What To Do When The iPhone X Face ID Doesn’t Recognize You?

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The iPhone X Face ID may be a game changer, but like any new technology, it comes with its share of flaws. While being able to look at your phone to unlock it is convenient, it’s a real possibility that you may end up locked out if your new iPhone decides you aren’t who you say you are. In previous generations of the iPhone, unlocking your device was as easy as using your fingerprint, but if your iPhone won’t recognize your face, you may end up entering your passcode every time just to access your recent notifications. Here are some tips to try in the event that your Face ID doesn’t recognize you.

Apple doesn’t make reauthentication very intuitive with its latest iteration, but fortunately there’s a pretty simple way to make your phone “try again” if Face ID doesn’t recognize you. If you’d like to try the unlock again, simply grab the home indicator at the bottom of the screen, swipe it slightly upward and then back down again. Doing this will force the Face ID to trigger, giving you another chance to get into your phone without manually entering your passcode. While it may be simpler to just have your notifications display on the lockscreen, for those of us who desire a little more privacy, this little trick may make all the difference.

If your Face ID doesn’t recognize you even after repeated steps at authentication, you’ll likely have to unlock the phone with your passcode. Fortunately, there’s a way to help your iPhone X learn from its mistakes so that getting locked out happens less often moving forward.

Every time that Face ID doesn’t recognize you and you have to enter a passcode to get into your phone, the phone will take a screenshot of you and commit it to memory as it “learns” more about its user. The mathematical representation of your face is used for a finite amount of attempts and then discarded for new information. This learning technology allows the phone to more easily recognize you, so that future unlock attempts are quick and easy. It also allows the phone to adapt to drastic changes in facial hair, makeup, and other differences that may trip up the Face ID technology.

As with any new technology, there are some growing pains associated with the iPhone X’s Face ID. Fortunately, Apple seems to have recognized the need for a system that’s both reliable and secure, and it seems like the tech behind Face ID is robust and adaptable. Whether this new unlocking technology is the way of the future or a passing fad remains to be seen, but it seems like Apple has a good system in place that adds more convenience than it does annoyance.

As you use your iPhone X more and more, situations where Face ID doesn’t recognize you should become less and less frequent. In the beginning, however, a simple swipe up and down with the home indicator can be enough to get your phone to reauthenticate.  

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