Does Face ID Work With Eyes Closed

Unlocking iPhone with Touch ID is a thing of the past as Apple ditched the fingerprint scanner in 2017 with a revolutionary face-based biometric sign-in tool called Face ID that is 20 times safe and more secure than Touch ID fingerprint security and was first introduced in iPhone X and later versions to maximize privacy and security.

Face ID is the newest form of biometric security that uses the TrueDepth camera system, Apple’s Bionic chips, and neural networks to scan the human face with thousands of data points to collect depth information of facial signatures using the front-facing camera and store the scanned data in a secure Enclave that later is compared to authorize access or sign in into the phone.

Many iPhone owners are concerned if Face ID works with closed eyes or not. 

Does Face ID Work With Eyes Closed

Face ID does work with eyes closed allowing you to unlock the device and for that, all you have to do is turn off the “Require Attention” feature located in the Face ID settings that would let you unlock the iPhone with your eyes closed that increases the chance of accidental unlocking or intentional unlocking when sleeping being unaware.

Does Face ID Work With Eyes Closed

Although Apple isn’t the first one to introduce the Face ID feature but definitely the first one with such advanced and game-changing technology with dynamic features that no one can bypass it, hack it, or fool it using pictures, or videos, except similar-faced twins or family members. Additionally, this security mechanism adapts to facial changes like growing hair, and wearing makeup, and even allows you to scan your face with glasses and masks for COVID-19 situations.

With this revolutionary Face ID technology, you can unlock your phone with a glance but it’s smart enough that you cannot fool it with a 2D digital photo or video, as it doesn’t store images. Instead, it maps the face using the data points to trigger the unlock. The notch contains a projector that projects non-harmful infrared light and the front-facing camera captures the data which is then sent to a secure enclave on the chip of the mobile and is verified against the facial structure saved in the Enclave.

Besides unlocking Apple devices with eyes closed, a few researchers tried to bypass Face ID by making a fake eye with black and white tape and they were able to unlock the phone within 120 seconds. Fortunately, Apple’s Facial recognition technology has since improved with attention-aware protocols and a few other machine learning advancements that it’s almost impossible now to unlock the iPhone device with unauthorized access.

Apple iPhone X and later models only come with Face ID and no Touch ID sensor which was much criticized in the beginning and people felt forced to adapt to this technology but it quickly faded the memory of a Touch ID and now all the latest Apple products and modern smartphone come with this marvelous technology with a handful of customization.

Apple’s Facial Recognition system makes a detailed 3D mapping of faces using an RGB camera, IR emitter, and dot projector and with the help of neural network and bionic chips, it successfully does excessive recognition only for enrolled users.

How to Setup iPhone to Unlock With Eyes Closed

So now you know that you can unlock the device with Face ID while your eyes are closed. To do so all you need to do is disable or Turn off the “Require Attention for Face ID” option and disabling this option would allow you to unlock your iPhone without directly looking at it attentively.

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Follow this process to deactivate the option

Settings > Enter Face ID > Scroll down to the attention section > Disable “Require Attention for Faced ID”

Although deactivation puts your device at the risk some people just want the device to be flexible so they consider deactivating this extra layer of security so they can unlock their device without attentiveness as times it takes a few tries to unlock the device with Face ID when proper attention lacks that annoys many owners.


Can Face ID Be Hacked

Regarding Face ID being hacked, most people are concerned if they are being tracked or can law enforcements use Face ID to gain access to secure devices. So, cal down as they cannot as it’s a direct violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. constitution.

Although there have been many attempts on cracking Face ID using various methods like 3D-printed masks that did help people unlock others’ mobiles. But those days are long gone as the Apple ecosystem is constantly evolving and upgrading and now it has been almost impossible to compromise Face ID unless a look-alike or a twin with similar facial patterns tried to unlock the phone.

Face ID has gained the trust of millions of iPhone users because the chances of breaking a Face ID are one in a million while the chances of a touch ID being compromised are 1 in 50,000 which makes Face ID 20 times more secure allowing no random person to unlock iPhones or iPads.

Owners not only unlock their phones with the Face ID but they use it to install applications or make payments online to verify their Identity using the Face ID which makes it a creative way to interact with an iPhone.

That said hacking or cracking the Face ID is a thing of the past and it would take ages for someone to even try cracking it.


Setting up Face ID to work with a Mask?

Among all the face-based biometrics, iPhone’s Face ID is an improved facial recognition and infrared system that allows you to even unlock your phone while wearing a mask as a safety precaution from COVID-19 transmission risks.

For that, you have to set up a face ID when wearing a mask and after that, you will be able to unlock your phone with a slight portion of your face visible through the mask.

  • Go to settings 
  • Locate and select Face ID & Passcode
  • Enter the Passcode to verify yourself
  • Enable the iPhone to unlock the radio button
  • Turn on “Face ID with a Mask”
  • Complete the scanning process

Setting up a Touch ID with a mask is similar to setting up without a mask make sure to wear a mask appropriately and then move your face in circles so that camera can capture image angles and collect enough data about your face and in this process eyes become an important part of the verification.

