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Face ID Not Working “Move iPhone Lower” (Fix!)

Is the face ID function not working on your iPhone and the “Move iPhone Lower” error message keeps appearing? Read on for 7 solutions to this problem.

More often than not, the Face ID’s “Move iPhone Lower” error can be resolved with a simple restart. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, try cleaning the front-facing camera located inside the notch at the top of the screen. You can also reset Face ID, check for updates, or reset the iPhone.

The fix that works will depend on the cause of the problem, and there are a few things that could cause it. For example, the front-facing sensors might be dirty. It could also be a deeper software issue or (worst-case scenario) hardware failure. Let’s go through the steps to try and fix the problem. Test it again after each step, and hopefully, you can resolve the error in no time.

Restart Your iPhone To Clear Up The Face ID Error

The first rule with electronic devices is “try turning it off and on again.” The best way to do this with iPhone is to perform a complete restart, not a soft reboot. To do this, simply follow these steps:

  1. Quickly press the volume up button, the volume down button, and the power button. Don’t release the power button after pressing it, but hold it down.
  1. The Shut Down screen should appear. Don’t tap anything; just keep on holding down the power button.
  1. After a few seconds, your iPhone should turn off. Keep holding down the power button.
  1. After another few seconds, the Apple logo should appear. When this happens, you can release the power button.
  1. Your iPhone should restart and open the lock screen.
  1. Remember that you will have to enter your pin the first time it loads; Face ID will not work at this point.
  1. After entering your pin, leave the phone unlocked for a few seconds, then tap the power button to lock it again.
  1. Now unlock your phone as you usually would. Hopefully, your Face ID will work this time.

Clean The Front-Facing Sensors On Your iPhone

Your iPhone’s Face ID feature uses front-facing sensors and a camera to recognize your face. These are located in the notch at the top of the screen, just below the top speaker. Dirt or grime covering the notch could impede its ability to recognize your face. The same could happen if your screen protector is badly cracked or damaged in that exact area.

Resolving this is easy. Simply clean the notch. You can use any clean, lint-free cloth, like a microfiber cloth, and for tough, oily, or sticky grime, you can moisten it a bit. If it’s your screen protector, remove it and replace it with a new one.

Once you’ve done this, test your Face ID again to see if it works.

Add Alternate Appearance To Face ID

This is not a common cause of the “Move iPhone Lower” error, but it could happen. If something about your appearance changed since you last programmed Face ID like if you started wearing glasses, you might need to add an alternate appearance. Simply go to Settings, then tap Face ID And Passcode. If required, enter your pin, then tap on “Set Up an Alternate Appearance.”

Reset Your iPhone’s Face ID

Sometimes data can get corrupt or mixed up, and the same can happen to facial recognition. In this case, it’s simply a matter of resetting your Face ID settings. To reset your Face ID, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  1. Select “Face ID & Passcode”
  1. Enter your passcode, if necessary
  1. Tap “Reset Face ID”
  1. Now tap “Set Up Face ID” to configure it again.

Update Your iPhone’s Software

Apple releases frequent iOS updates. A new major version is released once per year, but Apple also rolls out minor updates and bug fixes on a regular basis. There have been several iOS updates that fixed specific problems with Face ID since it was first launched. Your Face ID problems can often be resolved by something as simple as an iOS update.

iPhones will usually automatically install important iOS updates, but it’s easy to stop it from doing so, and the auto-update function doesn’t always work as it should. Sometimes you have to install an update manually. To update your iOS to the latest version, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Settings on your iPhone’s home screen.
  1. Select “General.”
  1. Now go to “Software Update.”
  1. Your iPhone will search for updates. If iOS has an update available, it will show you which update it is and what changes are included.
  1. Now tap on the “Install Update” option at the bottom of the screen. Note that your phone’s battery should preferably have a full charge, or the charger must be plugged in, and you should preferably be on WiFi to install the update.
  1. The phone will restart after installation. Now you can test your Face ID again.

Reset Your iPhone If Face ID Still Isn’t Working

If these fixes haven’t worked so far, it’s time to call in the big guns. Sometimes there can be software failures or data corruption issues that run so deep that your only option is to start over. Note that this step will completely erase all of your personal data from your iPhone, so it’s essential to make a backup to iCloud or a computer first.

When you’re ready, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings -> General -> Transfer or Reset.
  1. Tap on “Erase All Content and Settings.”
  1. Enter your Passcode or Apple ID Password.
  1. Erasing your iPhone could take a few minutes, but you should see the “Hello” screen when it’s done.
  1. Sign in with your iCloud and other information, then set up Face ID again when prompted. Hopefully, it will work this time!

Take Your iPhone In For Repairs

If after you’ve tried everything else, even resetting your iPhone to factory settings, your Face ID still doesn’t want to work, it is probably a case of hardware failure. After all, the front-facing sensors are hardware devices, and they can fail. This is a worst-case scenario, and it hardly ever happens, but it’s still a possibility.

There isn’t a quick home fix in this situation, and it probably won’t be a cheap fix, either. Your only option would now be to take it to an iPhone repair shop to replace the faulty components. As always, back up all of your data before you take it in since the repair process could also involve resetting your iPhone.


Many of the day-to-day problems we experience with our iPhones have simple fixes that we can do at home. Apple’s iPhone platform is so advanced that severe problems aren’t widespread. The chances are that one of these steps will fix the Face ID “Move iPhone Lower” error; they have worked for thousands of people already.