Why is my fingerprint sensor & scanner not working

The fingerprint scanner makes unlocking your phone a breeze. With no codes to remember and scanners that can read your fingerprint within a second, you can spend more time using your device for the things that you want.

If you’re using the fingerprint scanner for the first time, follow the steps below to find out how to set it up, or if you're having issues with your fingerprint scanner, there are a number of solutions you can try.

How to unlock your device with your fingerprint How to unlock your device with your fingerprint

Many Samsung smartphones come with a built-in fingerprint recognition sensor at the bottom centre of the screen, allowing you to quickly and conveniently unlock your phone.

GIF, Set up Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner on the S10/S10+

Follow the steps below to register your fingerprint:

1 Go to “Settings”.
2 Tap “Biometrics and security”.
3 Tap “Fingerprints”.
4 Enter your PIN, pattern or password. If you haven’t set one, you will be asked to register one first.
5 Place your finger on the sensor area (as indicated on the screen) and keep pressing it until your fingerprint is fully captured. The fingerprint image will be completely blue when the process is complete.
6 Then, to get a full scan, rotate your finger on the sensor to capture the edges of your fingerprint.
7 Once complete, tap “Done”.
8 It will then show as “Fingerprint 1” on the display.

Please note: The scanner may struggle to recognise your fingers if they are too wet or too dry, for example in very cold weather conditions. Ensure that the fingerprint sensor area is not scratched or damaged by metal objects such as coins, keys, pens and necklaces. Press the screen so that your fingertip spreads over the wide surface of the fingerprint recognition area.

The Power key on the Galaxy S10e has a built-in fingerprint recognition sensor, allowing you to quickly and conveniently unlock your phone.

GIF, Register fingerprint on the S10e

Follow the steps below to register your fingerprint:

1 Go to “Settings”.
2 Tap “Biometrics and security”.
3 Tap “Fingerprints”.
4 Enter your PIN, pattern or password. If you haven’t set one, you will be asked to register one first.
5 Place your finger on the sensor (the Power key on the right side of the phone), and keep scanning it until it reaches 100%.
6 Then, to get a full scan, reposition your finger on the sensor to capture the edges of your fingerprint.
7 Once complete, tap “Done”.
8 It will then show as “Fingerprint 1” on the display.

Please note: The scanner may struggle to recognise your fingers if they are too wet or too dry, for example in very cold weather conditions. Ensure that the fingerprint sensor area is not scratched or damaged by metal objects such as coins, keys, pens and necklaces. 

Your phone's fingerprint sensor may not recognise fingerprints properly due to various factors regarding the fingerprint or the surroundings. Please try again after checking that your fingers are not too dry, too wet, or if it is not fully placed over the sensor area.

Diagram explaining fingerprint issues Diagram explaining fingerprint issues

Fingerprints are harder to recognise when they're too dry. Please try again after you moisturise your hands with lotion or by pressing on the sensor a little harder.

Diagram explaining fingerprint issues Diagram explaining fingerprint issues

Taking your finger off the sensor too quickly could be a reason why your fingerprints are not recognised. Please try again by placing your finger on the sensor for a longer amount of time.

Diagram explaining fingerprint placement Diagram explaining fingerprint placement

Placing your finger improperly over the sensor is another potential reason why your fingerprints are not recognised. Please try again by placing your finger over the entire fingerprint sensor.

Diagram explaining fingerprint placement Diagram explaining fingerprint placement

If your fingerprint isn't matching the fingerprint data on your device, please try again by changing the angle of your finger or by adding a new fingerprint.

TIPS

Adding additional fingerprints

As a preventative measure, we also recommend registering multiple fingerprints onto your device in case your fingerprint gets damaged due to a finger injury or otherwise. You can add up to four different fingerprints. To do so, go to "Settings," then "Biometrics and Security," and then "Fingerprints." Enter your secure screen lock credentials. Select "Add fingerprint." Use the on-screen prompts to add the fingerprint and then tap "Done."

 Tap the "Optimise" button on the widget's home screen to start freeing up space.  Tap the "Optimise" button on the widget's home screen to start freeing up space.

