How To Turn Off Face Unlock On Your Smartphone Now That You’re Wearing A Mask

Most of the time, using your face to unlock your phone is a seamless way to access your device. However, now that we’re all wearing masks while we’re out and about (right?) that feature is more of an annoying nuisance than a great hands-free way to use your device.

If you’ve been running into trouble with Face ID or Face Unlock, you can actually disable the feature for the time being so you don’t have to fumble with your mask or go through a series of prompts for the opportunity to enter a passcode.

The feature is easily disabled on iOS and Android and easily turned back on, so you can add it again when you’re back inside or headed somewhere you don’t need a face covering.

And if you do disable it, now’s a good time to make sure you’re defaulting to a secure alternate password for your device, and ideally using its fingerprint sensor if you’re not frequently wearing gloves. If you are routinely wearing gloves out and about, now’s also a good time to reevaluate the unlock code or pattern you’re using and consider changing it to something a bit more complicated.


On your iPhone you’ll want to go to the Settings menu and then “Face ID & Passcode.” Your iPhone will ask you to enter your passcode. Once you do, you’ll be able to toggle off “iPhone Unlock” on the next page.

Once you do that, your iPhone will default to unlocking using your numerical passcode. Down the line if you want to reenable Face ID, you can do it by following these instructions again and toggling the iPhone Unlock button back on.

If you don’t want to disable it completely, you can also hold down the power button and either volume button when the Face ID prompt comes up. Your phone will bring up the Power off, Medical ID, and Emergency SOS menu. When you exit out of that you’ll be asked for your passcode to unlock


On Android, you’ll want to go to the Settings menu and then “Security” followed by “Face unlock.” As with iOS, you’ll need to enter your phone’s passcode here to go to the next page.

Toggle the button beside “Unlocking your phone” to disable face unlock.

And again, as with iOS, when the time comes for you to turn it back on, just follow these instructions again and toggle that “Unlocking your phone” button back on.


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