How to add a second person to Face ID

You can finally have more than one face to use for Face ID on your iPhone and iPad.


When the iPhone X first launched, people got were for Face ID, the new feature that allowed the user to unlock their device with just their faces. However, there was one annoying limitation when it came to Face ID: you could only set up one face.

While that means that it's more secure, your phone couldn't be unlocked by someone else who needs access to your phone every now and then, such as your significant other, in case of emergencies or something.

But if you are running iOS 12 or later, you can set up a second person for Face ID, for whatever reasons you may need. It's easy, although a bit hidden. We're going to show you how to do it!


Which devices support Face ID?

As of March 2020, there are three generations of iPhone and two generations of iPad Pro that support Face ID.

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPad 11-inch (2018)
  • iPad 12.9-inch (2018)
  • iPad 11-inch (2020)
  • iPad 12.9-inch (2020)


How to set up the second person

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad with Face ID.
  2. Find Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Input your existing passcode.
  4. Find Set up an Alternate Appearance.
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen to set up Face ID for the other person, or a drastically different version of yourself that your iPhone might see on a regular basis. This includes the use of heavy makeup, sunglasses, hats, etc.

Please note that you can only store one primary Face ID and one Alternate Face. If you want to change the secondary one, then you must reset Face ID.


Why you should set up an Alternate Appearance

You may be asking yourself, "why would I want to give someone else access to my device with their face?" or "why do I need to set up an alternative appearance? Isn't it supposed to know who I am?"

Sometimes your significant other may need to use your phone for something, like making a phone call or looking something up and they don't have their own phone with them at the moment. It happens. So if you don't want to give them your passcode, which I think could be more sensitive, just let them set up their face as an "Alternate Appearance" so they can quickly get into your phone and not bug you for the passcode every time.

I think an Alternative Appearance is good to set up because it makes it easier for you to allow a completely different looking face to unlock your iPhone with Face ID

I just wish that the Alternative Appearance allowed for more than just one more face, though. I think it should be similar to Touch ID, where you could store up to four or five fingerprints for the device to scan, which I always did (two fingers on both my left and right hands, and one for my significant other).


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