If someone says that Apple hasn’t done anything groundbreaking for years, you can just point to Face ID. The 3-module process of face mapping for biometric authentication is truly remarkable technology and, when it works, it’s seamless and fast. You can obviously unlock your iPhone, but also confirm payments, unlock the Hidden folder in Photos, or even lock/unlock apps with Face ID. However, just like anything that comes to mind, it can run into a glitch here or there. If Face ID is not working for you on iOS 16, we provided some common troubleshooting steps below.
Table of contents:
- Restart your iPhone and try again
- Reset Face ID
- Set Up an Alternate Appearance
- Remove the screen protector
How to fix inconsistent Face ID on my iPhone?
When your Face ID fails too often, it’s inconsistent, or it’s not working at all, the best thing to do is to restart your device. If that did nothing, resetting your Face ID and scanning your face once again usually fixes the problem. To improve on it, you also have an option to add an Alternate Appearance and, if you scan your face again, the readings should get better. Finally, make sure that iOS is up to date and consider removing the screen protector and wiping the screen (with the focus on the notch), and then try again.
1. Restart your iPhone and try again
Although superbly polished and fluid, iOS can run to a halt from time to time and most of us don’t have a habit to restart the device regularly. That is until iPhone restarts itself after applying updates. So, give your iPhone a quick reboot and check if the issue persists.
If the Face ID still doesn’t work or it’s inconsistent, move to the next solution.
2. Reset Face ID
If you still experience issues with Face ID on your iPhone, the next obvious step is to reset it. Once you remove and add your face, the problem should be gone. Just follow the instructions closely and it shouldn’t take more than a minute to set it up again.
Here’s how to Reset Face ID on your iPhone:
- Open Settings.
- Select Face ID & Passcode.
- Enter your Passcode.
- Tap Reset Face ID.
- Then tap Set Up Face ID.
- Follow instructions to set up the Face ID anew.
3. Set Up an Alternate Appearance
Another thing you can try is to set up an alternate appearance to improve on the readings and make Face ID more reliable. The Alternate Appearance option is great for multiple users sharing the same device. But, it can also be used to improve on the first scan you made by adding more data.
To add another Face ID, navigate again to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and, after you enter your Passcode, select Set Up an Alternate Appearance. Follow the instructions to set it up. If you want to remove the alternate appearance, you’ll need to reset your Face ID completely and set it up from scratch.
4. Remove the screen protector
Although screen protectors shouldn’t affect the facial recognition done by Face ID modules, it’s not impossible. You can try removing the screen protector and giving Face ID another try. If that fails, you should probably take your device for a checkup. The 3 modules that collectively scan your face and map it so it can be recognized are not exactly prone to issues but hardware can and will eventually let us all down. In Apple’s case, it’s more likely because software support is remarkably long.
With that said, we can call it a wrap. Do you have any alternative solutions we forgot to mention? Tell us in the comments section below. Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you.
How does the Face ID work on iPhone?
The Face ID uses something that Apple calls TrueDepth technology consisting of 3 modules. The first module is a dot projector that does just that: projects infrared dots on your face. The second module is a flood illuminator that lights your face with IR light. And the third one is the infrared camera that takes a picture of the user. All 3 combine for a 3D face map that takes that data into account, compares it with the enrolled face, and then Face ID authorizes access. All in a blink of a second. It doesn't use the front-facing (selfie) camera.
Does Face ID mean your camera is always on?
No, Face ID doesn't use your selfie camera at all. Instead, it uses separate infrared modules. They start creating a 3D map of your face only when biometric authorization is necessary. When you try to unlock your device, make a payment, or do something else that requires biometric autorization.