How to Unlock Your iPhone with a Mask On: Successful Ways to Unlock your iPhone

how to unlock iphone with face mask

Looking for ways to Unlock your iPhone with a Mask On? Here is the comprehensive guide for you!

Apple introduced a facial recognition system in 2017, making iPhone users simply unlock their phones with face identity than traditional fingerprint recognition unlocking systems.

Apple’s iOS 14.5 has given the most awaited feature of unlocking the iPhone with a face mask that iPhone users love. Here’s how you can learn to enable the feature in your iPhone.

When unlocking an iPhone with a face mask on, Apple users have already used this technology to unlock their phones. This newly introduced feature is a simpler and easier way to have your phone unlocked without having the passcode entered or using the traditional fingerprint recognition unlocking.

Not that newly introduced facial recognition identity is now an easier way of unlocking the iPhone. Apple also has introduced Apple watches that could also be used for unlocking your smartphone.

By now, you have gotten some idea or have known there are quite a several ways in which you could unlock your smartphones.

However, if you only want to unlock your while you are wearing a mask- thanks to covid 19, we are listing the methods below to help you get it done!

What do you need to Unlock your iPhone with a mask on?

Let’s have a look at a couple of things that you’d need before you attempt unlocking your iPhone with a mask on.

how to unlock phone with face mask

As mentioned over Apple support, to unlock your iPhone with a mask on, you need to require the below-mentioned devices-

– The unlocking of your iPhone could only work if you have an iPhone that uses Face ID ( iPhone X or later) and iOS 14.5 or later.
– You need to have an Apple Watch paired with your iPhone.
– Your iPhone and Apple Watch both need to have WIFI and Bluetooth turned on.
– Your Apple should be password protected, and your Apple Watch’s wrist detection must be turned on.
– When you are trying to unlock your iPhone with a mask on, your Apple Watch needs to be on your wrist and should be unlocked.
– To have your iPhone unlocked while wearing a mask, you have to be mindful that your mask covers your nose and mouth.

These guidelines are given your Apple Support. If you wish to check them over Apple support, simply head over to Apple Support if you have any confusion or issue.

Once you have been through Apple’s guidelines on what things you need for unlocking your iPhone with a mask on, you need to learn how to set up unlock with an apple watch before you know to unlock your iPhone with your mask on correctly.

For the users of the Apple Watch

Favourably, Apple has introduced a new feature that allows the iPhone to unlock while wearing the Apple watch through partial facial identity while wearing the mask.

The process of unlocking your iPhone is the same as unlocking your Mac with your Apple Watch. Each time the user unlocks your Mac, you receive a notification over your Apple watch informing the unlocking was successful.

Things to remember before you unlock your iPhone with an Apple watch-

Before attempting to unlock your iPhone with an Apple watch, make sure you have iOS 14.4 on your iPhone and watchOS 7.4 over your Apple watch. Any version below iOS 14.4 and WatchOS 7.4 would not follow through with this fix.

If you have the required iOS and WatchOS for unlocking the iPhone with a mask on, follow the fix and the steps given below.

If not, then you need to update your smartphone and Apple Watch OS. To update your iPhone and Apple watchOS, follow the steps given below.

Updating iPhoneOS-

If you have an updated version of iOS, follow the step below to update your iPhone version to the newest version or iOS14.5 (required for the use of Apple Watch)

  1. Go to your iPhone’s setting.
  2. Go to the General tab on our iPhone and look for a software update.
  3. Once you have located the software update, check if you are being updated to a newer version.
  4. Select the update and wait for the update to finish.

Now, you need to go to the Apple Watch application and follow the fix for unlocking your iPhone with an Apple watch with a mask on, as given below.

Updating Apple watchOS-

Once you have updated your iPhone, now you need to update the Apple Watch app. To update Apple watch app follow the steps below-

  1. Launch the Apple app over your iPhone.
  2. Once you have launched the Apple Watch application, tap on My Watch given at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Now, select General and look for a Software update.
  4. Once you have located the software update option, press in and let your Apple watchOS get updated.

