How to unlock your iPhone or iPad with Face ID if you wear a mask

How to unlock your iPhone or iPad with Face ID if you wear a mask

A new iOS 15.4 update enables facial recognition, via Face ID, even when you’re wearing a mask. However, if your iPhone cannot be updated or if the update has not yet arrived, there are also several ways to use Face ID, although it will be a bit more complicated.

In this article we tell you more about the new Face ID tool that comes with the new version of the iOS 15.4 operating system and we also tell you how you can use Face ID with a mask if you have previous iOS versions.

Face ID with mask in iOS 15.4

When you first boot up your iPhone after updating to iOS 15.4, you may be asked whether you want to use Face ID with a mask or not. If it doesn’t, or if you want to set it up later, follow these steps:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap Face ID & Passcode. You will need to enter your access code to access this menu
  • Scroll down to Use Face ID with a mask and turn it on

After you turn it on, you’ll be prompted to go through the Face ID setup process again, where you place your face in the center of the camera frame and slowly look around.

The iPhone does another scan of your face, this time using more data points from around your eyes and the upper part of your face, ignoring the lower part that would be covered by a mask. You don’t have to wear your mask during this additional setup process, but the scanner acts as if you do.

If you often wear glasses when using iPhone, you’ll be prompted to remove them during the second scan. You can also add additional scans with each pair of glasses you wear often (though sunglasses don’t yet support Face ID with a mask).

Click ‘Add glasses’ and you will be prompted to perform another scan, this time with your glasses on. For best results, repeat this process using each pair of glasses you normally wear when using your iPhone.

Once set up, Face ID will recognize your face when you try to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask. The Face ID with mask feature is just an enhancement to the normal Face ID setup process and there is no noticeable difference in speed or reliability.

It doesn’t change or restrict how or when Face ID is used, and third-party apps and services don’t need to do anything to support it. So you’ll be able to use Face ID with a mask (and/or glasses) every time Face ID is used, whether it’s to unlock the iPhone, enter passwords, use Apple Pay, etc.

Face ID with mask in versions prior to iOS 15.4

Below we will share some tricks that will allow you to configure facial recognition on your iPhone so that it recognizes you even with your face half covered by a mask if you still do not have the operating system updated to its latest version iOS 15.4.

Before following the steps, please note that we had to try several times before we were able to set up reliable facial recognition, that is, it is difficult, but not impossible.

Method 1:

  1. Fold the mask in half and place the two eyelets on one ear, hold the mask with one hand on the face so that it covers it exactly in the middle.
  1. On your iPhone go to ‘Settings > Face ID & Password’ and enter your passcode.
  1. Select the ‘Set an alternate appearance’ option. (If you’ve already set up an alternate appearance, you won’t have this option. You’ll need to reset your Face ID and set it up again.)
  1. You will be invited to set up Face ID. You may see a warning that your face is covered, but in our experience after a couple of tries this message will go away.
  1. Follow the steps on the screen to allow the True Depth Camera to take your measurements. A circle will appear in which you will have to fit your face.

  1. Wait while the first scan of your face is done.
  1. Before the true depth camera begins its second scan, remove your mask and cover the other side of your face.
  1. Once the second scan is complete, you should be able to unlock your iPhone while wearing the mask.

Method 2:

If method 1 doesn’t work for you, our advice is to reset your Face ID and start over, but this time create your first Face ID scan while holding the mask to the side of your face.

Next, create the alternate look option while holding the mask on the other side of your face.

When we used the second method – involving creating our Face ID from scratch while covering our faces on one side and then covering our faces on the other side to make an alternate option – we found that Face ID was able to unlock our iPhone. while wearing the mask.

When we used the first method – creating the ‘Alternate Appearance’ option with a mask – we found that it was less accurate. If the tip of the nose was visible, if the nose was completely covered, it seemed unreliable to us.

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