What is the Iris Scanning and how to use it on my Galaxy S9/S9+?

The iris recognition feature uses the unique characteristics of your irises, such as their shape and pattern, to strengthen the security of your device. Your iris data can be used for various authentication purposes. 

Registering my Iris for Iris recognition

The device can save the iris data of one person only. You cannot register more than one set of irises.

1 Open ‘Settings’.
2 Tap 'Lock screen and security'.
Lock screen and security S9
3 Tap ‘Iris Scanner’ and set a pattern, PIN or password.
Iris scanner S9
Lock pattern screen S9
4 Read the disclaimer, the click ‘OK’.
5 Read the on-screen instructions and tap ‘Continue’.
Registering irises screen instructions
6 Hold your device 25~35cm away from your face with the screen facing towards you and look at the screen. Keep your eyes open fully and look at the top of the screen. Position your eyes inside the circles on the screen and open your eyes wide. The iris recognition camera will scan your irises.
Iris scanning position
7 When an iris unlock screen appears, tap ‘Turn on’ to use your irises to unlock the screen.
Activating Iris scanning

When you swipe in any direction on the locked screen, the iris recognition screen will appear.

If your irises are not recognized, unlock the device using the pattern, PIN, or password, and then re-register your irises.


If you change the screen lock method to Swipe or None, which are not secure, all your biometric data will be deleted. To use Samsung Pass or Pay, register your biometric data again.

Deleting registered irises
1 On the Settings screen, tap ‘Lock screen and security’.
2 Tap the ‘Iris Scanner’.
3 Unlock the screen using the preset screen lock method.
4 Tap ‘Remove iris data’.
5 Tap ‘Remove’. Once the registered iris data has been deleted, all the related features will also be deactivated.
Are there any circumstances where Iris scan may not work properly?

The iris scan may have trouble recognising the iris in some occasions:

When you are wearing strong prescription glasses, sunglasses, color contact lenses, or circular contact lenses.

If you have undergone laser-assisted vision correction surgery, such as LASIK or LASEK.

If the light sensor area is covered with screen accessories, such as a screen protector or stickers

If there is dirt or debris on the iris camera, LED sensor

If you are in strong sunlight or low-light, humid or wet environments.

Please note: If eyes are exposed to iris recognition within the distance of 2cm for more than 10 seconds, it might be harmful to your eyes. The Galaxy S9, will automatically stop iris recognition to protect your eyes if it detects an incorrect use of this feature. 

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