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how to use Face ID on your iPhone with your
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how to use Face ID on your iPhone with your face covered

Masks are going to be part of our daily lives for the next few months. Maybe years. With its more than possible mandatory nature, it clashes with one aspect of the most advanced iPhone: Face ID. In this tutorial, we will see Unlocking an iPhone with Face ID and a mask on his face.

Something that can give problems but for which fortunately there is a solution. Let’s go see it.

Eyes, nose and mouth: the three essentials for Face ID

Face ID system

Face ID is a facial recognition system that creates and measures a model of our face in three dimensions. This model is stored in the Secure Enclave of the iPhone’s processor and never leaves the device. Thanks to the TrueDepth system, the processor and the operating system, unlocking is almost instantaneous.

Face ID is able to identify its owner at night and even with glasses on. It also learns the changes in our face as the beard or hair, to adapt. However, the placement of a mask that covers part of the face gives us an error when it comes to authentication.

This is because Face ID requires a more or less complete view of the face. The mouth, nose and eyes are critical when performing recognition. By default, this system requires that the eyes also look to the iPhone as a further security measure. However, this can be changed from the Face ID settings.

The other two points on the face, however, are necessary. That is why in winter, wearing a scarf that covers part of the mouth or the entire face can give the user problems. When combining the Face ID masksIf you don’t get the right answer, the recognition error is assured. Fortunately, there is a solution that could work in many cases.

Unlock Face ID with a mask by following these steps

This video (via Jose Mendiola) explains how we can “teach” Face ID so that he recognizes our face with a mask. The process is as follows:

how to use Face ID with a mask
  • Go to Settings > Face ID and Code.
  • We reset Face ID, this will delete the model of your face as well as the alternate face if you had it configured.
  • Set up your face again, but this time do it with a blank sheet of paper covering a quarter of your face.
  • Once this is done, lock the iPhone and try to unlock it with a mask on. It may take you a few times to get it.

In our tests, this trick to Unlocking Face ID with a mask worked. We used a surgical mask and the iPhone unlocked on the second attempt. It’s possible that with other types of masks it won’t work.

In our case, we tried another mask. This time it was made of black fabric and was shaped to fit the face, without Face ID being able to unlock the iPhone. Before venturing out with your iPhone and a mask on the street or at work we suggest you take a test. Touching your face with your hands to adjust the mask and unlock Face ID is not recommended outside of your home.

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