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Windows Hello is a fast, secure, way to sign in to your Microsoft Windows device, and facial recognition makes it even easier. An important part of making it secure is that facial recognition needs to be confident that the face it's seeing in the camera is a live person and not a photograph or other image.

In order to do that facial recognition needs to have a clear view of your face. In some unusual circumstances the conditions may be such that it still can't be sure. If facial recognition is struggling to recognize you try the following tips.

Check your lighting. If there is harsh or particularly bright light coming from one side or the other, it may have a harder time recognizing you.

Some unusual kinds of make-up are visible to infrared and that can make it more difficult for facial recognition to recognize you.

Try removing any hats or other accessories from around your face. Glasses normally aren't a problem, especially if you were wearing them when you first set up facial recognition, but some types of hats or other accessories that frame your face could be.

If you've already checked these things and you still aren't being reliably recognized, then you might have a hardware problem with your computer's camera. Contact the manufacturer for advice, and possible repair.

If your computer is managed by your work or school your IT administrator may have turned on enhanced anti-spoofing for Windows Hello. This sets an even higher standard for recognition and may especially cause problems in darkened rooms.

Windows Hello doesn't recognize me, or I get an error message when I try to sign in

If your face or fingerprint didn’t scan properly, or if you’re using the wrong finger to sign in, you’ll get an error message when you try to sign in through Windows Hello. If that happens, sign in with a PIN or password instead, and then set up Windows Hello again.

If you get an error message that says Couldn't recognize you. Please sign in with your PIN. when you try to sign in with Windows Hello, follow the steps below to improve recognition. This error message can occur if you wear glasses and didn't set up face recognition to recognize you both with and without your glasses. This might also occur if the device has been moved and the lighting conditions are dramatically different in the new location.

To improve recognition, select Start  > Settings  > Accounts  > Sign-in options  > Facial recognition (Windows Hello), and then select Improve recognition.

If you are having a problem with Windows Hello facial recognition, try running a troubleshooter that might fix the problem.

Run Windows Hello troubleshooter

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