It is tedious to enter the iPhone passcode or Apple ID password every time you want to unlock your iPhone, download apps, autofill details, or authenticate Apple Pay transactions. Thankfully, Touch ID takes care of these things and makes the process effortless. However, if you’re experiencing issues with your Touch ID, you can no longer perform these necessary actions effortlessly. Thankfully, the solutions here will help you fix the not working Touch ID on the iPhone or iPad.
Make Sure Your Finger and Fingerprint Sensor is Clean and Dry
Check Your iPhone Case and Screen Protector
Turn Touch ID Off and On
Hard Reboot your Device
Delete and Add New Fingerprint
Try Turning Off the Password Completely
Reset Your Network Settings
Update your Device
Contact Apple About a Possible Repair
1. Make Sure Your Finger and Fingerprint Sensor is Dry and Clean
If you are trying to use Touch ID with wet fingers (even if you have a water-resistant iPhone), it won’t work correctly. Therefore, you must dry your finger and wipe the Home button with a soft, dry cloth.
Please keep in mind that if you have any liquid-like substance, say water, hand sanitizer, gel, cream, etc. it will cause problems with Touch ID.
2. Check Your iPhone Case and Screen Protector
Is the front screen protector covering the iPhone Home button? Do you use a particular waterproof case that wraps around the entire front and back of the device, thus blocking the Touch ID?
If yes, you will have to remove the screen protector or case, obstructing your finger and the sensor.
3. Turn Touch ID Off and On
Open the Settings app and tap on Touch ID & Passcode. Enter your iPhone passcode.
Turn off the toggles for iPhone Unlock, iTunes & App Store, Apple Pay*, and Password Autofill.
Next, restart your iPhone. Once you do that, follow the above steps and enable all these toggles. Enter your Apple ID password if asked.
Now, lock your iPhone and try to unlock it using Touch ID. It should work like a charm!
* Note: You will see an important popup saying ‘Your Apple Pay cards and car keys will be removed from Wallet and will need to be manually re-added to use them again. You will not be able to use this passcode to reset your Apple ID password if you forget it.‘ Tap on Turn Off.
4. Hard Reboot your Device
In the above step, we talked about the simple restart. However, if that did not help, let us take it up a notch and force restart (also called hard reboot). We have a full guide that shows you how to do this for all iPhone and iPad models.
5. Delete and Add New Fingerprint
Inside the Settings app, tap on Touch ID & Passcode. Enter your iPhone passcode to proceed.
Tap on an existing fingerprint. Next, tap on Delete Fingerprint. Repeat this process for all fingerprints.
After this, tap on Add a Fingerprint and follow the on-screen instructions.
Now, make sure under USE TOUCH ID FOR, the toggle for iPhone Unlock is enabled. Finally, lock the device and try to unlock it via fingerprint.
6. Try Turning Off the Password Completely
In case none of the above solutions worked for you, let us disable the password entirely, and set everything again.
Open the Settings app and tap on Touch ID & Passcode. Enter your current passcode to move further.
Tap on Turn Passcode Off. If you see a popup, read it, and then tap on Turn Off. You may be asked to fill in your device passcode or Apple ID password or both. Do that and tap on Done or Turn Off.
Restart your iPhone, and after that, follow step 1 again.
Tap on Turn Passcode On. You might see a popup, asking to delete or continue using the saved fingerprints. Let’s tap on Keep.
Type the desired passcode and tap on Next. It can be the one you were using moments back.
Note: To choose an alphanumeric, numeric, or 4-digit code tap on ‘Passcode Options.’ Type the passcode again to confirm and tap on Done. You may be prompted to enter your Apple ID password. Do that and tap on Sign In.
After following the above steps, you should be able to use Touch ID without any hiccups.
7. Reset Your Network Settings
This will completely erase all the saved Wi-Fi passwords, added Bluetooth devices, VPN configurations, mobile data options, and other similar settings. However, it won’t erase any personal data like music, apps, photos, etc.
Open the Settings app tap on General, scroll down and tap on Reset.
Now, tap on Reset Network Settings → Enter your device passcode → Confirm by tapping Reset Network Settings.
After this completes, the Touch ID problems might no longer stay that way!
Please Note: If resetting the network settings did not help, you may proceed with the factory reset, which erases everything!
8. Update Your Device
With each iOS update, Apple publishes bug fixes, adds new features, and attempts to improve the overall experience. Since you are having problems with Touch ID, I would recommend that you update your iPhone.
Though it might not always be visible upfront, it’s possible that your new handset has a manufacturing defect, or it suffered a hardware problem due to a fall or extreme forceful press.
It is best to contact Apple Support or an authorized service center, know the exact reason, and get the problem fixed.
Can’t Activate Touch ID on iPhone or iPad?
Are you unable to activate Touch ID in the first place! Well, if that’s the case, here are some quick points to consider.
Unplug your device: Some chargers, wall sockets, faulty cables, and outlets in trains and airplanes, might prevent you from using Touch ID or finishing the setup process. So, consider unplugging the iPhone and then try to add the fingerprint.
Sign out of your Apple ID and log back in: Another trick we can try to fix this issue is sign out of Apple ID and sign back in.
Finally, as explained earlier, reach out to Apple Support and learn about your repair options. You might have unknowingly purchased a device with a defective or broken Touch ID sensor.
I am eager to know which of the solutions above worked for you! I hope you are now able to use Touch ID without any complications.
Next, it would be beneficial to learn how to download free apps without entering your Apple ID password or even using Touch ID. Just tap on ‘GET’ and boom, the app starts to download!
Additionally, do not forget to check out how to lock apps on your iPhone. If you have private conversations, this one is a must-know!
Finally, do you or a family member having trouble with Face ID? If yes, make sure to check our easy guide that solves this problem.