10 Tips to Fix Unable to Activate Face ID on This iPhone

Posted on December 20, 2020 - By Fucosoft | Follow YouTube, Twitter to Get More Information.

Since the Face ID technology is relatively new and still being improved, some problems are bound to happen. To be frank, iPhone users often face errors like “unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone” or “Face ID is not available on this iPhone”. This can happen for several reasons ranging from hardware problems to software glitches. Most recently, the complaints increased after the iOS 14 update was rolled out.

unable to activate face id on this iphone

If you’re one of them and couldn’t activate Face ID on your iPhone, then don’t worry, we got your back. In this article, we will take a look at some fixes that you can try to get your Face ID running properly on your iPhone 12/11. So, let’s get into it.

Tip 1: Ensure That Nothing is Covering the Camera

One of the reason you are unable to activate Face ID on your iPhone is the camera being covered by something. Sometimes it can be your finger, a faulty screen protector, or even some 3-Dimensional case. So, before setting up your iPhone’s Face ID, make sure the camera has a clean line of sight. Clean and remove any smudges in front of the lens. If you see any dust or dirt particles in front of the camera, clean the camera and then try again.

Tip 2: Ensure That Nothing is Covering Your Face

After ensuring that the camera is clean, clear, and has no obstruction, move onto the next step. For Face ID to work properly, the camera needs to be able to see your face. Make sure your face isn’t covered. What is the meaning of an uncovered face? Make sure your whole face is clear to the camera. Sit in a well-lit room when trying to set-up Face ID. Make sure you are not wearing any face mask or sunglasses. For a perfect face scan, ensure that your eyes, nose, and mouth are fully visible to the camera lens.

Tip 3: Ensure That You’re Facing the Camera

An easy way to get rid of unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone is to ensure that you are facing your iPhone’s camera when setting up or even using the Face ID. When using an iPad, Face ID works in any orientation but on an iPhone, you need to keep it in the portrait orientation. Also, side profiles won’t work; you need to look straight towards the iPhone screen. One thing that people often ignore is the distance. Face ID won’t work if your device is farther than an arm’s length. Face ID won’t work in a dark room or under the dark sky. A well-lit room or area is needed for Face ID to work properly.

Tip 4: Restart Your iPhone

If you have cleaned the camera, uncovered your face, and faced the camera properly, and you are still unable to activate Face ID on your iPhone, the next step is try to restart your iPhone. It could be a software glitch and restarting your iPhone might fix it. You will need to take the following steps to restart an iPhone device:

  • For iPhone X, 11 or 12: Keep holding both the volume button and the side button until “slide to power off” appears.
  • For iPhone 8, 7, 6: Press and hold the side button until “slide to power off” appears.
  • For iPhone 5 or earlier: Press and hold the top button until “slide to power off” appears.

restart iphone

Simply drag the slide and wait for your device to power off. Then you can press and hold the side/top button to turn your device back on.

Tip 5: Disable Face ID and Re-enable It

If restarting the iPhone hasn’t done the trick, don’t worry, we got more tricks up our sleeves. The next step is to disable the Face ID and then re-enable it. Perform the following steps to disable the Face ID:

  1. Open the Settings app from the home screen of your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to locate and tap on “Face ID & Passcode”, then put in your passcode when prompted.
  3. Locate and turn off “iPhone Unlock, iTunes & App Store, Apple Pay, Password AutoFill” under “Use Face ID For” section.

disable and enable face id

Now, reboot your device and re-configure your Face ID. This will fix the unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone alert.

Tip 6: Reset Face ID on iPhone

One of the leading reasons for the unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone error is a bad face scan. Sometimes, people can set up Face ID in a poorly lit room. This leads to problems in unlocking iPhone later. To tackle this, you will need to reset your iPhone’s Face ID. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. Locate and tap on “Face ID & Passcode” and enter your passcode when required.
  3. Scroll down and tap on “Reset Face ID”.

reset face id on iphone

Once you click the Reset Face ID, all the previous Face ID data will be removed and you can do a new face scan to set up Face ID from scratch.