Similarly, those having other facial elements like changing looks with heavy makeup, facial piercings, beard, or clean shaved face, can face slight problems with Face ID but thankfully there are options to set alternate appearances in Face ID by going into the settings to add as many additional appearances as you want.

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Face ID is just one of the options to log in as if somehow the Face ID isn’t working like damaged or software issue then you can still unlock your phone using a PIN, pattern, or password. 


Does Face ID work with Glasses and Sunglasses?

All Apple devices come with excellent Face-ID-equipped technology that allows you to unlock your phone in a variety of creative ways and one of those is unlocking your phone wearing glasses. For that, you have to set up Face ID by wearing glasses regardless of the model and type and you do get the option to add multiple glasses with different frames as well.

Here’s how you can add yourself wearing glasses to unlock your Face ID wearing glasses.

  • Go to Settings
  • Face ID and Passcode
  • Scroll and locate the “Add Glasses” option
  • Enable and complete the scanning process

Sometimes you may have to try twice to unlock your phone while wearing glasses as technology is improving gradually with Face ID’s recognition technology.

Does Face ID Work With a Picture?

Face ID is an adaptive technology that learns with interactions and can also recognize appearance changes but you cannot fool the Face ID with a picture. Attempting to unlock with a picture will result in failed attempts that will terminate the unlock process for a few minutes to hours depending on the number of failed attempts.

A 2D digital picture lacks the depth information that the iPhone collects and compares with the information stored in the 3D model of the users’ faces and that’s how it differentiates between a real face and a picture.

Face ID is a sophisticated security technology that can let you in with a slightly changed appearance, particular expressions, squinting your eyes, resting your chin on your hand, or through some other non-conventional facial expressions but it can intelligently ignore printed or digital picture being used for unlocking the phone. Although anomalies had been reported, over time, this technology is getting improved to protect mobile devices against spoofing by masks or anti-spoofing neural networks so it’s not a play of kids to trick the Face ID.

Does Face ID Work With a Video?

Face ID works with a Video although a real owner can unlock the phone even in full darkness as the powerful Face ID system projects 30,000 dots from a human face and then converts these data points into numerical values which are only unique to your facial structure that’s why a Video won’t help you unlock the phone as it’s just a two-dimensional animation of the face and  Face ID requires a three-Dimensional model for scanning and data collection.

Other than that, researchers have been trying to bypass Face ID using 3D printed masks and they had been successful in the past but now even a 3D printed mask cannot unlock Face ID thanks to the attention-aware features enabled that require attentiveness of the owner.

When Does Face ID Not Work?

Apple’s Face ID is impressive but sometimes it malfunctions or just doesn’t seem to work. There can be various reasons behind this as it’s a reliable technology and you can try different troubleshooting tips like 

  • Clean the Truedepth camera located in the notch and or see if something isn’t blocking it
  • Make sure the Face ID feature isn’t turned off in the settings
  • Make sure the Apple device firmware isn’t outdated and upgrading it can be helpful.
  • The device could be locked due to unsuccessful (Five) attempts or using remote-locked command
  • Power off or Emergency SOS screen is on
  • The phone hasn’t been unlocked with a passcode for six and a half days
  • Face ID unlock has not been used in a few hours so consider using it after gaps.
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Is Apple Face ID Safe for the Eyes?

Apple Face ID is the infamous technology that uses an infrared dot projector to send out a grid of dots in the form of Infrared light that is of the lowest intensity and doesn’t harm the eyes. Even the rays are not particularly concentrated on the eyes as they spread across the entire face and within a second the data is collected. So the lowest intensity and meaningless duration of these ways just take data points from the face, eyes, nose, mouth, chin, jaws, and ears and let you unlock the device without causing any harm to your eyes or face.


Whether you are an iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, or 14 ( including their variants like Mini, Pro, and Pro Max ) owner, Apple allows you to unlock Face ID with your eyes closed and gives you a backup option to unlock your phone with Passcode as well if due to some reasons Face ID not working. Apple wisely designed this technology and added a plethora of features and that’s why it allows you to unlock your phone with or without your eyes closed. Those concerned over security and privacy can activate Require attention feature to unlock strictly when attention is given.

Some people just want to unlock the phone without giving proper attention but they must know that it can allow anyone to unlock the phone while the owner is sleeping by simply putting the face in front with eyes closed and without the intention of the owner. Although not everyone can come and unlock the phone with a passed out or unconscious person still privacy is at risk. The best part is that Face ID can adapt to unlock when having different hairstyles, wearing hats, scarves, and glasses of course.

Robert Smith
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Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a technology lover and loves to write about laptops, monitors, printers, tablets, Apple products and anything that's related to computers and games. He is passionate enough that he maintains this blog regarding tech updates on a daily basis.