iPhone X: How to Unlock the Darn Thing

So you got the iPhone X, but how the heck are you supposed to unlock it? We’re very used to the Home button guiding our way, but it’s gone with the iPhone X and gestures are here to replace it. Get comfortable with swiping up—you’ll be doing a lot of it. If you’re having trouble or general confusion with how to unlock your iPhone X, we’ll help you sort it out. I’ll go over how to unlock your iPhone X with facial recognition (aka Face ID) and how to unlock your iPhone with the passcode. Let’s get into it.

Related: iPhone X: How to Swipe between Apps with the App Switcher

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If you haven’t set up Face ID, we’ve got a full in-depth guide that I highly recommend checking out. Once you’ve got Face ID set up, the unlocking process will become virtually seamless a solid 96 percent of the time. When you hold your iPhone X up, look directly at the notch near the top. The iPhone X requires your full attention to unlock; however, this is a setting you can turn off, which we’ll go over below. First, let’s cover how to unlock your iPhone X with Face ID.

How to Unlock iPhone X with Face ID

  • Either tap the screen to wake it up or pick your iPhone X up to engage Raise to Wake.
  • Glance at the notch near the top of your screen; the padlock icon at the top will show an unlocking animation when Face ID kicks in.

  • To go to Home screen from your unlocked Lock screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If you would like a visual cue as to where to swipe up from, look for the horizontal bar at the very bottom of your screen.

Once the padlock on your screen unlocks, it means your phone is unlocked. However, the iPhone doesn’t automatically go to Home screen so that you can view Notifications. This lends to a really cool privacy trick on the iPhone X.

How to Unlock iPhone X with Passcode

  • If you just restarted your iPhone X or if Face ID has been temporarily disabled, you’ll need to enter your passcode. To get to the passcode screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen where that little horizontal bar is and release.
  • The screen for entering your passcode will appear; enter your passcode.

As long as your passcode is correct, your iPhone X will then go to Home screen.

How to Speed Up Face ID Unlock (Turn Off “Require Attention”)

There are various reasons you may not want iPhone X to require your attention in order to unlock with Face ID. One such reason may be when driving; if you have your iPhone X docked and “Require Attention” turned off, your phone will pretty easily unlock without you even needing to look at it. Apple has said that turning Require Attention off makes Face ID less secure—technically someone could then unlock your phone while you’re asleep. But the trade-off will be worth it for some. To turn off Require Attention and speed up Face ID:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Select Face ID & Passcode.
  • Toggle of Require Attention.

  • Tap Ok to confirm. 


Top Image Credit: Neirfy / Shutterstock.com

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Conner Carey holds a bachelor's in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and resides in Fairfield, Iowa. When she's not writing, you can find her singing jazz or lifting weights. Her personal blog is currently under construction, but you can follow her on Instagram @connerleecarey.