Fix: Face ID is not working after water splashed on your iPhone

One of the key precautions with smartphones is to keep them as far away from water and other liquids as possible. That includes the much-acclaimed water-resistant devices. 

Unfortunately, accidents happen and your phone might just end up in water or exposed to other liquids, which then leads to issues like Face ID not working for iPhones.

This is a huge inconvenience because, apart from locking you out of the device, you can’t make payments with Apple Pay. 

How to fix a Face ID that isn’t working after a water splash

So, what do you do when your Face ID is not working after water splashed on your iPhone? Well, there are a few DIY solutions you could try before reaching out to Apple. They include:

1. Check the Face ID settings

First, make sure the Face ID is turned ON and set up correctly.

  • Open “Settings”.
  • Look for “Face ID & Passcode” and select it.
  • Toggle it ON in case it’s Off.
  • Also, the features and Apps that you want to use Face ID for must be turned ON.

2. Check the Truedepth camera

iPhone TrueDepth camera

Your Face ID is not working after water splashed on it because the water droplets or mist is blocking the TrueDepth camera. This is the lens in front of the iPhone that creates an infrared image of your facial features for identification by the phone. It’s very sensitive, hence any interference is picked up easily.

The solution, in this case, is to clean the front camera. Wipe off the water droplet or mist that might be covering the lens then try to use the face ID.

Read Also: Apple ID cannot be used to unlock this iPhone

3. Remove whatever is covering your face

Before you proceed to diagnose other issues with the iPhone, remove any hat, mask, glasses, and other head or face covering items that might prevent the camera from scanning your face.

4. Reset your face ID

Use the following guide to reset your face ID:

  • Open “Settings”.
  • Tap on “Face ID & Passcode”.
  • Enter your passcode if prompted to.
  • Tap on “Reset Face ID”.
  • Tap on “Set Up Face ID”.
  • Hold the iPhone in portrait position in front of you.
  • Tap on “Get Started”.
  • Make sure your face is positioned inside the circle.
  • If you can’t move your head, tap on “Accessibility Options”.
  • After the first Face ID scan, tap “Continue”.
  • Next, move your head gently for the second scan.
  • Tap “Done”.

Go back and try to use the Face ID. If it works, you’ve fixed the issue but if you still get error messages, move to the next solution.

5. Add an alternate appearance

For those with changing facial features like growing beards, you should set up an alternate appearance so that the camera recognizes you.

  • First, open “Settings”.
  • Tap on “Face ID & Passcode”.
  • Enter your passcode when prompted to.
  • Select “Set Up Alternate Appearance”.
  • Look into your iPhone and fit your face inside the frame.
  • Move your head slightly to complete the circle.
  • If you can’t move your head, select “Accessibility Options”.
  • Once the scan ends, tap “Continue”.
  • Move your head again to complete the circle for the second Face ID scan.
  • Tap “Done” then go back and check if the problem is fixed.

Read Also: This Apple ID has not yet been used with the App Store

6. Update the latest iOS

Sometimes a simple software update is all that’s needed to fix a faulty Face ID. Here is how you should do it:

  • Launch “Settings”.
  • Tap on “General”.
  • Tap on “Software Update”.
  • Download and Install any available updates.

Try and open an App or feature using the Face ID to see if the problem is solved.

7. Reset all settings

If nothing has worked yet then it’s time to reset all your iPhone settings. This will clear all the data on your phone, so you should backup all your important files to iTunes or iCloud first. Once you finish, follow this guide to factory reset your iPhone:

  • Open “Settings”.
  • Tap on “General” then “Reset”.
  • Tap on “Erase All Content & Settings”.
  • You’ll have to confirm if you want to erase your iPhone.

After it finishes the factory restoration process, follow the prompts and set it up like a new iPhone. Turn ON Face ID and check if it’s working.

8. Talk to Apple Support

The last resort is to reach out to Apple support and inform them about your Face ID not working. But, should you disclose the water exposure that might have caused the Face ID issue? Considering water and other liquid damages are not covered by the Apple one-year limited warranty.

Well, if you’re lucky, the Apple care team could only check to verify if the Face ID has issues and proceed to replace the device or repair it at no cost if the warranty is still active. But, you could just tell them so that they know what they’re dealing with. Even though the repairs will cost you.

So, can Face ID be repaired on iPhone? Yes, but, make sure you take the iPhone to Apple support technicians or any of their service partners.


Hopefully, one of these solutions will get your Face ID to work after water splashes on the iPhone. The sooner you can fix the problem the better since water exposure could lead to other issues that damage your device completely.