How to Reset and Retrain Face ID on iPhone X

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 18 Nov 2017

Face ID works great for most people out there. But clearly, there are edge cases. From issues with bright light to twins tricking Face ID. In one case, a kid was able to unlock their parent’s iPhone X using Face ID.

If you’re having issues with Face ID, there are two ways to deal with it. Help Face ID retrain itself. Or reset it. Here’s how it works.

Read moreiPhone X Face ID FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Apple’s New Authentication System

How to Retrain Face ID on iPhone X

iPhone X Face ID Enter Passcode Fail

Face ID system is set up so that it can retrain itself when it fails. Next time Face ID doesn’t recognize your face the first time, just enter your passcode. This is confirmation for Face ID that it’s indeed you. And that this time, you look a bit different, or you’re in different surroundings that Face ID is not used to. Ideally, when you enter the Passcode, Face ID takes the data from the failed attempt and integrates it into your Face model data.

Here’s the relevant quote about the technology from the Face ID security paper:

Conversely, if Face ID fails to recognize you, but the match quality is higher than a certain threshold and you immediately follow the failure by entering your passcode, Face ID takes another capture and augments its enrolled Face ID data with the newly calculated mathematical representation.

How to Reset Face ID on iPhone X

If you’re facing too many issues with Face ID, so much so that you have to enter your passcode a dozen times a day, it might make sense to start over. You can reset Face ID to do that. But this will delete your previous scan and all the additional data Face ID as collected since you first set it up.

Step 1: Go to Settings -> Face ID & Passcode -> Reset Face ID.

Step 2: You’ll see the same Face ID setup wizard you saw when you first set up the iPhone X. This time, when you set it up, try to be in an environment that’s not dull and dark.

Step 3: Tap on Get Started and move your head around in a circle. Try to stretch your neck to make sure you get all the angles. When you’re doing the second scan, do it slowly.

Set up Face ID Step 1

Now that Face ID is reset, give it a couple of hours as it tries to relearn things like your environment.

Read moreTop 10 Face ID Tips and Tricks for iPhone X

What Do You Think of Face ID So Far?

Is Face ID working as advertised? Are you used to it yet? Share with us in the comments below.