How to Temporarily Disable Face ID on Your iPhone
Face ID is a cool and efficient way to authenticate yourself on an iPhone. Just one glance at the screen, and your phone unlocks. But facial recognition has a dark side, and some believe putting it in consumer tech is a mistake.
What if you’re ever in a situation where someone else is trying to access your phone using Face ID? Your device could have gone missing, and now someone may by trying to spoof Face ID. There may even be a situation where you are being forced to unlock your own phone.
To protect against these instances, you can permanently shut off Face ID in Settings > Face ID & Passcode. Enter your password, then turn off the toggle for iPhone Unlock. However, Face ID can also be disabled on a temporary basis—such as when you’re at a protest—and it can be done quickly and discreetly if necessary.
Before we cover how to do this, remember that disabling Face ID means that a passcode will be needed to access your phone. If you’re going to temporarily turn off Face ID for any reason, you want to make sure your passcode is as strong as possible. In that case, a four-digit code might not be up to snuff. Instead, consider a longer numeric or even alphanumeric code, which you can create by tapping the Passcode Options link when you try to change your passcode.
Disable Face ID
To disable Face ID using a hands-on method, hold down the side button and either the Volume Up or Volume Down button. That action brings you to the screen where you can power off the phone, access your Medical ID information, or call Emergency Services. If you tap on the Cancel button, you will be brought back to the Lock Screen and Face ID will be disabled. Now to gain access to your phone and re-enable Face-ID, you must enter your passcode.
Disable Face ID With Siri
What if you need a more hands-off approach? Siri can ride to your rescue. However, this maneuver works only if your iPhone is locked. Say “Hey Siri, whose phone is this?” Siri should respond by saying that the iPhone belongs to you and by displaying your contact card. This step also disables Face ID.
If you or someone else now tries to access the phone, the passcode is the only way in. After you enter the passcode, Face ID turns back on.
Remotely Disable Face ID
Okay, but what if your iPhone is lost or stolen? Face ID is automatically disabled after five unsuccessful attempts to unlock it. Apple touts Face ID as a truly secure method of authentication, but people have managed to break through locked phones before.
If you want to take the necessary precautions before the wrong person tries to access your device, there are a few ways to do it. You can disable Face ID remotely with the Find My app on an iPad registered to you or from another device on the same Family Sharing plan. If all else fails, you can also log into iCloud.com from a web browser on any device, then click the Find iPhone icon.
Mark Phone as Lost
The Find iPhone app will track down your phone. Select the lost device, then click the Activate link under Mark as Lost. Click Continue to confirm.
Activate Lost Mode
You can then add an alternative phone number and type a message to be displayed on the phone’s screen. Click Activate, then your phone goes into lost mode and Face ID is disabled.
Turn Off Lost Mode
If you find the device, you can turn Lost Mode off by tapping the Activated link. Swipe down to the bottom of the Lost Mode screen and tap the link to Turn Off Mark as Lost. Select Turn Off.
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