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You can now use Face ID to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask – here’s how

Just a heads up, you’ll need an Apple Watch.

face id while using a face mask
Image: Unsplash

We’ve been under advisement to wear masks while we’re out of the house for over a year now, to reduce the transmission of the novel coronavirus. That’s great for your personal safety of one kind, but it has an effect on the security of your iPhone – that of making Face ID fairly useless.

That is, until now, when Apple introduced an update in iOS 14.5 that will let you use Face ID to unlock your iPhone. The proviso? You’ll need an Apple Watch to use it, making it a really expensive workaround for not having to type your Passcode in when you unlock your iPhone’s screen lock.

You can use Face ID to unlock your iPhone while still wearing a mask – here’s how

Here’s how to set your iPhone up to unlock via Face ID while you’re still wearing a mask.

  1. Buy an Apple Watch

    No, seriously, that’s the first step. See, Apple brought the ability to unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch to iOS, so you need both if you’re going to do this. If not, you’re stuck typing in your Passcode to unlock.

  2. Make sure you have watchOS 7.4 installed, and iOS 14.5 on your iPhone

  3. Open the Settings app on your iPhone

  4. Scroll to Face ID & Passcode and tap on it apple ios settings face id

  5. Tap on Unlock with Apple Watch to set the new feature up

  6. Wear your Apple Watch, and make sure you’ve unlocked it with your passcode

  7. Once you’ve done that, you can simply swipe up on your iPhone to unlock it. As long as it detects you’re looking at the iPhone and part of your face is visible, it will unlock

  8. Your Apple Watch will also get a notification that your iPhone was unlocked, in case of accidental unlocks. You can tap the notification to re-lock your iPhone if you weren’t the person who triggered the unlock.

Now you’ve set up your iPhone so you can use Face ID while staying safe wearing a mask when you’re out of the house.

The only thing you need to worry about is that the feature will unlock your iPhone if it detects any face with a mask on it, even if it’s not yours. Keep your iPhone close if you do turn this on, as it’s not really any more secure than not having a lock screen at all.

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