Using Apple’s Face ID When Wearing A Face Mask

Having trouble unlocking your iPhone with Face ID while wearing a face mask?

Apple’s latest iPhone software update, iOS 13.5, released Wednesday, is your solution.

Your eyes, nose and mouth must be visible for Face ID, Apple’s facial recognition software, to recognize you. But with the coronavirus, device owners may be wearing masks when out in public. So Apple is making it easier for you to unlock your phone when you have a mask on.

Install the update and you will no longer have to wait for Face ID to fail several times before being prompted to enter your passcode. After Face ID fails for the first time, you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen and enter your passcode to unlock your phone or approve an Apple Pay transaction. Or, as soon as you lift up your phone, you can swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone screen right away.

You can also choose to turn off Face ID altogether in your settings. If you’d prefer to turn Face ID off, here’s what you need to do.

To Turn off Face ID on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settingsapp on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your Passcodewhen prompted.

If you only want to disable Face ID for specific tasks, like unlocking your phone or approving Apple Pay purchases, then use the switch at top of the screen to turn off Face ID for iPhone Unlock. That means your phone won’t try to scan your face at all. Instead, once the screen wakes on your phone, swipe up and enter your passcode.

Then, turn off Face ID for Apple Pay. That means you’ll need to tap a Pay with a Passcode button on the Apple Pay screen, then enter your code before the transaction can be completed.

Another benefit of turning off Face ID for individual tasks is that you can turn it back on once you’re home, without having to go through the Face ID set up process again.

Alternatively, to completely turn off Face ID and use a passcode in its place, tap Reset Face ID and confirm your decision. You’ll then use a passcode instead of Face ID for unlocking your phone, Apple Pay, and App Store purchases.

Wearing a face mask is required to enter many businesses or to be out in public in some places. The Centers for Disease Control says masks can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Wednesday’s iOS update also includes the new contact tracing technology Apple has released to help public health officials develop mobile apps to identify and test people who’ve spent time with or near someone infected with the coronavirus.


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