How to Use iPhone’s Face ID with a Surgical Mask

How to Use Face ID with a Surgical Mask Credit: Graja / Shutterstock
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COVID-19 has spread globally, infecting nearly 200,000 people worldwide. To stop the spread of the virus, people are advised to wear a medical mask.

These masks are effective at preventing new infections, but they have a significant side effect. They obscure the face making it difficult for iPhone owners to unlock their phones using Face ID. Thankfully, there is a way to hack Face ID so you can wear a mask and unlock your iPhone like a boss. 

Face ID typically is used to detect the outline and features of a face, but it also can be trained to detect inanimate objects like a pair of glasses or, in this case, a surgical mask. Follow the steps below to set up Face ID with a mask.

How to Use Face ID with a Mask

  1. Grab a face mask and fold it in half avoiding any wrinkles.
  2. Hold the face mask over part of your face as if you’re wearing it. Hold it in front of, but close to your face.
  3. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  4. Scroll to Face ID & Passcode.
  5. If you have both a primary and secondary Face ID on your phone, take a minute to reset Face ID.
  6. Press Get Started to start setting up your new Face ID.
  7. Keep the mask in position as you turn your head during configuration. You may have to adjust the mask initially for the scanner to recognize your face.
  8. Remove your mask when the scan is complete.
  9. Exit the Settings app and lock your phone.

Once you’ve successfully configured Face ID, you can test it by holding the mask over your face and using Face ID to open your phone. It should work with minimal tweaking.

Be aware that unlocking a phone with a face mask may compromise the security of your iPhone. Anyone could slap on a face mask and attempt to unlock your iPhone without your consent.

This method has its drawback but the convenience of not having to remove a mask may be worth this minor lapse in security.

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