How to Use Face ID With a Mask on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13

BY Rajesh

Published 29 Jan 2022

Use Face ID with a Mask on iPhone

Ever tried unlocking your iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask only to be disappointed to know that it does not work? You aren’t the only one facing the hindrance during a time when wearing a mask has become a must due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The good thing is Apple has finally come up with a better solution that lets you use Face ID with a mask on your iPhone 12 and 13. Yeah, you read that right! You no longer need to have an Apple Watch to unlock your iOS device while wearing a mask. 

How Does “Face ID With a Mask” Work on iPhone?

The feature is designed to recognize unique features around the eyes to authenticate for improved accuracy without compromising security. Hence, you need to look at your iPhone to use Face ID while wearing a mask. 

Note that it works best when it’s set up to recognize each pair of glasses that you wear regularly. However, it doesn’t support sunglasses. 

What iPhone Models Support “Use Face ID With a Mask” Feature? 

It’s no secret that Apple wants to restrict significant new iOS features to the latest iPhone models. So, it isn’t surprising that “Face ID with a mask” supports only the latest models, including: 

  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini 
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 
  • iPhone 13 mini 
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple is yet to explain why the older yet competent models like iPhone X and iPhone 11 don’t support the Face ID with a mask feature. Without overlooking the technical reason, we believe it wouldn’t have required too much effort for the Cupertino giant to bring the older iPhones onboard.

Unlock with Apple Watch Vs. Face ID With a Mask

The Unlock with Apple Watch feature was Apple’s initial workaround when face masks rendered Face ID unusable. It had several prerequisites and required an Apple Watch. It was cumbersome to set up and unintuitive to use at times compared to Face ID.

“Face ID with a mask” is much better than Unlock with Apple Watch in terms of efficiency. It allows you to unlock your iPhone without needing Apple Watch for authentication. Moreover, you can use it to authenticate Apple Pay payments and even fill up login details in apps that support Face ID on your iPhone. 

How to Set Up Face ID With a Mask on iPhone 

Before getting started, make sure your iPhone is running iOS 15.4 or later. 

Step 1: Head over to the Settings app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Scroll down and tap Face ID & Passcode

Step 3: Turn on the toggle next to Use Face ID with a Mask. If you wear glasses, make sure to add them. To do so, tap Add Glasses and follow the on-screen instruction to recognize each pair of your glasses. 


There you go! So, that’s how you can set up and use the all-new Face ID with a mask feature on your iPhone. You can follow our guide on how to fix Face ID issues on your iPhone if you are not happy with its performance. Have any questions to ask or feedback to share? If yes, drop them in the comments section below.