How To Unlock Your Phone’s Face ID With A Mask On

Miracles happen.

by Kaitlyn Wylde
Originally Published: 
The new iPhone update allows users to use face recognition ID with a mask on.
Witthaya Prasongsin/Moment/Getty Images

The pressure of trying to unlock your phone quickly to use Apple Pay when there’s a long line of people behind you at Starbucks during rush hour can sometimes render your fingers useless at successfully unlocking your phone with a passcode. What’s more, typing in your passcode is a major step backward when you’ve already been using facial recognition for years. And taking off your mask in public to unlock your phone can put you and others at risk — which just makes unlocking your phone a hassle. Finally, iOS 15.4 has a solution. While the latest update comes with a lot of fun features, like melty face emojis to up your ability of expressing humiliation, and SharePlay to stream shows with friends in real time, other updates — like the ability to unlock your phone with your mask on, are über practical.

The new iOS 15.4 update comes with improved facial recognition software that solves how to unlock face ID with, well, most of your face missing. The new feature will allow users to keep their masks on while in public, and will retire the passcode once and for all by getting to know a user’s eyes a bit more intimately. So there will be no more stumbling at checkout and dealing with the dizzying shake of an incorrectly-entered passcode. Here’s how to use your phone and protect your health at the same time.

Get Updated And Situated

Make sure your phone is updated to iOS 15.4, and that you’re using an iPhone 12 or newer model. Once you have the new operating system installed, head to Settings and scroll down to Face ID and Passcode. Enter your passcode to open the feature and tap Turn on Face ID with A Mask, and then Use Face ID With a Mask to confirm.

How To Set Up Face ID With A Mask

Tap Get Started to set the feature. Follow the prompts and move your head in a circle slowly. The software will be looking for unique characteristics around your eyes to gather enough information to detect you, even with a mask on. If you wear glasses, you will be prompted to complete this circular motion twice. If you are unable to do this motion, you can tap Accessibility Options for an alternative calibration. Once you’re finished, tap Done at the bottom of the screen.

Once you follow those steps, you’ll be able to unlock your phone and use any feature that requires Face ID while wearing a mask. Keep in mind that in the same way that full Face ID sometimes requires you to adjust your gaze or positioning to unlock effectively, the partial Face ID might also require a few attempts.

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