5 Tips to Fix “Unable to Activate Face ID on This iPhone”

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With the several new features that are introduced with the new iOS 12 firmware, you may also get to encounter a bug that may trigger issues like 'Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone'. Yes, reportedly, there are few bugs hindering the proper functioning of Face ID that are being considered as an aftermath of iOS 12 update. Though, a more stable and rectified version of iOS firmware will be made available as soon as possible, but for users, issues like "Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone", really influences the experience of using their iPhones like iPhone X, iPhone XS (Max), and iPhone XR. For this reason, we've written this post to help the users with simple workarounds to fix the "Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone" issue in a few simple ways.

unable to activate face ID

What You Should Make Sure of When Setting up Face ID

Before we move to the solutions, here, we have sorted things you should be ensure of while setting the Face ID on iPhone X, iPhone XS (Max), or iPhone XR, so that you can avoid the problem of "Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone".

  • Firstly, you need to be certain about is that the the TrueDepth camera is not covered by any phone case or screen protector.
  • Secondly, look for any dirt or debris isn't making the camera weak to get your face captured.
  • Next, the TrueDepth camera must be able to visualize your full face i.e. eyes, nose and mouth. Hence, be sure to make your good looking face completely visible.
  • You also need to take care of the sunglasses. In case you've wore a pair of sunglasses which are responsible for blocking lights, it's time to remove it.
  • Another thing to be sure of is the device's orientation. Yes, while setting the Face ID, keep your iPhone X in portrait orientation and face towards the camera properly. The Face ID will work accurately this way.
  • Also, when using Face ID, your device shouldn't be more than your arm's length from your face.
  • If you're using the feature outside especially when sunrays are powerful, please keep your device in a position where sunlight is in front of you.

iPhone x face ID

5 Tips to Fix 'Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone'

1. Disable and Then Re-enable Face ID on iPhone X/XS (Max)/XR

It is the simplest and the most basic tip that you need to try when face ID setup is not working on your iPhone X. Simply turn it off from settings and then enable it once again. It will be refreshed and probably will start working fine. The steps are as follows:

  • Open 'Settings' in your iPhone X and then head to 'Face ID & Passcode'.
  • Go to 'Use Face ID' followed by toggling off the 'iPhone Unlock' option.
  • Wait for a while and then follow the same steps and toggle on the same switch.

face ID settings

2. Try Resetting Face ID

If the above fix didn't work for you and still you get the "Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone" error on iPhone X, iPhone XS (Max), or iPhone XR, give an attempt for resetting the feature.

  • Begin with opening 'Settings' in your iPhone X.
  • Head to 'Face ID & Passcode' and then tap on 'Reset Face ID'

reset face ID

3. Force Restart iPhone X/XS (Max)/XR

Well forcing restart is always helpful in many cases and so would in this Face ID issue. Therefore, we suggest you to take your iPhone X and the above versions such as iPhone XS, iPhone XR through this process and see if it works. The steps are:

  • Tap and release the 'Volume Up' button.
  • Subsequently, tap and release 'Volume Down' button.
  • Now hold down the 'Power' button until you witness Apple logo on your device's screen.

force restart iPhone X

4. Reset All Settings

Here is the next solution if you're still "Unable to activate Face ID on this iPhone". It will take your device's settings to default ultimately fixing the minor issues regarding Face ID.

  • Open 'Settings' and tap on 'General' option.
  • Go to 'Reset' now and inside the reset tab, select 'Reset All Settings'.
  • Enter passcode when prompted and confirm resetting.

reset all settings

5. Fix Face ID Activation Problem with a Tool

If the entire hard work disappoints you by giving no desired results, there must be some iOS problems with your iPhone X/XS (Max)/XR. Areliable tool, iMyFone iOS System Recovery (iOS 12 supported)can do wonders. The tool has the power to fix all kinds of iOS issues including Face ID Activation problem and other iOS problems that appear during or after iOS 12 update, such as iPhone stuck in recovery mode, iPhone black screen, iPhone stuck on Apple logo, iPhone freezes, restarting loops and so on.

This tool is highly recommended to the users who think that technology is hard to understand. This is because iMyFone iOS System Recovery has taken care to built such an easy tool that can be used by anyone and get advantage by following few hassle-free steps.

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Step 1 – After downloading the software, install and launch it on your PC. Plug your device to the PC via lightening cable. After this, go for 'Standard Mode' from the three modes given on the screen.

interface of iMyFone iOS system recovery

Step 2 – From the next interface, click on the 'Start' button and go along the steps displaying on the screen for fulfilling the need of DFU mode.

 enter DFU mode under Standard mode

Step 3 – After your device goes to DFU mode successfully, click on the 'Download' button. This step is necessary in order to get your device fixed properly. Also, when you click on the button, the program will automatically give you the matching firmware since it has already detected your device properly.

download firmware

Step 4 – As the final step, you need to hit on the 'Start to Fix' button. After a couple of seconds, you device will be back to normal after going through the repairing process. You will be able to set your Face ID now.

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