How to Fix Face ID Not Working on iPhone

Is your Face ID not working, showing an error message that it’s unavailable? This issue may occur more frequently than you’d expect, and there are numerous potential causes.

Face ID not working

If you’re one of the unlucky ones, don’t panic just yet. Try the following solutions before considering sending it to Apple Support.

Restart Your iPhone

Turn off your iPhone and wait for about a minute or so before turning it back on to see if Face ID is working.

To turn off your iPhone, go to Settings > General, scroll down, and tap “Shut Down.”

To turn on the iPhone again, press the Sleep/Wake button on the side.

iPhone Settings for Restart

Reset Face ID

If restarting doesn’t work, try resetting your Face ID. To reset Face ID, do the following:

Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.

Tap “Reset Face ID,” then tap “Set Up Face ID” to set it up again.

Instructions to Reset Face ID

Restore Your iPhone

If the methods above didn’t work, you might need to restore your iPhone. However, proceed with caution and ensure you have backed up your iPhone before doing so.

Step 1. Backup iPhone

For Mac users, you can back up either via iCloud (ensure you have enough storage space) or through your Mac using Finder.

Backup with iCloud

To ensure iCloud backup is turned on, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings and tap on your name at the top.
  2. Accessing iCloud Settings on iPhone
  3. Navigate to iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  4. Navigating to iCloud Backup Settings
  5. Make sure “Back Up This iPhone” is turned on.
  6. Enabling iPhone Backup on iCloud

For added assurance, click “Back Up Now” to perform a backup once before you do a restore.

Backup with Finder

You can also back up your iPhone using Finder. To do this:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac via a cable.
  2. Open Finder and look for your iPhone under "Locations".
  3. Under "General", click "Backup Now".
Backing Up iPhone Using Finder
Step 2. Restore iPhone

There are two parts to the restoration process: first, you will reset the iPhone, and once it’s done, you will need to restore your existing apps and data from your existing backup.

Resetting Your iPhone

To reset your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Then, on the next screen, tap Reset. Follow the on-screen instructions, and your phone will then be reset.

Resetting iPhone via Settings

Restoring Your iPhone from Backup

After the resetting process is complete, you will see a ‘Hello’ screen. Follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the "Transfer Your Apps & Data" screen, then tap "Restore from iCloud Backup." You will need to sign in to your iCloud with your Apple ID and choose the latest version of the backup you have.

For more details, refer to Apple’s guide on how to restore your iPhone.

Get Apple Support

If restarting your phone, resetting Face ID, or restoring it doesn’t solve the problem, the next step is to make an appointment at the Genius Bar. There, a technician will assist you with further troubleshooting.