How to use Face ID to unlock your phone while wearing a face mask

15 July 2020, 16:10

How to open your phone while wearing a mask
How to open your phone while wearing a mask. Picture: Getty Images

Researchers have revealed a handy trick to make getting into your iPhone or Android easier while wearing a mask.

Wearing a face mask is becoming the new normal in the UK, with the government recently announcing they will be compulsory in shops as of July 24.

And while they are key to helping contain the spread of coronavirus, masks can also make it tricky to unlock your phone using face ID.

Newer models, such as the iPhone 11 or Google Pixel 4, now rely on your face to open them.

Luckily, there is a way around this so you don’t have to enter your PIN every time you want to get into your device...

Face masks make it difficult to open your phone
Face masks make it difficult to open your phone. Picture: PA Images

How can I unlock my phone while wearing a face mask?

Firstly, you’ll need to reset your phone’s face unlock feature.

On an iPhone this can be found by clicking on Settings > Face ID & Passcode and entering your passcode.

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Then select the option to reset your Face ID and make sure you have your mask to hand.

When you’re required to scan your face with your phone’s camera, fold your surgical mask in half so it covers only one side of your face.

Follow your phone’s face set up instructions while holding the mask in place, and once complete you should be able to unlock your phone with your mask on.

The method was based on an iPhone 11 and shared by researchers at Tencent.

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To make it more accurate, they advise using the option to add an ‘Alternative Appearance’ and repeating the process on the other side of your face.

This gives Apple two Face ID pictures, each with half a mask on either side of your face.

Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee it will work on all Face ID phones, as each model has totally different software.

This comes after Apple revealed it has tweaked its unlocking system to make it easier to get into your iPhone.

Users with up-to-date software iOS 13.5 now have the option to enter their passcode when they swipe up and Face ID doesn’t work the first time.

Previously, when the software couldn’t identify a face, it would try again before displaying the passcode screen, making the process slightly longer.

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