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Face ID Not Working or Available on iPhone? 10 Tips to Fix It

DoubtUser Concern

“Updated my iPhone 13 to iOS 17 last night. Since then, my Face ID won't work. I got an error message or it says Face ID is not available. I thought I could reset Face ID, but it's not letting me do that either. Help!”

Face ID is an exciting new verification method for iPhones and iPads, allowing you to unlock your device, sign into apps or authenticate purchases without much effort.

It can really be frustrating if Face ID is not working on your iPhone or iPad. Don't worry; we've got you covered. In this article, you will learn 11 tips to fix this problem and get your Face ID working again.

Make Sure That Your Device Supports Face ID

Before we dive into the troubleshooting tips, it is a good idea to make sure that your iPhone or iPad model supports Face ID. You can only use Face ID on these devices:

  • iPhone: iPhone 15 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone X
  • iPad: iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later), iPad Pro 11-inch (all generations),

If your iPhone or iPad supports Face ID but is malfunctioning, then you can follow the tips below to fix it.

1. Restart Your iPhone or iPad

Restarting your iPhone or iPad is the first thing you can try when Face ID is not working. This will give the device a fresh start and remove any minor software glitches that could cause this issue.

Press and hold the Side button and either the Volume button (press and hold the Side or Top button for old iPhones) until you see "slide to power off." Slide from left to right to turn off your iPhone and wait for some moments, then press and hold the Side/Top button again to turn on the device.

restart iphone

2. Check Your Face ID Settings

When Face ID is malfunctioning, you should check if it is set up correctly. Also, check if the features you're trying to use Face ID are turned on.

To do this, navigate to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enter your screen passcode when prompted. Make sure that Face ID is set up and turns on features like iPhone Unlock, iTunes & App Store, Wallet & Apple Pay, Password AutoFill, etc.

check face id settings

3. Make Sure the TrueDepth Camera and Your Face Aren't Blocked

If you have set up Face ID properly and it is still not working, then you should check to see if the TrueDepth camera is not obsrtucted. Remove any phone case or screen protector that is blocking the TrueDepth camera.

If anything is covering your face, the Face ID feature will not work properly, too. Your eyes, nose, and mouth should be fully visible to the TrueDepth camera. If you are wearing a face mask, a hat, or sunglasses, take it off and try using Face ID again.

4. Make Sure You're Facing the TrueDepth Camera Directly

With iPhone 13 models and later that are running iOS 16 and later, Face ID functions in both portrait and landscape orientation. However, for old iPhone models, Face ID only works when the device is in portrait orientation and you're facing the TrueDepth camera directly. Plus, make sure your iPhone is at least an arm's length away from your face, which is between 10 and 20 inches.

5. Clean The Cameras & Sensors On the Front of Your iPhone

Gunk or debris may cover the cameras or sensors used for Face ID and make it malfunction. In this case, you can try cleaning off the cameras and sensors on the front of your iPhone with a microfiber cloth.

6. Add An Alternate Appearance

Generally, Face ID can recognize your appearance very well. But it may not work if you wear glasses, a hat, or a face mask. Apple has provided the feature "Alternate Appearance" from Settings on iOS 13, allowing you to add an alternative appearance to use Face ID.

  • Go to Settings, click Face ID & Password, and enter your password to confirm the changes.
  • Select Set Up an Alternate Appearance and go through the face scanning process again.
  • Click Finish when the scanning process is finished.

face id set alternate appearance

In this case, even if your face looks a little different, the chance of Face ID recognition can still be greatly improved.

7. Disable "Require Attention for Face ID"

"Require Attention for Face ID" is turned on automatically when you are using a new iOS device. Face ID will verify whether you are looking at the iPhone when unlocking the device. It may sound creepy, but it is necessary to prevent strangers from accessing your iPhone.

If this feature is not useful to you, you can go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode to disable Require Attention for Face ID. This will make it easier for your iPhone to recognize your face, especially when you are wearing sunglasses.

disable require attention for face id

8. Check for iOS Update

You can update your iPhone to the latest iOS version to fix any software bugs or glitches that could cause Face ID not to work.

To check for a software update, just plug your iPhone into power and connect to a good Wi-Fi network, then go to Settings > General and tap on Software Update. If there is an update available, tap Download and Install or Install Now.

update iphone

9. Reset Face ID

If you have gone through all the tips mentioned above and Face ID consistently fails, you can try to delete your saved Face ID and set it up again.

To reset your Face ID, open the Settings app and click on Face ID & Passcode, then tap on Reset Face ID. Finally, hit Set Up Face ID to set it up again.

reset face id

10. Repair iOS System to Fix Face ID Not Working without Data Loss

The ultimate solution to fix all of your iOS system issues and screen unlocking issues is using FoneGeek iOS System Recovery - a 100% secure iOS system repair program.

Having been downloaded and used by millions of users worldwide and won the reputation of many software authorities, FoneGeek iOS System Recovery is now one of the safest and most reliable repair tools for iPhone/iPad.

If you are facing the issue of Face ID not working, why not try FoneGeek iOS System Recovery?

How to Fix Face ID Not Working on iPhone without Data Loss


Step 1. Launch FoneGeek iOS System Recovery on your computer, then select "Standard Mode" from the main interface.

choose repair mode

Step 2. Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable and click on "Next."

connect ios device

Step 3. Once the device is detected successfully, click "Download" to download the matched firmware package.

download firmware

Step 4. When the downloading is done, click "Fix Now" to start the repair. After that, your iPhone will restart, and the Face ID will work normally again.

fix now


Now, you must know how to overcome the issue of Face ID not working on iPhone. If you have tried all of these solutions and your Face ID is still not working, your iPhone may have some hardware problems. You should contact Apple Support to get your iPhone repaired.

Fay J. Melton

Fay J. Melton has explored the area of technology and software for more than 5 years and he is enthusiastic about helping users solve various technology issues.

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