How To Use Your iPhone's FaceID While Wearing a Mask

How To Use Your iPhone's FaceID While Wearing a Mask

Thanks to a new iOS and WatchOS update, you can now unlock your iPhone, using FaceID, even while wearing a mask. You only need an Apple Watch.

Thanks to a new iOS and WatchOS update, you can now unlock your iPhone, using FaceID, even while wearing a mask. You only need an Apple Watch.

Credit | Apple Support

With Apple’s launch of FaceID in 2017 on the iPhone X and iPad Pro, the company provided an easier way to login or access things on your devices, without needing to touch it or go out of your way to type in a passcode. It was simple, and effective, with essentially a 0% inconvenience rate, due to infrared scanners, and tons of sensors.

That was before face masks happened, and soon people either had to take off their masks to log-in to their phone, or wait for the passcode option. Apple’s FaceID can’t detect your face through a face mask, essentially getting rid of any use for the software.

Luckily for everyone with an iPhone X or newer, (as well as with an Apple Watch Series 3), Apple’s introduced a new way to login to your phone, using a FaceID/Apple Watch combo.

This is accomplished through a partial face scan, verifying that you’re likely you, then allowing your Apple Watch to log you in the rest of the way. Since you can’t determine who somebody is for sure from their nose and above, the Apple Watch is needed to actually log you in.

What you need:
  1. iPhone X or newer with FaceID enabled
  2. Apple Watch Series 3 or newer
  3. iOS 14.5 or newer installed on iPhone
  4. watchOS 7.4 or newer installed on Apple Watch (3 or newer)

(iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4 are both just now available in public beta)

How to enable Apple Watch unlock:
  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Click on FaceID & Passcode
  3. Enter your passcode
  4. Scroll to “Unlock with Apple Watch,” then turn the toggle to the green, ON position (if it’s not available, you may need to update your watchOS)
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How to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

To use your Watch to unlock your iPhone, your Watch needs to be a) nearby, b) on your wrist, c) unlocked, and d) have a passcode on your watch. If you don’t have a passcode on your watch yet, launch the Watch app on your iPhone, press Passcode then Turn Passcode On, entering your chosen passcode.

The very first time that you try to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch when wearing a mask, you’ll need to enter your iPhone passcode. Following that first encounter, all following attempts will unlock your iPhone with a small buzz on your watch. It should be quick and seamless, although you’ll need to re-enter your passcode if you take off your watch or use it for the first time during a new day.