Hopefully, we don’t have to tell you about the importance of wearing a face mask, especially now in a post-COVID world. These pandemic-induced circumstances have changed the way we interact with our devices. Apple has already responded to those changes with some useful new features, one of them designed to accommodate face masks. Let’s talk about how to unlock your iPhone while wearing a face mask.
- How to Unlock without Apple Watch
- How to Unlock with Apple Watch
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Unlock without Apple Watch
Previously, unlocking your iPhone without taking off your mask was possible only if you had an Apple Watch. Thankfully, there’s now also a solution for those who don’t own an Apple smartwatch. However, it’s available to you only if you have an iPhone 12 or newer and use iOS 15.4 or later.
- Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and select “Face ID & Passcode.” Type in your passcode when asked for it.
- Toggle on “Face ID with a Mask.”
- On the next screen, you will get an option to use (or not use) Face ID with a face mask. Tap on “Use Face ID with a Mask.”
- Your iPhone will scan your face again, and after that, you will get a confirmation message saying that your Face ID is now set up. Tap on “Done.”
Now you can unlock your iPhone using your Face ID, even with a mask on.
How to Unlock with Apple Watch
You can use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone with a face mask on, thanks to the “Unlock with Apple Watch” feature. Of course, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- iPhone with Face ID and iOS 14.5 or newer
- Apple Watch Series 3 or newer with watchOS 7.4 or newer
If you haven’t updated your iPhone and Apple Watch in a while, now is the time. To update your iPhone, navigate to “Settings -> General -> Software Update.” To update your Apple Watch, navigate to “Watch app -> General -> Software Update” on your iPhone.
How to Set Up “Unlock With Apple Watch”
You’ll be surprised with how easy it is to enable your iPhone to scan your face while wearing a mask. This procedure will take only a moment of your time, as you’ll see in these quick steps:
- Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Scroll down and select “Face ID & Passcode.”
- Type in your passcode when asked for it.
- Scroll down until you see the section labeled “Unlock with Apple Watch” and find your Apple Watch that is connected to your account. Ensure that it is enabled, with the toggle set to ON.
- Your iPhone will ask you to confirm that you want to enable this feature, giving you a short introduction of how your iPhone will behave while you’re wearing a face mask. Tap “Turn On.” It may take a bit of time (around 30 seconds in our case) for this feature to activate.
How to Unlock Your iPhone
Use this option while wearing a face mask and your Apple Watch. Also, your smartwatch should be unlocked, so enter your password if it isn’t.
- Raise your iPhone just like you would do to unlock it. Your phone will now scan your face and identify that you’re wearing a face mask.
- As soon as you glance at your phone, it will unlock. You can now slide up from the bottom of its screen to start using it. Your Apple Watch will show a quick alert, letting you know it has unlocked your iPhone.
Keep in mind that “Unlock with Apple Watch” doesn’t use Face ID to identify you. That means you can only use it to unlock your iPhone. In other words, you can’t use it to verify your identity, use Apple Pay, or access password-protected apps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Apple's Face ID feature to unlock my iPhone when I'm wearing both a mask and glasses?
Yes! Face masks were enough of an obstacle to using Apple Face ID, and adding glasses to the mix only complicates things. However, it’s easy to get past this:
- Head to “Settings -> Face ID & Passcode.”
- Click on the “Add Glasses” option located under “Face ID with a Mask.”
- Put on your glasses and proceed with the on-screen instructions.
- The iPhone will scan your bespectacled face. Once you set everything up, you’ll be able to unlock your iPhone while wearing a pair of glasses.
Of course, the “Add Glasses” option appears as soon as you set up Face ID; you don’t need to enable the face mask setting to use this feature.
Can I program Face ID for multiple pairs of glasses?
Yes. You have the option to add up to four different pairs of glasses at the same time.
Does the color of the mask affect the accuracy of Face ID?
Even though Apple claims that the color of your mask won’t have any effect on the accuracy of Face ID, many users have reported that sometimes they face trouble logging in while wearing a different mask. The only way to know for sure is to experiment with multiple masks to see which one works best for you.
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