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iPhone Face ID Not Working After Water (What to Do?)

As an iPhone owner, I know all too well the frustration of Face ID not working after being exposed to water. I recently experienced this problem myself, and after doing some research and testing, I’m here to share how I solved the issue and some other solutions I discovered along the way.

Option 1Dry your Phone1. Wipe with microfiber cloth & air dry
2. Remove accessories & SIM tray
3. Use q-tip for small areas
4. Avoid extreme heat
5. Bury your phone in desiccants (e.g., crystal cat litter)
Option 2Reset and Update Your Phone1. Reset Face ID settings
2. Reset phone to factory settings (backup files first)
3. Update iOS
Option 3Seek Professional HelpIf the problem persists after trying the above steps, consider seeking professional help to repair your device.

Option 1: Dry your Phone 

The culprit in the Face ID malfunction is moisture. Prolonged water exposure can corrode the logic board wires and damage the Face ID function.

If you have spilled some liquid on it or dropped it in water for a short time, you can try to get the moisture out by doing any of these methods. 

Wipe your Phone with Microfiber Cloth and Air dry 

  • Turn your device off and wipe its surface with a microfiber cloth to absorb and prevent the water from seeping into the phone’s insides.
  • Remove any covers (e.g., phone case, accessories, etc.) and the SIM tray, as these could store residual water. 
  • Give the device a gentle shake or tap to remove stored water from its nook and crannies.
  • Use a q-tip or any thin materials that could reach and dry areas like the inside of the sim tray, charging port, or audio jack. 
  • Leave the device to dry at room temperature (or with a fan) before turning it on. 

Resist, at all costs, drying your device with extreme heat (e.g., hair dryers, blowers, or sundry), as this might further damage wires and other components. 

Bury your Phone in Desiccants 

Desiccants absorb water in objects around them, making them a suitable tool to get rid of residual moisture in your phone. 

Contrary to famous belief, rice is the least suitable desiccant to use. There are better household options like couscous pearl, classic rolled oatmeal, and the best choice of them all—crystal cat litter, a silicone-based product found in your grocery shops. 

  • Wrap your phone with a thin cloth to protect its ports from particles
  • Bury your phone in at least four cups of any of the mentioned household products in a 1-2 quarts container
  • Leave it for 24 hours to dry before turning it on 

Option 2: Reset and Update Your Phone 

If your phone has dried out and the problem persists, you can try resetting and updating your phone’s settings. This could help fix any bugs and restore its function. To help you reset and update your phone, follow the guide below. 

Reset your Face ID Setting 

  • Go to settings 
  • Tap on the Face ID and Passcode
  • Tap Reset Face ID
  • Set up your Face ID details again 

Reset your Phone in the Factory Setting 

Before proceeding to this step, ensure your files are backed up on iCloud. Also, make sure to sign out of your Apple ID. 

  • Tap Setting > General 
  • Tap Reset 
  • Enter your Apple ID password
  • Your device will then reset

Update your iOS 

  • Go to Settings > General 
  • Tap on Software Update 
  • Tap on Automatic Updates 
  • Turn on Download iOS Updates 
  • Also, turn on Install iOS Updates (this automatically updates your phone to the latest iOS) 

Option 3: Seek Professional Help 

If you did the mentioned steps and your Face ID is still not working, it is best to seek professional help. The logic board is delicate to work on. The wires for the Face ID function and the logic board are also matched, making it difficult to replace a component. 

So unless you are well equipped with the skills and tools to work on your phone’s interior, it is best to get it fixed by professionals. This way, the other warranties your phone is eligible for will not be nulled when you open it. 


Read more: iPhone burn-in

The severity of damage is mainly measured by how long the phone was submerged or exposed to water. To get the best chance of saving your phone, take it out immediately and do the steps above. 

But most of all, nothing beats prevention. Invest in waterproof accessories to protect your phone, and better yet, make sure your pockets are empty when you dive into the pool. 

Read more: iPhone randomly opening apps