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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > iphone: often fingerprints don't work

iphone: often fingerprints don't work
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kevs
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Jan 15, 2019, 12:18 PM
 
OFten, very often, maybe after sleep? not sure... iphone requires numeric password and two fingerprints I have set wont work. I find it a baffling nuiscance. What is up with that? I don't get it.
     
andi*pandi
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Jan 15, 2019, 02:26 PM
 
if the iphone has been turned off, or battery completely drained, the iphone will require the numeric password after restart.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 15, 2019, 04:36 PM
 
Also, it will require it after a few days automatically.

If you're trying to Touch ID and it just fails a couple of times and requires the passcode, then your finger or the Touch ID sensor might be wet or a bit dirty. This is one of the main reasons I find Face ID better in many situations.
     
kevs  (op)
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Jan 15, 2019, 05:03 PM
 
thanks Andi. How do you define turned off? If I click upper right clicker and screen off?
     
andi*pandi
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Jan 15, 2019, 05:27 PM
 
powered down.
     
kevs  (op)
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Jan 15, 2019, 06:09 PM
 
So when If I click upper right clicker and screen off, then powered down and need code?

Thanks S, is face ID already out on X?
     
ghporter
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Jan 15, 2019, 10:42 PM
 
Also you'll need to enter your pass code after an OS update or any other reboot.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
kevs  (op)
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Jan 16, 2019, 12:05 AM
 
No not os update that obvious, this just I don't know, quite a lot.

Test: I just clicked right clicker off. Screen goes black. I click bottom center button and thumb print works.

I'm not sure pattern then, why this happens and it does not work.
     
kevs  (op)
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Jan 16, 2019, 12:08 PM
 
This morning, iphone was on -- how call it -- black screen all night, and in morning, thumbprint worked fine. So does anyone have a clue during the middle of the day why sometimes it wont work?
     
turtle777
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Jan 16, 2019, 01:49 PM
 
It’s been a while, but I have seen the fingerprint database get corrupted over time.

it constantly trains itself to make things better, but sometimes, it makes things worse.

Try to delet the fingerprints, and re-train.
If you get better results, then you know this might have been your issue.

Other than that, dirty sensors or dirty / wet / greasy fingers might be the cause.

-t
     
subego
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Jan 16, 2019, 01:57 PM
 
My iPad will disable the TouchID after an indeterminate amount of time with no use. Maybe a day or so.

Never happens on my phone, but I use that a lot more.
     
Atheist
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Jan 16, 2019, 02:30 PM
 
I have a similar problem with my right thumb on both my iPad Pro and my work iPhone 6s. I've even deleted the right thumb and retrained it and it still will fail 50% of the time or more. My other fingers work just fine. Not sure what the deal is with my right thumbprint. It's been like this for years. I've just given up and use my index finger.
     
andi*pandi
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Jan 16, 2019, 03:03 PM
 
If you press the right clicky button once, the phone goes to sleep. It's not OFF. If you hold down the clicky thing until the screen shows a red slider that says POWER OFF, then do that, it is OFF.
     
ghporter
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Jan 16, 2019, 05:08 PM
 
The right side button just puts the phone to sleep unless you HOLD it until prompted to “slide to power off.” Wake from sleep is not a condition that forces PIN entry.

I agree with turtle that your phone’s fingerprint database may have just goofed. Delete any/all fingerprints, then retrain with both a clean sensor and a clean, dry, moisturized finger. It’s possible that your print failures are simply from having the skin of your fingers too dry.

If your fingers are too dry the fingerprints don’t stand out enough to be sensed. You don’t want to have noticeable lotion on the fingertip, but you need to have enough moisture for your fingertip to have “grip,” which comes from having enough skin moisture to have the fingerprints distinct enough to stand out.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Jan 17, 2019, 10:44 AM
 
I’m going to say the opposite. Moisture is the enemy of TouchID.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 17, 2019, 11:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’m going to say the opposite. Moisture is the enemy of TouchID.
I concur.
     
ElianaBryson
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Jan 18, 2019, 08:52 AM
 
Mostly this thing is because of the moisture on hand I would recommend you to register another fingerprint for this season so that you do not face similar issue again.
go to touch id in settings and add a fingerprint then restart your phone then hold home and sleep button until Apple Inc logo appears.
Eliana Bryson
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Windsor University Caribbean Medical School
     
turtle777
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Jan 18, 2019, 02:28 PM
 


-t
     
ghporter
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Jan 18, 2019, 08:14 PM
 
I don’t mean “wet” fingers. NOT AT ALL. But dried out fingers - which happens a lot in winter’s heated environments - are smooth when compared those with “normal” levels of skin hydration.

As an occupational therapist, I see tons of people who complain about their grip being “weak” when their only problem is that their skin is so dry that they can’t grip anything. It’s because without a normal level of skin hydration, the fingerprint ridges, which are like tire treads in establishing and maintaining grip, are just plain flat. That makes the skin actually slick, so grasping anything remotely smooth just doesn’t work well.

So moisturized to normal hydration levels, but NOT moist fingers work best both for capturing fingerprint data and for the sensor to recognize the fingerprint.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Jan 18, 2019, 08:31 PM
 
I gotcha. I was thinking in terms of the sweat moisture my fingers love to squirt everywhere.
     
   
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