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How To Get Face ID On IPhone X To Try Again When It Misses Your Face


Nilay Patel had this to say on his review of the iPhone X on TheVerge: “The good news is that Face ID generally works great. The bad news is that sometimes it doesn’t.”

Really, it seemed inevitable the moment the news of the iPhone X Face ID feature came out that there were bound to be some issues with it.

And I’m not talking about the confusion when some female users take off their makeup.

People have been trying to figure out what to do in those cases when the Face ID doesn’t work. And, thanks to a complaint on Twitter , I have an answer.

But first, overall when Face ID works, it is magically better than Touch ID. Your phone just feels like it’s unlocked all the time, without requiring you to think about its security at all. However, the problem is that when it doesn’t work, it’s not super clear what you’re supposed to do about it.

When Touch ID fails, you just try it a second time. You reposition your thumb or you wipe your thumb or you say “screw it” and punch in the passcode. When Face ID fails, you reposition the entire phone or you just swipe up on the home bar thing. Usually, that gets it to catch.

But a particularly weird problem is that the feature that hides notifications on the lock screen until Face ID recognizes you is nice. But when it’s sitting on your desk (or better yet, your angled wireless charger), sometimes it won’t. At that point, you want to see your notifications, but Face ID isn’t catching. So, what next?

  • Looking away and back again doesn’t seem to work.
  • If I swipe up, I have to swipe down again to see my notifications. Annoying.
  • I don’t want to tap on the notification without seeing what it actually is. Annoying.
  • I don’t want to pick up the phone to reposition it; the darn thing is just sitting on my desk. Also annoying.
  • I don’t want to power the screen down with the sleep button and then power it up again. Again, also annoying!

I just want to see what my notifications are without picking up my phone or doing something awkward. What do I do? The iPhone doesn’t tell me.

Luckily, Alex Anderson on Twitter has told me. Give the home bar a little wiggle. Drag it up like about a quarter-inch and then push it down again. Don’t drag it up far enough to unlock the phone, just do a tiny wiggle. Face ID will then give it another shot and — by this point — you’re probably giving it the proper attention to make it work this time.

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