The fingerprint scanner is one of the most secure ways to protect your Android smartphone from unauthorized access. While the feature gives you a quick and easy way to unlock your phone, it may not always respond the way you expect it to at times.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve performance. Here are 10 solutions to try when the on-screen fingerprint scanner isn’t working.
1. Remove accumulated dirt from the scanner
Dirt and grime can build up on your screen over time, preventing the scanner underneath from reading your fingerprint correctly. The easiest way to fix this is to clean your phone’s screen.
Use a microfiber cloth or an alcohol-based cleaning solution to wipe away fingerprints or other dirt that may have accumulated on the surface of the scanner.
2. Restart your phone
Restarting your device is always a good idea when you experience issues with any of its core features, including the in-screen fingerprint sensor. If you haven’t already done so recently, try restarting your phone now.
3. Move to a warmer or cooler environment
One of the most common reasons for the on-screen fingerprint scanner to stop working is due to temperature fluctuations.
If the phone has been in a warm place for a while and you suddenly move it to a cooler environment, it may cause the sensor to malfunction. The same also applies when you leave your phone outside in winter, it can get too cold for the sensor to read your fingerprint correctly.
To fix this, try moving the phone to a warmer or cooler environment, where it is neither too hot nor too cold. This may help resolve the problem with the sensor and may be enough to get things working properly again.
4. Remove the screen protector
Screen protectors are designed to protect your screen from scratches and scuffs, but they can also cause problems with some on-screen fingerprint scanners.
In such cases, removing the screen protector from your phone’s screen can help resolve this issue. You can try to replace it with a different type, but this time you should consider a few factors before buying a screen protector. If the problem persists, consider going without a hero.
5. Improve scanner touch sensitivity
In-display fingerprint scanners can be based on different types of technology. For example, Pixel phones use optical sensors while Samsung devices come with ultrasonic sensors. The latter are generally more accurate and you should be less likely to have problems with them.
But on-screen sensors are rarely as good as physical, capacitive ones and can fail at times, especially if your fingers are wet, dirty or cold.
To fix this problem, you need to increase the touch sensitivity of the fingerprint scanner. This is how:
- Launch the Settings app on your Android phone.
- Select Showand press on Screen saver mode or Touch sensitivity option to turn it on. The name may vary depending on the phone you are using.
6. Recalibrate the fingerprint
There may be cases where you have registered your fingerprint incorrectly, thus preventing the on-screen fingerprint scanner from working properly. Sometimes some fingers you have registered don’t seem to work very well. However, you can easily fix this problem by deleting the biometric data from your phone and recalibrating your fingerprints.
The menus and options may look different on different phones, but the broad steps are the same on all.
- Launch the Settings app on your phone and go to Safety section. Or write Fingerprint in the search field in Settings.
- Open the fingerprint option where you will be asked to confirm the PIN or pattern.
- A list of the list of fingerprints registered on the phone will then appear (you can find this below Unlock with fingerprint button); tap each and select Remove.
- Return to the Fingerprints menu if necessary. Press Add fingerprint possibility to register the prints again.
You can also try using two or more of the available slots to register the same fingerprint more than once. This can increase the amount of detail the sensor reads from the finger.
7. Check for software updates
When was the last time you checked for software updates? If it’s been a while since you last updated your phone, there may be a bug in the latest software that’s preventing your fingerprint reader from working properly.
- Launch the Settings app, scroll down and tap Software update option.
- Your phone will automatically check and download any updates. Press Install button, if any update is available.
8. Reset your phone to factory defaults
If you’re experiencing problems with your phone’s fingerprint scanner and you’ve tried everything else on this list, chances are there’s something wrong with the phone itself.
In other words, it might be time to factory reset your phone so that everything goes back to its original state before you installed any apps or changed any settings.
- Launch the Settings app, scroll down and tap System or General management.
- Then choose Reset and press on Reset to factory data.
9. Use an alternative unlock method
Most people with phones that come with an in-display fingerprint scanner use it as a security feature that allows them to unlock their devices. You can also use it to unlock apps that require secure login, such as mobile banking apps.
If the on-screen fingerprint scanner is not working after using the solutions above, you can unlock your phone using another secure method. You must set individual apps to use a PIN or password instead.
This will ensure that your confidential information is secured while you try to figure out the issue with the fingerprint scanner.
10. Get the phone repaired or replaced
If your fingerprint sensor isn’t working well out of the box, it’s worth getting your phone replaced while it’s still under warranty.
If you’ve had it longer than that, you may need to get it repaired. You can perform a quick assessment of the device before sending it to a technician. This way, you will be able to check for cracks on the surface when the screen is turned on. You may have accidentally dropped it. A cracked or broken screen prevents the on-screen fingerprint scanner from working properly.
You must seek the services of an authorized technician, preferably one authorized by the phone’s manufacturer. They will be able to identify the problem and repair your device so that you can go back to using the fingerprint security features in complete safety.
And finally, if you have your phone insured, you can contact your service provider about the problem and have them fix it.
Restore the on-screen fingerprint scanner functionality
Hopefully, you will be able to resolve the issues you are experiencing with the on-screen fingerprint scanner. The general idea is to go through each of these troubleshooting tips until you manage to fix the problem. In many cases, this problem shouldn’t be a big problem and you’ll be able to fix it quickly.