The "Enter Passcode" screen on an iPhone.

There are times when you might need to quickly disable biometric authentication on your iPhone. Instead of digging around in Settings, this quick shortcut temporarily disables Face or Touch ID on your iPhone.

If you’re somewhere (like a border check or party) where you think your face or thumbprint could be used against your will to unlock your iPhone, this quick shortcut will disable biometric authentication. You can even do this if your iPhone’s in your pocket.

On your iPhone, simply press and hold the Volume Up and Side (the Sleep/Wake button on older iPhones) buttons for a second or two.

Press and hold the Volume Up and Side buttons on iPhone.

When you see the “Slide to Power Off” menu or feel a vibration, this means biometric authentication has been disabled.

The "Slide to Power Off" screen on an iPhone.

You don’t have to turn off your iPhone; just press the Side/Power button again to lock it. Now, your iPhone won’t unlock without your passcode.

The "Enter Passcode" screen on iPhone.


You can also permanently disable Face or Touch ID on your iPhone. However, if you do, make sure you use a strong alphanumeric passcode.

RELATED: 10 Easy Steps to Better iPhone and iPad Security

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.