Once you have finished updating your iPhone and Apple with OS, follow the fix given below to unlock your phone with your Apple watch.

Learn to unlock with Apple Watch, follow our steps and guide given below.

Before we move on to the fix, let’s look at a couple of things that you’d need for unlocking your iPhone with an Apple watch-

  • iPhone X or later with Face ID.
  • Apple watches series 3 or later.
  • iOS 14.5 or later installed and updated over iPhone.
  • WatchOS 7.4 or later installed and updated on Apple Watch.

Fix #1 Unlocking with Apple Watch

Learn how to set up unlocking your iPhone with Apple Watch-

  1. Open settings apps on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Face ID and Passcode, and enter your passcode.
  3. Now, scroll down to unlock with an Apple watch, and turn on the return next to your Watch’s name. (You have to have wrist detection enabled.)

Remember, you have to perform these steps over your iPhone before you move onto unlocking your iPhone with your Apple Watch.

Note- Not to forget to keep your iPhone and your Apple Watch in close proximity, this will help unlock your iPhone just by turning on the screen.

Learning how to Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

One of the important points that you need to be aware of, too while you attempt to unlock your iPhone with the Apple Watch, your Apple watch has to be present on your wrist or nearby, unlocked or protected by a passcode.

apple watch set up- unlocking iphone with face mask

To protect your Apple Watch with a passcode, you can head over to the Apple Watch application on your iPhone, look up the settings for the option passcode, and turn the passcode on.

Now, enter the passcode you’d want your Apple Watch to have and save/ confirm.

Now, you are set for unlocking your iPhone with your Apple watch while you have a mask on.

All you have to do is, (only relevant for the first-time attempt)-

Unlock your iPhone with a mask on, hold your phone in front of your face while you are wearing a mask, and when your iPhone asks for a passcode, enter the passcode you have selected for your iPhone.

After you have entered the correct passcode, you’d find you have successfully entered your iPhone via Face id while wearing a mask on.

The process/ attempt to enter the passcode into your iPhone while wearing a mask on was the process/ attempt.

After you have made the first attempt and have unlocked your iPhone successfully, you no longer need to enter the passcode every time. After the first attempt, the rest of the unlocking shots with the mask on will be seamless and swift.

FIX #2 Setting up an alternate appearance

Not all iPhone users own an Apple watch. This particular fix is for you if you are not the owner of an Apple watch. Now, officially this particular fix is more like a workaround—it kind of falls into the category of unofficial fixes too.

The fix is applied to only unlocking your iPhone with partial face unlocking. To use the fix, you have to uncover half of your face to unlock your iPhone.

This particular hack is from Tencent. Researchers at Tencent’s Xuanwu Lab found that even if you are wearing the mask, you can still unlock your iPhone.

The particular fix is carried out by adding an alternate face to your iPhone facial recognition tech.

How can you use it?

To apply this fix, you have to have your iPhone with you.

Follow the steps below to learn how to unlock your phone with a mask on (Without Apple Watch)

  • First, open your iPhone and head over to settings.
  • Select Face ID & Passcode from settings. If your iPhone asks for a passcode, enter your iPhone passcode.
  • Select Set up an Alternate Appearance.
  • Once you have selected, set up an alternate Appearance, hold up the iPhone in front of your face and lower or uncover the right side of your face mask. The researchers at Tencent have suggested covering only the tip of your nose. If you have covered too much of your face with the mask, you will get notified.

set up alternate appearance in iPhone

Now, if your iPhone left you an alert with a message saying’ Face obstructed,” move your mask away from the centre of your face.

And complete the setup until you have received the “move your head slowly to complete the circle” prompt.

Repeat the steps above for scanning your face for the second time.
You have successfully set an alternate appearance on your iPhone; you’d now see “Face ID is now set up.” message.

This suggests you have successfully set up your iPhone for unlocking while wearing your mask partially on.

