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(Pocket-lint) - Apple's Face ID and Touch ID can be used for a number of purposes, not just unlocking your iPhone or authorising an Apple Pay payment.

Several apps request Face ID or Touch ID authentication to grant access, even when your device is already unlocked. These apps include banking apps, various retail apps like Klarna, and you can set WhatsApp to as well.


To lock WhatsApp on your iPhone so your face or fingerprint are required to see your WhatsApp chats even if your iPhone is already unlocked, follow these steps:

  1. Open WhatsApp
  2. Click on the Settings tab in the bottom right of the screen
  3. Tap on Account
  4. Open Privacy
  5. Tap on Screen Lock
  6. Toggle Require Face ID / Require Touch ID on
  7. Select time duration for Face ID or Touch ID to be required

When Screen Lock is activated, it is still possible to reply to messages from notifications and answer calls, but WhatsApp chats can't be accessed without the registered face or fingerprint.

If Face ID or Touch ID don't work, a white screen will appear saying "WhatsApp Locked. Unlock with FaceID/Touch ID to open WhatsApp". You'll only get the option to use a passcode instead after a couple of failed attempts. You could also follow the steps below to bypass Face ID or Touch ID if the failed attempts option doesn't appear.

How to bypass Face ID or Touch ID on locked WhatsApp

If you need to access WhatsApp chats protected by Face ID or Touch ID, it is possible to do so but only if you have the iPhone's passcode. We won't ask why you might need to do this, we will just tell you how to do it.

These steps will bypass the Face ID or Touch ID locking functionality on WhatsApp:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone
  2. Scroll down to 'Face ID & Passcode' or 'Touch ID & Passcode'
  3. Enter the iPhone's passcode
  4. Tap on 'Other Apps' under the 'Use Face ID/Touch ID For' section
  5. Toggle off WhatsApp
  6. Re-open WhatsApp
  7. Enter the iPhone's passcode

It's not an official method as such, more a flaw in the feature. It simply revokes WhatsApp's authorisation to use Face ID or Touch ID, but it should work and grant you access to WhatsApp chats with the passcode.

Writing by Britta O'Boyle. Editing by Adrian Willings.