This secret iPhone trick makes sure your Face ID unlock never fails again

IF YOU have an iPhone with Face ID that never seems to unlock first time, there’s a neat trick that may help.

It’s possible to set up an alternative appearance on your handset, which can maximise your chances of being scanned correctly.

Face ID
Face ID can be used to unlock your phone quickly
Apple / The Sun

How does Face ID work?

If you’ve got an iPhone X, iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, your handset has a special Face ID module in the top that scans your face.

This can protect your handset in a relatively secure way, shutting out outsiders who don’t match your visual profile.

The phone will use various sensors to work out how much light it needs to illuminate your face.
It then floods your face with infrared light, which is outside the visible spectrum of light.

Face ID
The system works using sensors built into the top of your phone
Apple / The Sun

A dot projector will produce more than 30,000 dots of this invisible light, creating a 3D map of your face.

An infrared camera will then capture images of this dot pattern.

Once your phone has all that info, it can use your face’s defining features – like your cheekbone shape, or the distance between your eyes – to verify your identity.

It computes a score between 0 and 1, and the closer it is to 1, the more likely it is that your face is the same as the one stored on your iPhone.

Apple says there’s a one-in-a-million chance of someone else getting into your iPhone with Face ID, although the system has been tricked with twins.

Still, it’s arguably better than the alternative: Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner has a one-in-50,000 chance if being fooled.

Face ID
Apple / The Sun

It’s possible to optimise your Face ID for different appearances[/caption]

How to improve your Face ID

The problem is that Face ID can sometimes struggle to match your profile.

If you regularly move between beardy and clean-shaven, have your hair covering your face often, or wear sunglasses, the Face ID tech might fail.

But Apple has accounted for this with an additional feature called Alternative Appearance.

When you first set up Face ID, your face will be scanned and Face ID will better learn what you look like over time.

With Alternative Appearance, you can choose a secondary “appearance” that will help Face ID identify you at times when it would normally fail.

Face ID
You can set up an Alternative Appearance on Face ID in your iPhone’s Settings app
The Sun

For instance, you could set up your Alternative Appearance wearing your favourite pair of sunglasses.

Or if you wear your hair up usually, you could set it up wearing your hair down, or with bangs.

And if you’ve usually clean-shaven, you might want to try growing a bit of stubble for a secondary appearance – to identify you on days when you forget to trim the face fuzz.

To do this, simply open your Settings app, then head into Face ID & Passcode.

About halfway down the page is an option to Set Up An Alternative Appearance.

Tap that and you’ll be guided through the process.

Apple describes it as follows: “In addition to continuously learning how you look, Face ID can recognise an alternative appearance.”

What do you think of Face ID? Do you trust it? Let us know in the comments!

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.


(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply