How to fix Face ID not working on iPhone X after iOS 13.3 update [Troubleshooting Guide]

Apple pioneered a new security protocol on smartphones when they introduced facial recognition on iPhone X. Face ID as what they call it, creates a 3D depth digital map of the owner’s face by using the infrared dots. It is said to recognize as many as 50 facial expressions. 

But this amazing technology is being destroyed by errors. It sometimes works, sometimes it does not. iOS 13.3 has been released recently and few iPhone X users are already experiencing an agony with the Face ID feature on their devices. It has been reported that it did not work after installing the software update. 

This issue on iPhone X might have brought you to this page. Feel free to read the contents of this article and try each step to cure the Face ID that stopped working after updating your iPhone to iOS 13.3.

Troubleshoot iPhone X with Face ID that did not work after implementing iOS 13.3

Software updates are provided to fix reported errors and enhance security measures on smartphones but it can also lead to a disaster due to unprecedented circumstances. Glitches will usually plague after installing an update and new errors will arise just like the not working Face ID after updating to iOS 13.3 on your iPhone X

Face ID will also not work if your device has just been opened or started after a reboot. Not entering the passcode for the last six and a half days will also prompt you to enter the passcode and Face ID will not work by that time. But if none of these factors occurred and the Face ID is still not working on your iPhone, then it’s time to fix the problem by performing the methods listed below. 

Also read: How to fix iPhone X frozen screen after iOS 13.3 update 

First solution: Re-set up Face ID and reboot your iPhone X. 

If this is the first time that you encounter a not working Face ID on your device, it would be recommended to remove the old data and replace it with a new one. This process will usually clear glitches that might have been hindering you to use the Face ID feature due to corrupted files and data. Just follow these steps: 

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Tap on Face ID & Passcode. Enter your passcode once prompted.
  3. Select Set Up Face ID
  4. Position your face in front of the device, making sure that you’re holding it in a portrait orientation.
  5. Tap on Get Started
  6. Position your face inside the frame and gently move your head to complete the circle. If you’re unable to move your head, select Accessibility Options.
  7. If you’ve finished the first Face ID scan, tap on Continue
  8. Gently move your head to complete the circle for the second time and select Done

After setting up a new Face ID on your iPhone X, reboot your device to refresh the system. Doing so will also remove minor software glitches and enhance its performance which could fix the Face ID error on your device. Here’s how you can reboot your iPhone through soft reset: 

  1. Press and hold the Power/Side button and either of the Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. 
  2. Release both buttons once Slide to Power off prompt appears on the screen.
  3. Drag the Power off slider to the right to turn off your phone.
  4. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until you see the Apple logo.

Wait for your phone to complete the reboot process. As soon as it boots up, unlock your device using the passcode then lock it again. After one or two minutes, try to unlock the device using the Face ID and see if it works as intended. 

Second solution: Install pending app updates on your iPhone X. 

Updating your phone’s app to their latest version should be considered as the next option if the issue persists. This method allows you to remove erratic apps and stabilize their performance. This will result in the removal of conflicts caused by rogue apps which might have triggered a not working Face ID on your iPhone X

To do that, refer to these steps: 

  1. From the Home screen, tap on App Store to open it. 
  2. Tap on Today tab at the bottom. 
  3. Then tap on the user profile icon on the top right corner of the screen. 
  4. You should see the account details. 
  5. Scroll down to the Available Updates section. 
  6. Tap on Update next to the app to update individual apps.
  7. Tap on Update All to update all apps simultaneously. 

Reboot your device to implement necessary changes and refresh the system. This will also help in clearing dump cache on the phone’s system caused by the app updates. Once it’s up and running, check if the Face ID is working already. 

Third solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone X. 

Bad settings on your device could also result to a not working Face ID. iOS 13.3 might have overridden some crucial information on your phone’s settings and mess up its performance. If this is the reason why the Face ID feature started not to work after the software update, it can be fixed easily by restoring the settings to their default values and options. 