Tip 7: Reset Network Settings

If restarting the iPhone and resting the Face ID didn’t work, the next step is to reset the network settings. Sometimes removing excess data can affect certain main settings which can result in a fix. That’s why we think it’s worth a shot. To reset network settings, do this:

  1. Go to Settings > General > scroll down to find “Reset” and tap on it.
  2. Locate and tap on “Reset Network Settings”.

reset network settings iphone

Once the process is complete, reboot your iPhone and try setting up your Face ID again.

Tip 8: Reset All Settings

This is the go-to fix for most of the software problems faced by our mobile devices. Whether it’s an iPhone or an Android device, resetting all settings or a “factory reset” is sometimes the last resort before going for professional help. Here’s how to reset all settings on your iPhone:

  1. Head to Settings > General > Reset and tap on “Reset All Settings”.
  2. Enter your passcode to confirm the choice and wait for your iPhone restarts.

reset all settings iphone

Once your iPhone powers up, you will have to set-up the whole iPhone including Face ID. Hopefully, this would remove the Face ID activation error as well.

Tip 9: Update iOS to Latest Version

To be frank, iPhone users know how important iOS updates are for the iPhones to keep working the right way. So, make sure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS which is iOS 14.2 at the moment. The latest updates include some bug fixes which can fix several problems with your device. You can turn on automatic updates so that the latest updates are installed automatically. You can also manually check and install the updates on your iPhone. For manual updating:

  1. Open the Settings app from the home screen. Then locate and tap on General.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Software Update”. If an update is available, tap on “Download and Install” and then provide your passcode.

update ios

The updates will be installed and your iPhone will reboot. At the same page, you can find Automatic Updates where you can toggle on/off automatic downloading and installation of iOS updates.

Tip 10: Fix Face ID Activation Issue without Data Loss

Well, even after following all of the above steps, you’re still unable to activate face ID on your iPhone, then you can try to use third-party tool like Fucosoft iOS System Recovery. This software can fix various iOS issues including this one without causing any data loss. Whether you got Face ID activation problem, frozen or black screen, iPhone is disabled, iPhone stuck on recovery mode, frozen during update, this tool got a fix for all of them. You can even use it to upgrade or downgrade the iOS version of your device, without losing any data. It’s extremely easy to use and available for both major platforms, i.e., Windows and macOS.


More Features of Fucosoft iOS System Recovery:

  • It has 1 click feature that allows users to enter or exit Recovery Mode easily and quickly.
  • It can fix more than 150 iOS system issues that includes face ID activation problem as well.
  • It can easily fix iTunes backup and restore errors in a few clicks.
  • It’s compatible with all iPhone devices and iOS versions, including the latest iPhone 12/12 Pro and iOS 14.3.

Step-by-step Guideline to Fix Face ID Activation Issue with Fucosoft iOS System Recovery:

Step 1: Download this iOS repair tool onto your computer and install it. Launch the program and then connect your iPhone to the computer using USB cable.

connect ios device

Step 2: Once your device is recognized, click on “Repair Operating System”. If your iPhone is not detected, please follow the on-screen instructions to put it in DFU/Recovery mode.

choose repair mode

Step 3: After after, click on “Fix Now” to continue. Then the program will display the device model and provides all available firmware versions for your iPhone. Choose the suitable one and click on “Download”.

download firmware

Step 4: Once the firmware is downloaded, click on the “Repair Now” button. Now the program will automatically begin repairing the device and you will be able to see the progress on the screen.


Once the repair process is complete, unplug your device and restart it. Hopefully, this will fix the “unable to activate Face ID” issue of your iPhone.


This article lists the most basic and easy fixes to the unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone error. The whole purpose of this article is to help you to fix the issue yourself without having to spend heavy money sums for Apple Care. We are hopeful that the methods will work. If you still get the same error after trying all these methods, then you will have to go to the Apple Store and get your iPhone looked at by some professional. Feel free to contact us for any queries.

You May Also Like: