Apple’s Face ID technology is pretty cutting-edge. For the most part, it works under any condition, even extremely low lighting. This makes it easy for you to access your phone without having to remember and enter a passcode like the iPhones before it.

There are also some limitations to the technology at this point, so it’s not going to be perfect 100% of the time. Usually, though, when Face ID isn’t working on your iPhone, there is a quick way to fix it.

Check Your Settings

Your settings may not be correct for you to be able to use Face ID. It’s worth checking settings first to rule this out, as there are a few different areas in your iPhone’s settings where things could go haywire. 

Go into Settings > Face ID & Passcode. At the top, you’ll see options for what your iPhone will use face ID for. If one of these is not enabled, just tap on the switch to enable Face ID for that task. 

You’ll also see the Attention option. When this is on, you’ll be required to look at your iPhone for it to unlock. If this is on and not working, it’s possible that your eyes are getting blocked from the camera somehow. You can also set an Alternate Appearance which will allow your iPhone to recognize you if your looks change drastically for any reason. 

Make sure these settings are all correctly enabled first before you decide that your Face ID is simply broken. If you don’t see settings for Face ID, then your iPhone model doesn’t actually support the feature. 

Make Sure Your iPhone Can See You

It might seem obvious, but sometimes your Face ID won’t work properly under certain circumstances. 

For example, you need to be looking down or holding your phone up for Face ID to work. Also make sure you’re not too far away or too close to your iPhone camera. If your iPhone is laying down on a flat surface, it won’t be able to recognize your face that way. 

Also make sure nothing is blocking your face such as clothing items or accessories. Especially if you have the Attention feature on, your eyes will need to be visible as well as your face for your iPhone to identify you.

Reset Your Face ID

A simple fix might be to reset your Face ID entirely. If you’ve recently changed some aspect of your appearance, this could be what’s causing issues. To do this, go back to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Reset Face ID.

After tapping this, select Set Up Face ID. After you’re taken to the Face ID set up screen, tap Get Started. You’ll be prompted to show your face to your iPhone’s camera and move it in a complete circle so that your iPhone can analyze and save your face.

Once you’re finished, try using Face ID again to make sure it’s working. 

Check for Updates 

It’s possible your iPhone needs to be updated in order for Face ID to work properly. To check if you need to update, you can go to Settings > General > Software Update

If an update is available, you’ll see a status about how you can update your iPhone. Tap Download and Install if you wish to update. 

If there is an update, it’s very likely that installing it will fix your Face ID problems. So make sure to check this. 

Restart Your iPhone

Sometimes just restarting your phone will be enough to get rid of bugs. There are two options here, either restarting normally or doing a hard restart. 

Try restarting normally first by holding down the power button on the right side of your iPhone until you see the Power Off slider. After sliding it off, wait until your screen has completely turned off, about 10-20 seconds. Then press and hold your power button until your iPhone turns back on. 

If this doesn’t work, you can also hard restart. Do this by pressing and releasing the volume up button, followed by volume down, and then press and hold the power button. When the Power Off slider shows up, ignore it and continue to hold down the power button until you see the Apple logo. Then, your iPhone should restart automatically. 

What If None of This Worked?

If it seems you’ve tried everything and your Face ID still isn’t working, it’s likely that it’s actually broken. There’s probably a hardware problem which you can’t really fix yourself. If you’ve dropped your iPhone recently, or accidentally got something like water in it, these could be plausible reasons for the malfunction. 

Check to see if your front-facing camera is working. It’s possible there is something you can’t see covering it up, causing Face ID not to work. If not, it’s likely something internal. There’s a couple of things you can do at this point. 

You’ll want to try doing a factory reset on your iPhone. Before this, make sure you’ve done a recent backup of your iPhone’s data. Then, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. You’ll have the ability to backup from here as well if you choose Back Up Then Erase. If you already made a backup, just select Erase Now

Enter your passcode, and then select Erase iPhone. It will take a bit for your iPhone to reset entirely, and once it does you can set up your Face ID again. Hopefully by this point it will work again. 

If not, your other option is to bring it to an Apple store. If they can’t fix it, they’ll have to send it to Apple in order for them to do so. 

After You’ve Fixed Your iPhone Face ID

If one of these troubleshooting options worked, just make sure to keep an eye on how Face ID functions from then on. To prevent any further issues from happening, be sure to update your iPhone regularly. 

Also be sure to treat your phone well and be careful with it, so you don’t accidentally drop it or get something inside it. This care will go a long way in making sure your Face ID and other iPhone features last as long as possible.