There’s no need to worry about losing personal information as this method will not affect the phone’s internal memory. If you wish to give this a shot, here’s how it’s done: 

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and then select Reset
  4. Tap the Reset All Settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode once prompted.
  6. Then tap to confirm all settings reset. 

Your phone will restart automatically once the reset process is done. After it boots up, check if the Face ID issue has been rectified. 

Fourth solution: Factory reset your iPhone X. 

A master reset or factory reset might resolve the issue if it persists up to this point. This process will generally clear all contents on your iPhone X and revert to the default factory configurations. Any tough glitches that are not susceptible to the previous methods will be deleted with this solution and might fix the Face ID not working on your iPhone X

If you want to try your luck, create backups of your important files via iTunes or iCloud first. Once created, here’s how to perform a factory reset on your iPhone: 

  1. Access Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and then select Reset
  4. Tap the Erase all contents and settings option.
  5. Enter your device passcode once prompted.
  6. Then tap to confirm all settings reset.

Once the reset is done, your phone will reboot on its own and apply the original factory settings. To use it again, you’ll need to set it up like a new one. After finishing the set up, check if the issue has been rectified. 

Fifth solution: Perform a recovery mode restore on your iPhone X. 

Dealing with a Face ID malfunction caused by complex system error might be hard but performing a recovery mode restore could resolve the issue. This advanced solution will allow you to restore the iOS on your device. Which means that if the recent installation is faulty, there’s a great chance that the issue will be fixed after this method. 

To execute the process, you’ll need to prepare a Mac or Windows computer with the latest iTunes installed. If you already have it, follow the steps below: 

  1. Using the supplied USB/Lightning cable, connect your iPhone XS to the computer then open iTunes on your computer.
  2. Press and release the Volume up button quickly.
  3. Press and release the Volume down button quickly.
  4. Then press and hold the Side button until you see Recovery Mode on your phone. Do not release the Side button if you’ll see the Apple logo screen as you will need to enter recovery mode to restore your device.
  5. Once iTunes prompts you to Restore or Update, select Restore. This will allow iTunes to download the software for your device. Your phone will exit recovery mode if the download takes more than 15 minutes. If that happens, just repeat the steps to enter recovery mode again. 

Follow the onscreen instructions to complete this procedure and disconnect your phone to the computer once prompted. Then check if Face ID is already working fine. 

Sixth solution: Perform a DFU mode restore on your iPhone X. 

If none of the procedures fixed the Face ID problem on your iPhone X, try performing the most in-depth type of restore on your iPhone X – the Device Firmware Update or DFU mode restore. It handles certain fatal system errors by entering into a state where it can communicate with iTunes even when bootloader is not sync or activated. 

Just use the same computer in your possession and follow the steps below to carry out this process: 

  1. Connect your iPhone X to the computer using the supplied USB/Lightning cable. Once connected, open iTunes on your computer. 
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume up button.
  3. Press and quickly release the Volume down button.
  4. Press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen goes black.
  5. After the screen turns black, press and hold the Volume down button while keep holding down the Power/Side button
  6. Wait for 5 seconds then release the Power/Side button but keep holding the Volume down button until your iPhone X shows up in iTunes. 
  7. Release the Volume down button once you see your iPhone in iTunes then follow the rest of the on-screen instructions to start restoring your iPhone through iTunes.

Once the restore process is completed, force restart your iPhone X to exit DFU mode. Here’s how: 

  1. Press and release the Volume Up button quickly.
  2. Press and release the Volume Down button quickly. 
  3. Lastly, press and hold the Side button for a few seconds until you see the Apple logo.

Once restarted, verify if the facial recognition feature on your iPhone X is working already. 

Still having a not working Face ID on your iPhone X? 

If none of the solutions is able to fix the problem with the Face ID on your iPhone X, you may reach out to Apple support and ask for official recommendations on how to deal with the Face ID not working after iOS 13.3 update on iPhone X. Random bugs caused by iOS updates could also cause firmware crashes which could hinder proper functions to some features. You may also bring your phone to the nearest Apple service center in your area and have it checked by their onsite technician.