Troubleshooting Guide: What to Do When Face ID Isn’t Working


Face ID, the facial recognition technology introduced by Apple, revolutionized the way users unlock their devices and authenticate transactions securely. However, like any technology, it’s not without its hiccups. Users may encounter situations where Face ID not working as expected, leading to frustration and inconvenience. In this guide, we’ll delve into common issues causing Face ID malfunctions and provide troubleshooting steps to resolve them.

Understanding Face ID:

Face ID is a biometric authentication feature available on select Apple devices, including iPhones and iPads. It utilizes a combination of infrared technology and machine learning algorithms to map and recognize the unique characteristics of a user’s face. This enables seamless unlocking of the device, authorization of purchases, and authentication of various tasks without the need for entering a passcode.

Common Issues and Causes:

  1. Dirty or obstructed TrueDepth camera: The TrueDepth camera system, responsible for capturing facial data, may be obstructed by dirt, dust, or smudges, hindering its functionality.
  2. Unstable software: Software glitches or conflicts may disrupt Face ID operation. This can occur due to incomplete software updates, incompatible apps, or system bugs.
  3. Physical changes in appearance: Significant changes in appearance, such as wearing glasses, growing a beard, or drastic hairstyles, can affect Face ID’s ability to recognize the user.
  4. Face ID setup issues: Improper setup during the initial Face ID configuration process or inaccurate facial data registration can lead to authentication failures.
  5. Hardware damage: Physical damage to the TrueDepth camera components or sensors can impair Face ID functionality.

Troubleshooting Steps:

  1. Clean the TrueDepth camera: Gently wipe the TrueDepth camera and surrounding area with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove any dirt, dust, or fingerprints that may be obstructing the sensors.
  2. Restart the device: Rebooting the device can often resolve temporary software glitches or conflicts. Hold down the power button until the “slide to power off” slider appears, then swipe to turn off the device. After a few seconds, press and hold the power button again to restart.
  3. Update iOS: Ensure that your device is running the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to check for and install any available updates.
  4. Reconfigure Face ID: If Face ID continues to malfunction, consider resetting and reconfiguring Face ID. Navigate to Settings > Face ID & Passcode, enter your passcode, and then select “Reset Face ID” to remove existing facial data. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up Face ID again.
  5. Restore the device: If all else fails, restoring the device to factory settings may resolve persistent Face ID issues. Make sure to back up your data before proceeding with a reset. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.


Face ID offers a convenient and secure method of authentication for Apple device users. However, encountering issues where Face ID fails to work can be frustrating. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, users can effectively diagnose and resolve common Face ID malfunctions, restoring seamless operation to their devices. If problems persist despite troubleshooting efforts, contacting Apple Support or visiting an authorized service provider may be necessary to address potential hardware issues.


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