4 Best Tricks to Unlock Your iPhone While Wearing a Face Mask

Best Ways to Unlock iPhone Face ID Wearing a Mask Credit: Darren Baker / Shutterstock
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After some rough patches, Apple’s Face ID feature – first available on the iPhone X – has become an easy, effective way to sign in to your phone. Then 2020 happened.

The rise of COVID-19 and various mask requirements around the world make using your iPhone in public a challenge, primarily because it’s so much harder to unlock.

For those of us who grew used to the convenience of Face ID, it’s frequently frustrating. However, there are a few tricks you can use to surmount the challenge.

Continue reading to browse the four best ways to use Face ID with a mask.

Reset Your Face ID Profiles with This Specific Trick

If it looks like you’ll be wearing a mask out in public for a while, then there’s a trick you should implement – but it requires completely changing your Face ID logins.

Head into Settings, go to Face ID & Passcode and enter your passcode to log in. Then, go to Reset Face ID in the following window.

Now the software will start mapping your face as you rotate your phone. When you try wearing your mask during this process, you usually get a notification that says, “Hey, it looks like you’re wearing a mask, you need to take it off.” However, there’s a way to sneak by.

Using one hand, fold your mask in half and hold it up to half of your face like that side is wearing the mask normally. Face ID isn’t really programmed to detect half a mask, so it should accept your face now.

But there’s another twist! Head back to Settings and enter your alternate Face ID. For this version, switch the mask half to the other side of your face, and run through the mapping again.

Now Apple has two Face ID pictures, each with half a mask on either side of your face.

So, when wearing your full mask, Face ID will switch between both maps and eventually decide that yes, that is your face. Like our other options, it’s not foolproof, but people have seen excellent results.

Switch to an Easier (But Secure) Alphanumeric Passcode

We’re not suggesting that you make your passcode easier to hack! On the contrary, we highly suggest you use longer alphanumeric passcodes on your iPhone for safety purposes. But we do suggest switching it to something that’s a little easier to type out when waiting in line, going on a shopping trip, etc. Think about a passcode that’s easy to swipe around the keyboard, or one that is less prone to errors when you’re typing quickly. It’s okay to shorten it a bit too, at least until you are no longer wearing a mask in public.

Get a Mask Printed with Your Face

Yes, we’re serious with this tip – it could really help! A whole number of services have sprung up to offer face masks that, well….look like your face. You can try Face ID Masks, which is still in production but looks very promising, or Maskalike, or tinker with Customask to see what options are available. There are a lot of choices out there!

Remember that Apple uses a variety of sensors, including some depth mapping, to check on your face, so there isn’t a guarantee this somewhat-creepy option will work. But it will make it more likely that Face ID will give you a pass and open up, especially when combined with some of our other tips above. It’s also worth a few laughs.

Make Sure iOS 13 Has All the Latest Updates

In the spring of 2020, Apple made several important updates to iOS 13. One of them was in direct response to social distancing and mask requirements: It tweaked the algorithms that the Face ID feature uses to identify faces, basically making it easier to pass Face ID checks when you are wearing a mask.

As a result, if you haven’t updated iOS in a month or two, you could see immediate improvement just by plugging in and getting the latest update from Settings. It’s not a guaranteed fix and it doesn’t appear to work the same for all masks, but it should make a difference and can work well in combination with some of our other tips.

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