Apple iPhone Face ID not working after the iOS 13 update

Apple’s relatively new security feature called Face ID seems to be having some problems after the iOS 13, according to some reports from our readers who recently updated their devices to the new firmware. This may not cause much of a trouble to users who prefer to use fingerprint, pattern or passcode, but for those who are used to having their devices get unlocked the moment they place them in front of their faces may find it very annoying. 

This kind of problem, since it occurred shortly after the iOS 13 update, may be just a minor system glitch. It should be something that you can fix on your own without doing complicated troubleshooting procedures. So in this post, I will walk you through in troubleshooting your iPhone with Face Unlock that’s no longer working. We will try to rule out all possibilities until we can determine what caused this issue. If you’re an Apple device owner and currently having this kind of problem, continue reading this post as you may find it helpful. 

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you happen to find this post while looking for a solution to a different problem, then visit our iPhone Help Guides page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this device. We may have already published articles that could help you fix your problem. Find issues that are similar to yours and feel free to use our solutions.

First solution: Force restart your iPhone

As I said earlier, this could be just a minor problem caused by a firmware glitch. Such issues occur every now and then and while they may seem pretty annoying, they’re necessarily not that hard to fix. In fact, doing the forced restart often fixes problems like this. 

The forced restart is a simulated battery removal that will refresh your iPhone’s memory and reload all its services. Here’s how you do it:

force restart iphone

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, and then quickly press and release the Volume Down button. 
  2. The moment you release the Volume down button, press and hold the Side or Power key until the Apple logo shows on the screen.

Once your iPhone has finished rebooting, try to unlock it using the Face ID to know if the problem still occurs. If it does, then move on to the next solution. 

Second solution: Make sure your iPhone is set to unlock using Face ID

Sometimes problems occur due to some incorrect settings. If this problem started after the iOS 13 update, then it’s pretty much possible that your previous Face ID settings have been changed inadvertently or messed up. It’s best to reconfigure the service once again. 

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Check and ensure that Face ID is set up.
  4. Also make sure that the features that you’re trying to use Face ID with such as iPhone Unlock, iTunes & App Store, Apple Pay, and Password Autofill are enabled. If they’re not, then simply toggle their respective switches to turn on.

By doing this, you’re actually hitting two birds with one stone. You’ll immediately know if the problem is due to some incorrect settings or if the front camera that detects your face can’t do the job properly. That said, if you can configure Face ID properly, then make sure the front camera does not have any obstructions and that it’s clean. 

If needed, register a new Face ID to make sure your iPhone can determine your face features properly. Here’s how you do that: 

iphone face id not working - troubleshooting guide

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your device passcode when asked to continue.
  4. Tap the option to Set Up an Alternate Appearance.
  5. Follow the onscreen instructions to create a new Face ID appearance. Be sure to look straight into your phone and position your face inside the frame.
  6. Move your head slowly to complete the circle. You can also tap on Accessibility Options if you cannot move your head.
  7. After completing the first Face ID scan, tap Continue.
  8. Then move your head slowly to complete the circle for the second time.
  9. Tap Done when the Face ID setup is finished.

After doing all these and your iPhone’s Face ID feature is still not working properly, then move on to the next solution. 

Third solution: Factory reset your iPhone

The good thing about Apple products is that the firmware itself does not have many problems. So as long as the iOS on your iPhone has not been modified in any way, you can always rest assured that even Face ID issues like this can be fixed with a reset. So, the next thing you have to do is make sure to create a backup of your important files and data so that you won’t lose anything during the reset.

After that, follow these steps to reset your iPhone:

factory reset iphone ios 13 to fix faceid that's not working 

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings
  2. Find and tap General
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and then touch Reset
  4. Tap Erase All Contents and Settings. 
  5. Tap Erase Now. 
  6. If prompted, enter your security lock. 
  7. Tap Erase iPhone at the bottom of the screen.  
  8. Tap Erase iPhone again to proceed with the reset.  
  9. Now enter your Apple ID’s password and wait until the reset is complete.

After the reset, set up your iPhone as a new device but try not to restore your data or backups first. Just proceed with the set up until your finished and then set up Face ID. After that, try to see if it’s already working properly. 

If for some reason, the Face ID is still not working after the reset, then it’s time you brought the phone to the Genius Bar so that a technician can check it for you. 

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix Apple iPhone with Face ID that’s not working after the iOS 13 update. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!

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