If Face ID is not working on your iPhone 15 Pro, here’s what you can do to fix it.
- If Face ID isn’t working on your iPhone 15 Pro, start by making sure it’s enabled in Settings for any features you want it to unlock.
- You can create a second appearance in Face ID so it has an easier time recognizing you.
- Ensure the camera isn’t blocked.
Face ID is a very convenient feature, allowing you to unlock your iPhone without typing a passcode. It also makes downloading apps, and logging in to websites and apps much easier. If your iPhone 15 Pro Face ID is not working, you may be particularly annoyed by the loss of this function. This article will tell you what you can do if Face ID is not working on your iPhone 15 Pro.
There are many different problems iPhone 15 Pro users could be experiencing with their Face ID. If you can’t set up Face ID or the facial recognition feature stops working randomly, becomes unavailable, won’t recognize your face anymore, or prompts you to enter a passcode instead, our troubleshooting tips will help you fix the problem.
These solutions apply to all iPhone 15 models including iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro max.
Note that your iPhone 15 Pro Face ID won’t work in the following situations:
- You initiated the shutdown or Emergency SOS screen.
- You just turned on your phone.
- After five unsuccessful facial scans.
- If you haven’t unlocked your device for a couple of days, or if you haven’t entered your passcode for several days.
- The device was put in Lost Mode via the Find My app.
For some of you, your iPhone 15 Pro Face ID problems began after updating the device to the latest version of iOS 17. Irregardless the reasons why your iPhone 15 Pro Face ID is not working, you should definitely try the troubleshooting tips that can help with software related Face ID issues, however, if those don’t work for you, take a look at the Possible Hardware Issues section as well.
How to fix iPhone 15 Pro Face ID not working issue
If you can’t set up Face ID on your iPhone 15 Pro, if Face ID is not available, or if Face ID has stopped working randomly and doesn’t recognize your face anymore, here are some fixes to try:
1. Check your Face ID settings
Make sure Face ID is enabled for the things you are trying to use it for. Here’s how:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Select Face ID & Passcode. Enter your passcode if prompted.
- Make sure that Face ID is turned on for the feature you’re trying to unlock. In addition to the iPhone’s unlock screen, you can also use Face ID on iTunes, the App Store, Apple Pay, , Password AutoFill and any third-party apps that support Face ID.
2. Update iOS
Ensure that your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS. You can check if you are running the latest version or not by going to Settings > General > Software Update. And if there is an update, follow the onscreen instructions to update your device.
3. Don’t block the truedepth camera
Face ID makes use of a camera system known as TrueDepth. It features several components including a dot projector that illuminates your face with more than 30,000 tiny infrared dots as well as an infrared camera that detects those dots. If it’s blocked, it won’t be able to properly recognize your facial features.
Check the front camera of your iPhone 15 Pro:
- Make sure it isn’t covered by a case or screen protector that could be blocking the camera.
- Check for dirt or residue. Clean the camera area even if you can’t see anything.
4. Face the TrueDepth camera
Hold your iPhone at a distance no more than 20 inches from your face (think selfie distance), and face the TrueDepth camera directly.
5. Don’t hide your face
In the same way that it’s important not to block the Face ID’s camera, you should make sure nothing is covering your face when you need Face ID to work. To make sure FaceID can recognize you, your eyes, nose, and mouth should be fully visible—remove face masks and sunglasses.
6. Add an Alternate Appearance
Face ID can learn to recognize you if your appearance varies somewhat. If, however, your appearance varies dramatically, you can set up an alternate appearance. Here’s how:
- Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
- Tap Set Up an Alternate Appearance.
- Look directly at your iPhone and make sure the image of your face is inside the frame.
- You will need to move your head and complete the circle. The circle will show green and enlarge in the directions it has completed your face scan.
- Tap Continue. Complete another scan.
- Tap Done when the setup is complete.
7. Restart your iPhone
Restarting your device may fix this problem. Simply restart and then try again. Here is how you can restart your iPhone:
- Press and hold the Side button and Volume Down (or Volume Up) buttons together until the slide to power off slider appears.
- Move the slider from left to right and wait for your phone to turn off.
- Press and hold the Side button again until you see the Apple logo appears to turn on your device again.
You can also go to Settings > General > Shut Down.
8. Reset Face ID and Set It Up Again
Reset Face ID and then set up again. Here is how you can do this:
- On your iPhone 15 Pro, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
- Enter your passcode (if you have a passcode).
- Tap Reset Face ID.
This will remove all your current Face ID settings. Then follow these step to set up again:
- Again go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode. And enter your password.
- Tap Set Up Face ID.
- Follow the onscreen instructions.
9. Troubleshoot a hardware problem
There have been reports of hardware issues causing some of the iPhone 15 Pro Face ID problems. The hypothesis is that the hardware damage affects the ability of Face ID to create a new Face ID profile, but not its ability to recognize your face and compare it with a stored profile. First a little about how Face ID works and the hardware involved in setting up Face ID.
Face ID Hardware
Face ID uses iPhones TrueDepth Camera system. The system is made up of:
- Flood Illuminator
- Infrared Camera
- Front Camera
- Dot Projector
- Proximity Sensor
- Ambient Light Sensor
- Speaker and Microphone
The sensor used in Face ID consists of three modules:
- Dot Projector – projects a grid of thousands of infrared (you can’t see it) dots on the users face.
- Flood Illuminator – shines infrared light at the face; which is how Face ID can work in the dark.
- Infrared Camera – takes an infrared picture of the user’s face and the grid of dots being projected onto their face.
If there is a hardware failure of any of these parts, your iPhone 15 Pro Face ID won’t work. Repair technicians have identified that although each of these parts has its vulnerabilities, the dot projector may be particularly vulnerable to damage. The dot projector is located on the back glass assembly. Here are some possibilities for how the dot projector may become damaged:
- The dot projectors weld points may become damaged if the phone is dropped.
- Water damage could cause a short in the power supply to one of the chips involved in the projector. Drop damage could also cause a short here.
- The projector crystal uses lenses which could be damaged by dropping the phone.
Note that these are only some of the possibilities. Also note that, in my experience everyone drops their phone. It may be that with these delicate parts, it doesn’t take much of an impact to cause damage. Unfortunately, damage to these parts may not be easily repairable. We do suggest, however, that if you suspect hardware damage is the cause for your iPhone 15 Pro Face ID issues, you start by talking to someone at Apple Support, and then if recommended, take your device in (or send it in) for further assessment.
Fixed iPhone 15 Pro Face ID not working issue
So, if you can’t set up Face ID on your iPhone 15 Pro, if Face ID is not available, or if Face ID has stopped working randomly and doesn’t recognize your face anymore, one of the solutions above should have fixed it. Once Face ID starts working, your iPhone experience will get much more convenient.