Face ID is Apple’s latest attempt to revolutionize mobile device authentication, and it is magical when it works as intended. However, if you have spent a significant amount of time with the iPhone X and Face ID, you are likely to be familiar with a few semi-frequent incidents of Face ID failures. When the system fails to authenticate you, an annoying situation arises in which it is not clear as to how to trigger another attempt by Face ID to recognize your face without swiping up to trigger a second attempt and subsequently sending you to your Home Screen or last used app. If the user simply wants to unlock the iPhone X to view notifications on the Lock screen, there initially does not seem to be a simple way to do this.

It may seem as if your only option is to lock and then wake your screen to trigger another Face ID attempt. While this works, it can be tedious and annoying if Face ID fails often for you. Luckily, there is an unmentioned, yet far more convenient way to trigger this second Face ID attempt.

After a failed attempt, you can trigger a second attempt by attempting a gesture that may seem somewhat difficult at first. On the Lock screen after a failed authentication, slide slightly up and then down on the Home Bar at the bottom of the screen. This may seem difficult on your first few tries, but once you successfully complete it the gesture begins to feel natural. If after completing this gesture you successfully unlock your phone with Face ID, your notifications will unlock and be available for viewing.

It is unclear if this is a feature included intentionally, but regardless it is a more convenient option than locking and waking your screen to activate a second unlock attempt.

That is all there is to it! If you have any questions or comments, let us know down in the comments below.

  • Dominic LoFranco

    thank you! you are honestly a life saver. this has been annoying me so much.

  • disqus_EhZlNCLDl7

    You can also tilt your iPhone towards the ceiling/sky then back towards your face. This seems to trigger a second Face ID attempt.

    • SJC09

      This — you can also tilt it back so the phone is parallel to the ground and then back up. I’m still trying to envision the act described in the article.

  • Srujan Mishra

    Personally, I prefer Touch ID to Face ID – it’s much faster, convenient (when the phone is laying flat), and prevents you from being perceived as a weirdo for giving weird stares at the screen. I recently switched from the iPhone 7 to LG G6 and I am very satisfied with the fingerprint sensor location on the back of the device. I can just pick it up while placing my finger on the back sensor and the phone unlocks instantly – no need to activate the lock screen. I did not realize how convenient it is until I used it myself.

    • techfreak23

      I don’t know who you’ve seen unlock their iPhone X, but you don’t have to give it a “weird stare” for it to unlock. You literally just have to be facing it as you raise it and it will unlock. It’s pretty instant.

      • Fanboy 

        Agreed. And I love it because unlike TouchID, if I get a notification and pick my phone up to view it, and then decide that I want to dive further into the notification I can just click on the notification and it will automatically open up my phone because FaceID will have already authenticated me. With TouchID, I would have the extra step of then having to place my finger on the sensor to unlock.

  • techfreak23

    Sounds less like a “feature” and more of an unintended result of almost swiping up to unlock the phone…
    That’s part of the reason why I don’t have the setting for hiding the notification previews enabled so that I never have to run into his situation. I was tempted to enable it with FaceID but there was no point really.

  • I found an even easier way. Instead of slightly swiping the Home indicator up and then down, just swipe down on the Home indicator. It will automatically initiate another Face ID check.

  • David Pomerleau

    The problem I’m having is when Face ID fails it’s kicking me out to the passcode screen. Is there a way to retry without pressing cancel here?