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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In the current health climate, many people are wearing masks that cover their faces when going outside, visiting stores, and other tasks, and Apple's iPhones that use Face ID do not unlock when the user's face is obscured by a mask.

iphone11faceid.jpg

With this in mind, in iOS 13.5, Apple has streamlined the speed with which the passcode pops up when a mask on the face is detected, making it easier to get into an iPhone with a passcode when Face ID fails.

So when you swipe upwards on the Lock screen to unlock the ?iPhone?, this action immediately brings up the passcode interface if your face is covered by a mask.

If you haven't updated to iOS 13.5 yet (and you really should) here's the quickest way to get into your iPhone or iPad Pro when wearing a face mask.
Quickly Get to Passcode Screen

If you're using a version of iOS that's earlier than iOS 13.5, you can actually get to the passcode screen faster when you swipe up to unlock your iPhone.

bypass-face-id-detection-iphone.jpg

Tap the Face ID text in the center of the screen and you won't have to wait for it to scan your face and fail - you'll immediately be prompted for the passcode instead.

Other than updating your device's software, the only other way to use an iPhone with a mask is simply to turn off Face ID altogether and use a passcode instead. The following steps show you how to disable Face ID for just unlocking your iPhone.
How to Turn Off Face ID for Unlocking Only

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Enter your passcode when prompted.
  4. Under Use Face ID For, switch off the toggle next to iPhone Unlock, and any of the other use cases listed that you don't want to use Face ID with.
    disable-face-id.jpg

After carrying out the steps above, you'll be able to unlock your iPhone immediately using your passcode.

Article Link: How to Easily Unlock Your iPhone with a Mask
 
Last edited:
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CarlJ

macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
5,277
9,080
San Diego, CA, USA
How to Quickly Unlock Your iPhone When Wearing a Face Mask

Put your thumb on the Home button.

(Since the title didn’t specify which iPhone - this method likely works on a larger percentage of iPhones in use than the method specified in the article.)

Also, the article assumes/demonstrates a 6-digit numeric passcode. If you’re using TouchID or FaceID, your alternate password really ought to be 15+ alphanumeric characters - 6 digits is too simple.
 
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stocklen

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2013
120
59
How to Quickly Unlock Your iPhone When Wearing a Face Mask

Put your thumb on the Home button.

(Since the title didn’t specify which iPhone - this method likely works on a larger percentage of iPhones in use than the method specified in the article.)

What an incredibly helpful and constructive response to the article.
Thank you.
 
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rictus007

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
312
617
It’s inconvenient, as I need to use a mask for few hrs per day. But a small sacrifice for the best is the people who work with me.
 
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gutefahrt

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2004
51
28
This isn’t just a “current health climate” for many Apple customers. I, and many coworkers, wear surgical masks for many hours every work day. We are hanging onto our 8+ iPhones and will not upgrade until TouchID is reintroduced. Unlocking, passwords, and ApplePay use make FaceID a non-starter for many of us. I hope Apple is listening to this market potential.
 
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alexandr

macrumors 68020
Nov 11, 2005
2,267
3,429
11201-121099
ah, useful! while unlocking your phone simply takes a bit longer, i was trying to update something on paypal, while in line at it wouldn't give me an option to use my passcode instead of face id.
 
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naturalstar

macrumors demi-goddess
Mar 9, 2012
1,922
2,513
I thought people already knew about tapping on the Face ID to get to the passcode quickly. I learned this with my iPP from using it while laying in bed. It has since learned my "laying in bed" face.
 
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naturalstar

macrumors demi-goddess
Mar 9, 2012
1,922
2,513
My secret is to just grab the face mask and pull it down. Works every time.

I was doing this in frustration at first, but my 11 Pro Max is so responsive that this really is the fastest way to unlock that screen.
 
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Piggie

macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
8,718
3,291
Indeed, I wonder if there is truth in the rumor Apple are going to put Under-Screen fingerprint ID on some? of it's iPhone 12 models.

I think it's an excellent idea and a Win Win for everyone.

People who want face ID and it works great for them can use Face ID.
Those you prefer Touch ID or have trouble with Face ID not being reliable, they can use Touch ID.

If you are wearing a face mask, for whatever reason, you can use Touch ID.

If you want "ULTRA-SECURITY" Apple could combine the two, so that Face-ID and Touch-ID have to both work for the best ever security on any mobile device.

Everyone wins :)
 
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gutefahrt

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2004
51
28
Strangely, it is currently a one-way street where the iPhone unlocks the watch but not the other way around.

Apple could fix this now with software. Please, Apple, allow me unlock my iPhone and use passwords with my AppleWatch like you let me do with my MacBook Pro and MacMini. Could double tap the crown for passwords. Then I’ll consider upgrading from my 8+ this fall even if TouchID isn’t added. Thanks.
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,540
8,073
I'm a rolling stone.
Indeed, I wonder if there is truth in the rumor Apple are going to put Under-Screen fingerprint ID on some? of it's iPhone 12 models.

I think it's an excellent idea and a Win Win for everyone.

People who want face ID and it works great for them can use Face ID.
Those you prefer Touch ID or have trouble with Face ID not being reliable, they can use Touch ID.

If you are wearing a face mask, for whatever reason, you can use Touch ID.

If you want "ULTRA-SECURITY" Apple could combine the two, so that Face-ID and Touch-ID have to both work for the best ever security on any mobile device.

Everyone wins :)

Agreed

Allowing TouchId for online payments though should be disabled, it's far less secure, for (most) all other things you do ...TouchId would be sufficient.
For sure, now that we have Covid19 Apple might rethink their strategy... have both FaceId and TouchId under the Display.
 
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gw0gvq

macrumors 65816
Jan 30, 2012
1,194
65
Barry, South Wales, UK
I thought when Apple first brought Face ID out on the iPhone they said it even works if you have sunglasses on , (which covers part of your face)?
 
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