How to fix Apple iPhone X Face ID feature that is not working [Troubleshooting Guide]

Face ID is a biometric security feature entrenched into the new iPhone X. This technology utilizes the cameras in the display’s notch to authenticate access through user’s facial recognition. Indeed it’s a state-of-the-art system for the advanced hardware and software of Apple’s latest flagship smartphone. Unfortunately, not all iPhone X users have positive experience with the Face ID system. Prior reports have it that some owners of iPhone X were unable to use the Face ID feature as they’re prompted with an error stating that, Face ID is not available and then prompts to try again later.

If ever you will encounter the same Face ID error on your iPhone X, you can refer to these subsequent workarounds to troubleshoot software problems on you

Before going further, if you found this post because you were trying to find a solution to your problem, then try to visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed most of the commonly reported issues with the phone. We’ve already provided solutions to some of the problems reported by our readers so try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit.

First solution: Update software to the latest version.

Should this be a software bug, installing an update to iOS will likely fix it. Software updates not only offer new features but more importantly, fix patches to get rid of any bugs and malware that caused minor and complex system failures.

  • To check for new software version available for your iPhone X, head over to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu.

You should see a notification if a new iOS update is available. Before you proceed, back up all your important data for safekeeping. Then follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the new update wirelessly (OTA).

Your device must be connected to the Internet and has ample of power and memory space to implement the new update.


Second solution: Disable Face ID on your iPhone X then enable again.

Random Wi-Fi issues are often resolved by toggling Wi-Fi off and back on. Doing the same trick can also fix Face ID errors particularly those that are attributed to minor software glitches. The only way to see if the trick works is by giving it a try. That said, turn Face ID off and then back on with these steps:

  • Go to Settings-> Face ID & Passcode-> Use Face ID-> Disable iPhone Unlock.

Restart your iPhone (soft reset) to clear and refresh the internal memory and iOS. Then turn Face ID back on with these steps:

  • Navigate to Settings-> Face ID & Passcode-> Use Face ID-> Enable iPhone Unlock.

Give your iPhone another reboot and then try to use Face ID and see if it is already working properly. If it’s still failed, then move on and try the next applicable solution.

Third solution: Reset Face ID and set it up again.

Like other apps and services, the Face ID system can also become corrupted due to various factors. For as long as pertinent hardware components are working fine, you’ve got a higher chance fixing the problem by a reset. That said, try to reset Face ID on your iPhone X and then set it up again. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Tap the option to Reset Face ID.
  4. Then tap the option to Set Up Face ID to set it up again.

To apply recent changes and refresh the system, reboot your iPhone X (soft reset). Try and see if that works.

Fourth solution: Reset your iPhone X to factory defaults.

The problem can be regarded as complex when it managed to withstand prior workarounds and persists. If your iPhone X Face ID still failed, then you may continue to troubleshoot and consider performing a master reset this time. A full system reset is usually what’s needed to clear complex bugs and malware that caused persistent problems to certain app, feature, or iPhone services. However, this process results to data loss as all your saved data, apps, and personal information are wiped out from the internal memory. System bugs and malware are likewise cleared in the process. Should you wish to proceed, back up all your important files then follow these steps to master reset your iPhone X through settings:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings. This will delete all your current settings and restore factory defaults.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm factory reset.

Allow your device to finish clearing all data, apps and customized options. When the reset is finished, it should restart automatically. After the restart, you can proceed with the initial device setup process. Just follow the onscreen instructions to set up necessary features including Face ID on your iPhone X.

Then test to see if Face ID is already working as intended. If the problem persists, then you may continue to troubleshoot complex system errors.

Fifth solution: Restore your iPhone X in iTunes.

As your last-ditch solution, you can restore your iPhone X in iTunes. There are two types of iOS restore you can try on. First, is a recovery mode restore and second is DFU mode restore. You can start with a recovery mode restore then see if that’s able to fix it. Otherwise, you may go for a DFU mode restore. Performing a recovery mode restore is recommended to deal with complex system errors and software problems that could not be rectified by a master reset or factory reset. You’ll need to put your iPhone X in recovery mode first and then restore iOS in iTunes.

If the problem persists after performing a recovery mode restore, then this is where you’ll need to consider opting for a DFU mode restore. This is by far, the most in-depth type of system restore you can do on an iPhone, and is typically used by Apple technicians to deal with persistent device issues attributed to some tough system bugs and malware. This mode allows your iPhone to communicate with iTunes on a computer without activating the operating system or bootloader. Most software-related issues are typically resolved after performing a DFU mode restore unless hardware damage is present.

To get started with either iOS restore options, you will need to secure a Windows PC or Mac computer running on a later, if not the latest OS version and with the latest version of iTunes software installed.

A more comprehensive walkthrough on how to perform a recovery mode restore and DFU mode restore on iPhone through iTunes is available on our iPhone X tutorials section found on our Troubleshooting page. Feel free to visit that page if you need more help with the steps.

Repair options

Take your iPhone X to a nearby Apple service center and have it checked by an authorized technician for any indications of hardware damage. Apple had formally indicated in its repair instructions for Apple technicians to check the rear cameras as repairing those can potentially fix Face ID failures. This might be what’s need to resolve the issue with your iPhone X Face ID feature on your end.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the new Apple iPhone 7 smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone 7. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.

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