How to make Face ID recognize your face if it fails — 2022

Face ID is a facial recognition system that ended up displacing Touch ID to the background. But sometimes it can end up giving the odd problem such as not recognizing your face. In this article, we discuss ways to fix this problem on your iPhone or iPad.

Situations in which it is normal that it does not work

Although you may think that it is a bug, you should know that there are some specific times when the facial recognition system of the iPhone and iPad does not work. This does not mean that it is broken or does not recognize you, it is simply disabled for security so that you enter your code. The situations are as follows:

  • When the iPhone or iPad has just been turned on or restarted, since for security reasons the device code must be entered and, once that is done, Face ID can be accessed normally.
  • When the iPhone or iPad has not been unlocked in 48 hours, this being another security method implemented by Apple and that acts in the same way as when it is turned on for the first time.
  • When the code has not been used to unlock the device in the last seven days and Face ID has not been used in the last four hours. And, again, it is motivated by security reasons.
  • After five failed recognition attempts, since the iPhone or iPad will not recognize you and will require another unlocking method with which to identify yourself, the security code being the one you must enter.
  • If you have any element that covers any faction of your face, since facial recognition requires that you have your face completely visible, although there are times when you may be wearing glasses or a mask under your nose and it does recognize you by have detected enough elements to identify you.
  • When an attempt has been made to make a shutdown or an emergency call by entering the scroll menu. And it is that this is usually a method used to prevent a thief from turning off the device and then being able to turn it on and access the content.

Therefore, if the fault comes from one of these causes, do not worry. After you've entered the code and made sure your face is clear, Face ID should work once you lock your device again. And if this is not the case, we recommend you read the following sections in which we explore the possible cause that, then yes, this system is stopping you from working correctly.

Face ID iPhone X

Basic checks you should do

Below we present a series of recommendations to take into account because they could be the source of the problem that Face ID does not recognize you. And while it is true that some may seem very obvious, it can serve as a review to see if you have carried out all the relevant checks.

Avoid having your face covered

We already warned in the first section of this, but we believe that it is worth influencing it. You should know that the Face ID system takes the eyes, nose and mouth as reference points to be able to recognize a face. This is why you should avoid having elements that hide some of these parts of the face, such as a mask or some polarized glasses .

If you wear normal glasses or sunglasses that do not have polarization, the problem should not exist. The fact that it happens with some is because they are designed to block some types of light and even emit reflections that are counterproductive to the operation of the iPhone and iPad system. Therefore, if you are in this situation, it is advisable that, as tedious as it may be, you take off your glasses when unlocking the terminal.

Have you configured your face with a mask?

You must bear in mind that as we have previously commented, Face ID is not capable of detecting faces that have a mask just covering a good part of the mouth or nose. But there are some exceptions to always keep in mind. In the event that you have an iPhone 12 (any of its models) or higher, you will always be able to count on an extra configuration to be able to unlock the device even if you have the mask on. In these cases, it is important to make sure that you have the configuration done, and if you have it and it continues to give you numerous problems, we recommend that you do it again, following these steps:

  1. Make sure your iPhone has iOS 15.4 or later installed.
  2. Open Settings and tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Scroll down and turn on Face ID with a mask
  4. When prompted, tap Use Face ID with a mask. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up Face ID using the normal face scanning process.

face id mask

It is really important to take into account the limitation that is imposed at the software level with iOS 15.4, since only in this software version will it be possible to find this option within Settings. In the event that you cannot follow the steps that we have mentioned, this is undoubtedly one of the great limitations that must be taken into account.

Reset and update

Turning the device off and on is one of those solutions that sounds absurd and yet works more often than one imagines. And it is that on many occasions there are processes in the background that generate conflicts in the system, resulting in all kinds of errors such as Face ID. Therefore, try turn off the iPhone/iPad and turn it on after a few seconds and check that, after entering the code for the first time, it already recognizes you.

And according to this, if the problem is caused by a software bug, it will probably be solved in later versions. Therefore, it is always recommended to have the latest version of iOS/iPadOS compatible with the device. To do this, you just have to go to Settings> General> Software update and there will appear, if there is one, a new version ready for download and subsequent installation.

update ipad

Check the camera capture angle

Unfortunately the Face ID system does not recognize faces at all distances or angles. Keep in mind that you always have to enter at a maximum distance of one arm for it to work, which is approximately 50 cm. Also, if the iPhone is resting on a surface, you should stand facing it and look directly at it. It is not valid to try to unlock the iPhone while looking from the side or far away from the device.

Face ID

In the case of the iPad, there is much more versatility since it allows unlocking while the device is horizontal. This does not happen in the case of the iPhone, which must always be in a vertical position. In any case, you must bear in mind that the angle of the iPad is not infallible either and you must always maintain a certain angle of vision, moderately frontal, that allows it to recognize you.

In addition, in the case of having a mask and wanting to unlock it in this way (provided that you have activated the function mentioned above) this angle will not be enough. You will have to catch the eyes frontally so that the device can finally be fully unlocked. This is something quite logical, since it is not going to be possible to have an angle that finally causes this part that is totally free to not be seen.

Does the front camera work well?

When Face ID isn't working properly, it's possible that the camera is having trouble recognizing your face. This is because some cases cover the camera as they are not perfectly designed. You should keep in mind that Face ID works thanks to the TrueDepth cameras that are located in the corners of the notch. If they are covered by a cover, it is logical that they do not recognize you or take longer than necessary. This can also carry over to screen protectors either because they are poorly placed or not designed correctly. We must always make sure that the tempered glass does not occupy any part of the eyebrow.

