How to fix Face ID not working after iOS 13 on iPhone XS

The better way of preventing unauthorized access on your iPhone XS, or any iPhone for that matter, is by setting up a Face ID. This feature is not only designed to securely unlock your phone screen and sign into different apps, but also avoid unauthorized purchases on Apple Store, iTunes and other market places. This facial recognition system is also more convenient than the previous Touch ID as you can right away sign in to apps, do purchases, or unlock your phone screen by simply facing your iPhone’s front camera if your face id is not working.

But during the recent iOS 13 update, a lot of users complained of getting error message “Face ID not available” when trying to use Face ID on their iPhone XS devices. Others said that the feature is not working at all. There are various reasons as to why Face ID is not working properly after iOS 13. To learn about the possible causes and the appropriate solutions, read on.

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 XS 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.

Things to remember when using Face ID stopped working on your iPhone device:

  • Check and ensure that the TrueDepth camera is not covered with a screen protector or a phone case.
  • Make sure that the front camera (TrueDepth camera) is free of debris or dirt and clean it when needed.
  • Make sure that your face is fully visible to the front camera. Remove sunglasses, hat, and stay away from the bright sunlight.
  • The range of your iOS device from your face should be 10-20 inches apart. The closer, the better.
  • Lastly, make sure that your iPhone XS is in portrait orientation as the face scanning feature is only made available in Portrait Mode for iPhones.

If the aforementioned basic information had been met and Face ID is still not working on your iPhone XS device, check the outlined workarounds below and hopefully, these techniques will help you fix the Face ID issue on your device.

First solution if your face id not working : Charge your iPhone XS device and then try to use Face ID

A lot may have not known that Face ID won’t work if it the iPhone device has a low battery life. Just like when installing apps or updates on your phone, it is a must to have at least 50% battery life to make sure that the update will be successful. Though Face ID doesn’t require that much battery to get back on track, make sure that you still have ample battery life when using the feature. If your phone only shows 10% battery life or below, connect your phone to its supplied charger and plug it into the power outlet. While your iPhone XS is charging, try to use the feature and see if it will work without having any issues. If the problem persists, troubleshoot your phone further.

Second solution: Force restart your iPhone XS to fix Face ID that is not working

Face ID will be temporarily disabled when you power off your device or simultaneously press and hold the Volume control and the Power button for at least 2 seconds. Therefore, you should not perform a soft reset in restarting your phone nor click emergency SOS. Instead, do a forced restart to refresh your phone’s operating system. Here is how it’s done:

  1. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button.
  2. Quickly press and release the Volume Down button.
  3. Lastly, press and hold the Side/Power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Wait until your iPhone XS completely boots up. Then try unlocking your phone with face id not working If you have set up Face ID to certain app, try signing in and see if Face ID is already working. If it is still showing an error message or it isn’t recognising your face, try the next technique.

Third solution: Check and manage Face ID settings on your iPhone XS

We often mentioned that major software updates will tend to automatically override phone’s current settings. And Face ID settings could have been changed since iOS 13 implementation. To rule this out, simply check Face ID settings and manage them when needed. Here are the steps:

  1. From the Home screen, launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Face ID and Passcode and then check all other options under USE Face ID FOR section and ensure that the switch next to each option is enabled. Otherwise, toggle switches for all of the options to turn Face ID off shortly and then on again.

Afterwards, check if you are already able to unlock your phone or sign in to apps using Face ID. But if Face ID is still not working up to this point, continue troubleshooting your iPhone XS.

Fourth solution: Reset Face ID and then set up again

Face ID will no longer work if it doesn’t recognize you face 5 times when attempting to access apps, unlock your phone, or make purchases. In this case, you now need to reset Face ID to delete previously saved face/s and then set up a new one. To get this done, follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Then select Face ID and Passcode.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset Face ID to delete previously stored IDs.

After you have successfully reset the Face ID, restart (soft/force reset) your iPhone XS. Once it’s already back on, proceed to set up Face ID again using these steps:

  1. Go to Settings, and then select Face ID & Passcode.
  2. Enter your device passcode when prompted.
  3. Then tap on Set Up Face ID.
  4. Hold your iPhone in portrait orientation and then position your device in front of the camera.
  5. Then tap on Get Started and position your face inside the frame.
  6. Slowly move your head to complete the circle for face scanning and then tap Continue.
  7. Then slowly move your head again to complete the circle for the second time and then tap Done.

After you have successfully set up a new Face ID and then enabled this feature for iPhone unlock, Apple Pay, iTunes & App Store, Safari Autofill, and other apps, check if you are able to use the feature again without having any problems. 

Fifth solution: Perform a full system reset

Any phone issues that are persistent even after doing the basics, tough and complex software bugs are always to blame. And the most advanced solution that you can perform to clear out such type of bugs is by doing a factory reset. This option will wipe everything from your phone’s memory, so make sure to back up all your critical files beforehand. After securing all important files on your iPhone XS, follow these steps to do a full system reset:

  1. Select Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then tap on General.
  3. Scroll to and tap on Reset.
  4. Then select Erase all content & settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then select the option to confirm the full system reset.

Your phone will restart by itself after the reset. Once it is back on, proceed to set up your iPhone XS as new again. 

If these solutions didn’t help fix face id not working problem on your iPhone XS device, we advise you to contact Apple Support or visit your local office for further assistance. 

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