulty LevelEasy
Number of Steps depends
Estimated Time of Completiondepends

Performing technical repairs on your smart device yourself or through unofficial service providers should be avoided at all costs. 

Not only will you void the warranty if you do so, but using counterfeit products to replace your phone’s broken component may still result in your FaceID not working. Only trust Apple-certified professionals to perform repairs on your device. 

13. Contact Apple support.

Difficulty LevelAverage
Number of Steps Varies
Estimated Time of CompletionVaries

If all else fails, reach out to Apple Support as they can address your problems more effectively. You can also set an appointment for a store visit or a phone repair.

This is arguably the safest and most surefire way to fix any problem with your Apple device. The caveat is resorting to this could eat your time as you will have to bring the device to the repair shop.

FAQs about Face ID Not Working

Does my device support Face ID?

Face ID-supported devices are as follows:

iPhone 13/mini/Pro/Pro Max
•iPhone 12/mini/Pro/Pro Max
•iPhone 11/Pro/Pro Max
•iPhone X/XR/XS/XS Max
•iPad Pro 12.9 inch (3rd and 4th generation)
•iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd generation)
•iPad Pro 11-inch

How do I set up my Face ID?

Face ID is set up by going to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Set Up Face ID. Make sure there are no obstructions to the camera or your face and follow the instructions on the screen.

Can I use Face ID if I am wearing glasses?

Face ID works with glasses and facemasks. You can find the option to add glasses under Face ID with a Mask on the Face ID & Passcode setting.
This is an exclusive feature for newer devices (iPhone 12 and up) running on iOS 15.4 and up.

How do I login if I can’t use Face ID?

Log in through your passcode in case Face ID fails. This can happen when using Face ID while wearing glasses or a facemask without setting up Face ID with a Mask beforehand.
You also need to do this when Face ID doesn’t recognize your face after five attempts.

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