TIPS

Setting up alternate security methods in advance

In case your fingerprint sensor malfunctions, instead of proceeding with the factory reset, we recommend setting up alternate security methods in advance, such as a regular PIN, password, or pattern.
To do so, go to “Settings,” then “Biometrics and Security," and then select one of the various options, including pattern, PIN, face recognition, etc., to set up additional ways to unlock your phone.

 Tap the "Optimise" button on the widget's home screen to start freeing up space.  Tap the "Optimise" button on the widget's home screen to start freeing up space.

Please note: If you have forgotten which fingerprint you have registered you can go to Settings­­­­ > Biometrics and security > Fingerprints > Check added fingerprints to find out.

Ensure that the screen protector or the touchscreen on the fingerprint sensor area is not scratched or damaged.

Screen protector diagram Screen protector diagram

If your screen protector is smeared with dirt or other foreign substances, scratched, or otherwise damaged, it may affect the fingerprint recognition performance of your phone.

Screen protector diagram Screen protector diagram

If you're using a 3rd party screen protector not authorised by Samsung, its specific pattern (dot, grid, etc.), thickness, or material may affect the fingerprint recognition performance.

Please note:

  • If the screen protector is dirty or scratched, please replace it with a new one. You can also find out more about how to clean your phone.
  • We also recommend that you register your fingerprint again for better recognition after replacing the protective film.
  • Ensure that both your fingers and the fingerprint sensor area, located at the bottom centre of the screen, are clean and dry.
  • Using a screen protector that is either thick, made of glass or silicone, or patterned, you may not be able to register or scan your fingerprints properly.
  • Samsung cannot guarantee compatibility with third-party products, as the thickness and structure of protective films or screen protectors may affect the performance of the fingerprint sensor.
  • Sensors may be positioned differently depending on the device. The potential issues described above only apply to in-display sensors.

When wirelessly charging, the electric waves emitted can affect the fingerprint recognition performance of your device.

Wireless charging diagram Wireless charging diagram

Fingerprint recognition performance may decrease when your device is wirelessly charging.

Screen protector diagram Screen protector diagram

Ensure your device is not being wirelessly charged and try again.

If your fingerprint still isn't being recognised, you can try removing and then registering your fingerprint again.

1 Swipe down from the top of your screen and tap Settings
Open the Setting app
2 Tap Biometrics and Security
Tap Biometrics and security
3 Tap Fingerprints
Tap fingerprints
4 Enter your PIN, pattern or password
5 Tap the registered fingerprint
Tap the fingerprint
6 Tap Remove
Tap Remove
7 Tap Remove again to confirm
Tap Remove again
8 Tap Add fingerprint
Tap Add fingerprint
9 Follow the on-screen instructions to register your fingerprint again

If you no longer want to use a fingerprint to unlock your device you can turn the fingerprint unlock method off. Find out more about other methods to unlock your galaxy device.

1 Swipe down from the top of your screen and tap Settings
Open settings app
2 Tap Biometrics and Security
Tap Biometrics and security
3 Tap Fingerprints
Tap fingerprints
4 Enter your PIN, pattern or password
5 Tap Fingerprint unlock to switch it off
Tap fingerprint unlock

If your fingerprint sensor is still having issues, you can try clearing the temporary data on your phone to fix the problem. This will not delete any of your information from your device.

1 Turn off your device
2 Press and hold the volume up button and the Bixby button or side button. If your phone doesn’t have a Bixby button, hold the volume up button. Then press and hold the power key as well.
Press and hold the volume up button and the Bixby button or side button. If your phone doesn’t have a Bixby button, hold the volume up button. Then press and hold the power key as well.
3 When the Android logo appears on the screen, release all three keys
4 Press the volume down button to select wipe cache partition
5 Press the power button
6 Press the volume down button to select yes
7 Press the power button again
8 Your cache will now be wiped. Once finished, Reboot system now will be selected
9 Press the power button to restart your device

Once your device has restarted, try to use your fingerprint again. If you are still experiencing issues with your fingerprint sensor, please contact Samsung Support.

If you're experiencing unusual behaviour on Samsung mobiles, tablets or wearables, you can send us an error report or ask us a question in the Samsung Members app.

This allows us to take a closer look at what is happening. The data is anonymised and only held for the duration of the investigation. Find out more about sending an error report through the Samsung Members app.

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