How to Add Another Face ID on iPhone

You use an alternate appearance or a trusted friend

What to Know

  • Apple added the ability to scan an Alternate Appearance to Face ID in iOS 12.
  • This secondary Face ID can be used if you really change appearance.
  • Alternate Appearance can also be used to give a Trusted Friend the ability to unlock and access your device.

This article explains how to create an Alternate Appearance on iPhone for devices that are running iOS 12 or later, including creating an alternate look of your own or adding a Trusted Friend as an alternate appearance.

How to Add an Alternate Appearance to iPhone

Everyone has days where they just don't look like 'themselves.' This can happen for a variety of reasons. For some, it's because you work in a job that requires you wear a hat or other safety gear. Or maybe you wear glasses sometimes and use contacts other times. Whatever the reason, the way to try to get your iPhone unlocked under these conditions is to create an Alternate Appearance. Here's how.

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Scroll down and select Face ID & Passcode.

  3. Enter your passcode to be taken to your Face ID & Passcode settings.

    Screenshots illustrating how to get into Face ID & Passcodes on iPhone.
  4. Tap Set Up an Alternate Appearance

  5. Read the screen that explains how to set up Face ID and then tap Get Started.

  6. Follow the onscreen instructions for moving your head in a circle until your face has been captured from every angle.

    Screenshots of setting up an Alternate Appearance on iPhone.

    Alternate Appearance will not work when you're wearing anything that completely obstructs your face, including a breathing or protection mask. To create an alternate ID for those instances, you'll have to fold you mask in half and hold it against one-half of your face while creating an Alternate Appearance, although this isn't super reliable.

  7. When the first scan finishes you'll see a message that says First Face ID scan complete. Tap Continue to begin taking a second scan.

  8. Repeat the process of rotating your face around the circle provided so the camera can catch you from every angle.

  9. When the second scan is complete, you'll receive a message that says Face ID is now set up. Tap Done to return to the Face ID & Passcode settings page. You can exit that and your new Alternate Appear will automatically be activated.

    Screenshots of finalizing the face scan for an Alternate Appearance on iPhone.

Adding an Alternate Appearance for a Trusted Friend

In some instances, you may want to give a spouse, partner, or friend access to your iPhone. If you have an emergency or if that person often accesses your phone, rather than having to use your Face ID to unlock it each time, you can add someone else as the Alternate Appearance.

You use the same steps as detailed above, however, have the other person scan their face instead of scanning yours. When the Alternate Appears is setup, your friend, spouse, or partner will be able to access your phone using their face rather than yours.

Be sure you trust the person you're adding as an Alternate Appearance, because giving them the ability to unlock your phone with their face will also give them access to all the data, pictures, and other information you have stored on your phone.

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