All the ways to unlock an iPhone with a mask

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The fact that the most modern iPhones only incorporate Face ID has been a significant disadvantage for unlocking it if you wear a mask. And this, in times of pandemic, is very tedious. Although it is also problematic if you wear any other item that covers your mouth and nose like a scarf or something similar. Luckily, and although it has taken a long time, Apple offers alternatives to be able to achieve recognition.

Natively (only on some iPhones)

As of iOS 15.4 , iPhones can be unlocked by wearing a mask. This version is still in beta with an official release expected at the end of March or beginning of April. In addition to that it will not work for all iPhones but for these few:

  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 ProMax
  • iPhone 13mini
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 ProMax

Once you update to that version, the option to choose whether to unlock the terminal with a mask or continue as before will appear on the screen. The fact that it is only available on iPhone 12 and later has its origin in the Face ID detection system, which offers more recognition points in these generations, while in previous ones it would pose a risk to its security and effectiveness.

face id with mask

  • Pros: It is the safest, fastest and most reliable method of unlocking an iPhone while wearing a mask. It also serves to enter passwords or make payments with Apple Pay.
  • Cons: Not available on iPhone 11 and earlier. Also, it is still in beta.

Having an Apple Watch

This function was added in 2021 and allows those iPhones with iOS 14.5 or later to be unlocked whenever we wear a mask thanks to the Apple Watch. For that, as is evident, you must have one of these watches linked to the iPhone and must also have a version equal to or later than watchOS 7.4.

If you meet these requirements, you just have to take your iPhone and go to Settings> Face ID and code. Once there you must activate the corresponding unlock option with Apple Watch. And voila, your iPhone will know when you are wearing a mask and will automatically see if you are wearing the watch and, if so, the lock will be unlocked.

unlock iphone with apple watch mask

  • Pros: It is a quick method to set up and effective 100% of the time, it works with any iPhone that has Face ID. It also emits a vibration on the watch as a signal and also allows you to lock the iPhone from the wrist.
  • Cons: You do need an Apple watch, in addition to always carrying the iPhone with WiFi activated (even if it does not have a connection). It is also noteworthy that anyone with a mask can unlock the iPhone if you are nearby (although it can be locked instantly from the clock). In addition, this system does not work for actions other than unlocking, preventing recognition for payments via Apple Pay.

Bypassing the recognition system

There is an unofficial method and we have already warned you that we do not recommend it, but in any case it exists and since the beginning of the pandemic it has spread among iPhone users.

For this you only have to deconfigure Face ID and proceed to register your face again, but in this case with a sheet of paper that covers the lower left part of your face and, in the next scan, with the mask on. In the video that we leave you below you can see the explanation in a more visual way.

  • Pros: You don't need to have an updated iPhone, or have a specific generation. You won't need an Apple Watch either.
  • Cons: It is the worst method when it comes to security, since it could make recognition less secure and others can unlock your iPhone.