You can now unlock your phone and unlock it with a face mask on. (only partially)

Fix #3 Get to the Passcode Screen quicker.

iPhone gives you a lag while trying to unlock your iPhone with a mask on. Your smartphone even fails at recognizing your face. If lag time is the issue, we can reduce the lag time and get to the passcode screen quicker.

Below steps are given to get to the passcode screen quicker-

Rather than having to hold up your iPhone to your face, simply swipe up on your iPhone’s screen.

Select Face ID in the middle of your iPhone’s screen.

set up face id- unlock iphone with face mask on

Once you have selected Face ID, you are met with a passcode prompt.

Simply enter the iPhone passcode for a successful unlocking of your iPhone.

Fix #4- Changing notification settings

If you are following through with our article, you have gone through all the fixes mentioned above, including your iPhone with a mask on. This particular fix is evidently for you if you do not have any serious concerns about your iPhone security.

This given fix will make it easier for you to follow through with the unlocking of the iPhone while wearing a face mask. This can easily be accomplished via changing notification settings on your iPhone.

This fix/ hack wouldn’t unlock your phone but will make it easier for you to get instant and easier access to texts and alerts without unlocking your iPhone at all. Remember, it is only a way to read time-sensitive texts and alerts and not unlock your iPhone.

This fix/ hack could be helpful only when you need instant access to incoming alerts, prompts, and notifications. Via this fix, we are changing the notification settings to achieve access to the same.

Follow the steps below to carry out the fix/ workaround-

  • Navigate to Settings on your iPhone.
  • Select notification.
  • Click on Show Previews and select Always.
  • Now, when asked, enter your passcode.

And for the final change in the settings, toggle off the button for attention awareness features. Attempting these changes will make sure the alerts on your iPhone won’t go unnoticed.

Also, the screen won’t dim even if you have looked at your screen.

Once finished applying the fix, you’d see, now you never have to unlock your iPhone for reading a single text and notification.

You also do not have to worry about unlocking your iPhone while wearing a mask.


Question: Is there a way of unlocking your iPhone with a mask on? If yes, then how can I Unlock my iPhone with my mask on?

Answer: There are a couple of official and unofficial ways in which you can attempt unlocking your iPhone with your mask on,

So, to conclude, if you can open your iPhone with your mask on, the answer is “YES.”
The process of attempting to unlock your smartphone with the mask on requires you to have an apple watch.

This fix is only for Apple Watch users. The other fixes require you to change the alternate appearance of your face ID.

Question: Do I need to enter a passcode to unlock my phone with a face mask even though my Face ID is on?

Answer: If you have attempted to unlock your iPhone without an Apple watch or you are not an owner of the Apple Watch (which is the first and best way to open your iPhone with a mask on in an instant), your iPhone could ask yours for a passcode.

Question: What if I don’t owe an apple watch and still want to unlock my iPhone with a mask on?

Answer- Don’t worry! And YES! Even if you do not own an Apple watch, you can still unlock your iPhone with the mask on. Refer to our article and the fixes enlisted above to learn quick and easier ways to unlock your iPhone with a mask on.

Question: Does unlocking an iPhone with an Obstructive face ID really work?

Answer- Yes! You can successfully set your iPhone to recognize your face with partial face features. All you have to do is follow our fix given above on unlocking your iPhone with an alternate face setting. Refer to the fix given above and follow the steps to learn the entire way of unlocking an iPhone with a mask on.

Final Words

We are wrapping up this article with the fixes/ workarounds listed above and answering frequently asked questions by iPhone users.

We hope that we have helped you learn new and quicker ways to unlock your iPhone with the mask on.

We hope to return to the “old ways” of unlocking your phone without a mask sooner; until then, we have to adapt and look for convenient ways of unlocking smartphones with a mask on.

We hope our article came to you with some help. Do not shy away from commenting and leaving your thoughts in the comment section below. If you loved reading our article and given that fixes were helpful to you, do share with others.

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