justin duino

You can now use Face ID with a mask. This is the real FaceID – Your iPhone will look at the physical features around your eyes to authenticate you, so it will work if you’re wearing a mask. Here’s how to use it.

What you will need to unlock the skin

Apple added this feature in iOS 15.4, which was released on March 14, 2022. To check and install the update if you don’t already have it, head to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone.

You will need a iPhone 12, iPhone 13 or a newer iPhone to use this feature. Older iPhones like the iPhone 11, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR lines have Face ID, but Apple hasn’t enabled the new mask unlock feature on these phones.

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Suggestion: If you have an older iPhone that doesn’t support this feature, you can still unlock your iPhone with an Apple Watch while wearing a mask .

How to set up skin unlock

If you have a modern iPhone that supports this feature, your iPhone will prompt you to set it up right after you install the update. You can also enable skin unlock from your iPhone’s Settings app.

Warning: as the Settings app explains, Face ID is the most accurate when you use it for full face recognition only. So if you don’t wear a mask regularly, you should leave this feature disabled for maximum security.

To do this, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enter your passcode.


Activate the “Face ID with a Mask” switch here.


Tap “Use Face ID with a mask” on the screen that appears.

You will not have to use the skin during the setup process.


You’ll be guided through the normal Face ID setup process, where you’ll place your face in the middle of the screen and rotate it. If you wear glasses, you will be asked to remove them.

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When you’re done, Face ID with a mask will be enabled. You can disable it by turning off the “Face ID with a Mask” option on the Face ID & Passcode screen, if you wish.

An iPhone Settings app showing Face ID with a mask enabled along with a pair of glasses.

You can still use an Apple Watch instead

If you are concerned about the security of the mask unlock function and you have an Apple Watch you can unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch. Your watch will unlock your iPhone only when it is on your wrist, unlocked, and close to your phone.

Scroll down the Face ID settings screen and toggle Apple Watch under “Unlock with Apple Watch” to enable it.

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