How to Disable Face ID on iPhone X, XR, XS (Temporarily)

Nov 7, 2017 - 3 Comments

How to disable Face ID on iPhone X temporarily

Want to temporarily disable Face ID on iPhone X, XS, iPhone XR, or iPhone XS Max? If you want to quickly turn off Face ID on iPhone X line so that it can not use facial recognition to unlock the device, you can disable the feature with a variety of different methods.

Note this doesn’t turn off Face ID permanently, it just disables Face ID temporarily, until the passcode has been entered properly, and then upon being locked again Face ID will automatically re-enable itself. If you want to turn off Face ID completely you’d need to do that through the system Settings in iOS. But that’s not what we’re aiming for here, instead we’re focusing on temporarily disabling Face ID on iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max.

there are actually many different ways for Face ID to temporarily become disabled, some methods can be intentionally initiated while others happen automatically under certain conditions.

How to Temporarily Disable Face ID on iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XR

Perhaps the easiest way to temporarily disable Face ID is to use the button press technique:

  • Hold either of the volume buttons down, along with the Power button, for a second or two until you trigger the Power Down screen
  • As soon as you see the power down screen, stop holding the buttons *
  • Hit the “Cancel” button to dismiss the power down screen and disable Face ID
  • Temporarily disable Face ID on iPhone

Once you see the screen to turn off the iPhone, you need to release the buttons. It usually takes one or two seconds for the power off screen to turn up, indicating Face ID will be temporarily turned off.

Be aware that button presses perform many other actions on iPhone X too, however, including taking a screenshot, rebooting the iPhone, and triggering Emergency SOS calling.

* WARNING: This is important – do not hold the buttons too long otherwise Emergency SOS will trigger automatically. Triggering Emergency SOS is fairly easy to initiate by holding a volume and power button too long, it is then not subtle, it makes a loud siren sound and counts down from 3 before making a call to local emergency services on your behalf. Yes, it will call 911 for you, so don’t accidentally do that if you’re just trying to disable Face ID. There are various reports online of various people accidentally triggering Emergency SOS and then having emergency services show up at their house or location – so don’t do that!

5 Other Ways to Disable Face ID Temporarily

According to Apple, there are other ways that Face ID will temporarily disable itself, some of which you could also use to turn off Face ID yourself if need be, like failing to authenticate with Face ID repeatedly.

  • Fail to authenticate with a face five times in a row, after 5 unsuccessful Face ID attempts the feature will disable itself
  • Reboot the iPhone X, or turn on a previously shutdown iPhone X. You can reboot an iPhone X through a button sequence, or by using the Shut Down menu in iOS Settings on the device
  • Leave the device locked and unused for longer than 48 hours
  • Remotely locking the iPhone X via Find My iPhone will disable Face ID
  • Leave the iPhone X idle and do not unlock it with a passcode for six and a half days, and not with Face ID in the prior 4 hours

Face ID logo

As mentioned earlier, you can also disable Face ID completely by going into the iOS Settings app on iPhone X, then going to Face ID and turning the feature off with a toggle switch. That may not be desirable for all users however. With Face ID completely turned off, users must enter a passcode successfully to unlock and access iPhone X, similar to how if you completely turn off Touch ID you would have to enter the passcode to access an iOS device.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Security, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. MAX says:

    I wonder why someone would need to turn the Face ID recognition feature?
    What to do if it was disabled and you need to enable it.

  2. Dun says:

    I can see law enforcement and customs unlocking people’s phone’s without any consideration for the law. This helps a little, but you need to think fast.

    And before anyone says, /if you have nothing to hide’, because we all do. Most people now have nudes of their partner, and those are not for sharing with the cops.

  3. Secundius says:

    Ohhh, that would definitely Make Me go out and Buy a “iPhone X”!/? Another Device that WON’T or CAN’T do what it was Advertised to do…

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