My iPhone X Won’t Unlock! Here’s The Real Fix.

Your iPhone X isn’t unlocking and you’re not sure why. You’ve looked at it to activate Face ID, you’ve tried swiping up on the screen, but nothing’s working. In this article, I’ll explain why your iPhone X won’t unlock and show you how to fix the problem!

How To Unlock Your iPhone X

There are two different ways to unlock your iPhone X depending on whether or not your face is recognized. If Face ID recognizes your face, your iPhone X will say swipe up to open at the bottom of the screen. If your iPhone X says “swipe up to open”, swipe up from the very bottom of the display to unlock your iPhone.

iphone x swipe up to open

If your face isn’t recognized, your iPhone X will say swipe up to unlock. You’ll know your iPhone X is still locked because you’ll see the lock symbol near the top of the screen.

iphone x swipe up to unlock

To unlock your iPhone X, begin by swiping up from the very bottom of the display. Then, you’ll be prompted to enter your iPhone’s passcode to unlock it.

If your face wasn’t recognized by your iPhone X, there may be a problem with Face ID. Check out our article if you’re having issues using Face ID!

Make Sure You’re Swiping Up From Low Enough

One of the most common reasons why your iPhone X won’t unlock is because you aren’t swiping up from low enough on the display. If you swipe up from around the center of the display, Notification Center will be opened.

notification center on iphone x

Make sure you’re swiping up from the white horizontal bar at the very bottom of your iPhone X’s display!

Hard Reset iPhone X

It’s possible that your iPhone X’s display has become unresponsive because of a minor software problem that could be fixed by a restart. Since the screen is unresponsive, you’ll have to hard reset your iPhone rather than power it off normally.

Hard reseting your iPhone X is a three step process:

  1. Quickly press and release the volume up button.
  2. Quickly press and release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold down the side button. Release the side button when the Apple logo appears.

If your iPhone X still won’t unlock, or if the problem comes back again, there’s probably a more significant software issue causing the problem. In the next step, I’ll explain how you can address that deeper software issue on your iPhone.

Perform A DFU Restore On Your iPhone X

A DFU (Device Firmware Update) restore deletes all of the code that controls the hardware and software your iPhone X and reloads it afterwards. It’s the deepest type of restore you can perform on an iPhone!

Check out our article for a complete walkthrough on performing a DFU restore on your iPhone X!

Repair Options

If your iPhone X is unresponsive when you swipe up, there may be a hardware problem with its display. If your iPhone X is covered by AppleCare, schedule an appointment at your local Apple Store and bring it in.

We also recommend Puls, a third-party iPhone repair company that will meet with you and repair your iPhone on the spot!

iPhone X: Unlocked!

Your iPhone X is unlocked and you can start using it again! If your iPhone X won’t unlock in the future, you’ll know exactly how to fix the problem. If you have any other questions about your iPhone X, leave them in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading,
David L.

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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2 years ago

I have been having this issues with my iPhone X for a long time. It comes and goes. What could be the issue?

Zach Mentz
3 years ago

So recently i have been having issue with the iphone x and 11, both of them wont unlock with correct passcode the screen just freezes and it just restarts. But if i unplug the ear speaker, the long flex connected too the screen, the device will unlock and work fine without ofc face id and the ear speaker working, but when i plug it back in the same issue happens where it freezes at the lock screen and restarts, anyone able to help me please

4 years ago

My friends phone is locked. We’ve done a hard reboot but still no good. He can’t enter his passcode and can’t swipe up. Even if we try to power off, we can’t swipe it to shit down. Any suggestions?

5 years ago

Wont ever buy another iPhone again. Mine has been in a case the entire time Ive had it. Sent it to Apple because the reset wouldnt work. They sent it back to me saying that I just need to buy a new one that it is unfixable but yet they produce them everyday and havent even had it a year. Kicking Apple to the curb after this back up breaks

5 years ago

If this happens, you can hold power button until it shuts off and it’ll show the apple icon. This just happened to me less than 30 minutes ago. I thought it was because it was cold, but I took case off, but to no avail. Finally figured would try holding power button to see if that would work, and it eventually did. Now my phone is working like it should.

5 years ago

Ive done all you suggested and my iPhone X wont open.1 day old and this trouble!!!

5 years ago

The nearest Apple store is two hours away. IPhoneX refuses to unlock and does not respond to swipe or face ID. I do have Applecare but this is a real inconvenience.

6 years ago

DFU Restore instructions need a home button. Is there instructions for the iPhone X?

6 years ago

Tried all of the above and my phone still wont open