FACE ID iPhone X

Dirt can also be a problem as some debris can completely cover the TrueDepth cameras causing you to not be recognized. For example, fat causes the image taken to be distorted and the operating system is unable to recognize you. Always keep this area as clean as possible and avoid touching it with your fingers.

In the case of the iPad when it is unlocked in horizontal position , something that cannot be done with the iPhone, it must be taken into account that neither the finger nor the palm of the hand covers the cameras. In these cases, the operating system is able to recognize that the camera is covered and a warning message will appear with an arrow pointing to the TrueDepth camera.

Look at the settings

Obviously you should check that the Face ID system is activated in the device settings. To perform this check, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Face ID and enter your security code.
  3. Make sure Face ID is turned on for all the features you want to access with your face.

use face id without looking

If it is activated and still does not work you can configure a alternate look . It is true that the system learns from the changes that we have in our face due to age, for example, but if the change is important it may not work. This is why it is recommended to configure a second face in these cases. You simply have to follow the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Go to Face ID and enter your passcode.
  3. Click on ‘Configure alternative appearance’.
  4. Set up Face ID by following all the steps on the screen, moving your head in all directions.

You can also delete all the aspects that are configured on the iPhone/iPad to configure it again from scratch.

Is Apple responsible for a possible repair?

In case you have not managed to resolve Face ID problems on your own, you will inevitably have no choice but to go to Apple or a SAT (Acronym in English for Authorized Technical Service). If the device is under warranty and it is found to be a manufacturing defect, Apple will be able to repair it completely free of charge. Now, even if it has a guarantee, if it is due to misuse or because the screen has suffered a blow or the like, it will be you who has to assume it.

It must be said that the Face ID is made up of a series of sensors that are located in the upper part of the screen and although technically it is not like that at all, we could say that it is part of a unique design of the screen when they are united. Therefore Apple will not repair the sensor as such, but will offer you a complete screen change with the sensors in good condition or in the worst case a refurbished iPhone identical to yours if for some other reason your device is not repairable. . We do not know if Apple will send the defective component for repair later internally, but as far as you are concerned it will not matter to you because you will get everything new.

Apple Genius Bar Technical Service

Repair price at Apple

In the event that you have to pay for the repair, the cost that you must assume is that of the entire screen, therefore having the following price list depending on your iPhone or iPad model, and taking into account that in the case of the tablet, the company does not change the screen but the entire terminal:

    • iPhone X: €311.10
    • iPhone XS: €311.10
    • iPhone XS Max: €361.10
    • iPhone XR: €221.10
    • iPhone 11: €221.10
    • iPhone 11 Pro: €311.10
    • iPhone 11 Pro Max: €361.10
    • iPhone 12 mini: €251.10
    • iPhone 12: €311.10
    • iPhone 12 Pro: €311.10
    • iPhone 12 Pro Max: €361.10
    • iPhone 13 mini: €251.10
    • iPhone 13: €311.10
    • iPhone 13 Pro: €311.10
    • iPhone 13 Pro Max: €361.10
    • iPad Pro 11-inch WiFi version (2018, 2020 or 2021): €541.10
    • iPad Pro 11-inch WiFi + Cellular version (2018, 2020 or 2021): €601.10
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch WiFi version (2018 or 2020): €691.10
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch WiFi + Cellular version (2018 or 2020): €751.10
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch WiFi version (2021): €751.10
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch WiFi + Cellular version (2021): €817.10

It has to be said that if you have contracted AppleCare+ the price will always be 29 euros in the case of the iPhone and 49 euros for the iPad.

How long does it take to repair it?

The estimated time it will take to repair your iPhone depends largely on the stock of screens available in the store you go to and the workload of the technicians. There are times when you can even receive it on the same day with terms of between 2 and 3 hours (depending on the time you go). Now, if they don't have the part, it could take around 4-7 days. If you request remote repair and you have to send the iPhone through a courier service, at least 2 days should be added for shipping times (although it will also depend on the area in which you live).

Send Apple Product Support

And in an unauthorized service?

It can be tempting to go to a non-Apple authorized center because they usually offer cheaper prices. However, there are several issues that you might not like and that is that the screen will not be original and therefore the quality may not be good, thereby worsening your user experience. Also, and no less important, you would lose the warranty with Apple if you go to one of these centers.

Therefore, we recommend that you think about it and, if you decide, that you check the guarantee that they offer you after the repair, as well as the qualities of the parts that are going to be used. We do not want to detract from the work carried out in these establishments, but if you want to have the best possible experience, it is advisable. since even might not work the device if it detects the non-original part.

About repair it by yourself

Apple, SAT and unauthorized centers ruled out, the last possibility you have left is to repair it yourself. It is something you can do, but it has certain peculiarities, since will require you to have knowledge accurate about the repair, in addition to having the skill and daring enough to disassemble the iPhone or iPad yourself. And this matter is not trivial, because if you don't do it right you could render unusable the device.

You should also bear in mind that, in the same way that if you go to an unauthorized center, you will also lose the guarantee and you will not have guaranteed operation if the equipment detects that it is a non-original part. On the internet you can find replacement Face ID sensors that are sold as authentic, but in the vast majority of cases this is not the case.