In-Display Fingerprint Scanner Not Working on Android? Try These Fixes

The fingerprint scanner is one of the most secure ways to keep your Android smartphone safe from unauthorized access. While the feature provides you with a quick and easy way to unlock your phone, it may not always respond as you’d expect it to at times.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve how it performs. Here are 10 solutions you can try when your in-display 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 beneath from being able to properly read your fingerprint. 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 any fingerprints or other dirt that may have accumulated across the surface of the scanner.

2. Reboot Your Phone

Rebooting your device is always a good idea whenever you’re experiencing issues with any of its core functions, including the in-display 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 why your in-display fingerprint scanner stops working is due to temperature fluctuation.

If your phone has been in a warm place for a while, and you suddenly move it to a cooler environment, it may cause the sensor not to work properly. The same also applies when you put your phone outside during winter, it may get too cold for the sensor to read your fingerprint correctly.

To fix this, try moving your phone to a warmer or cooler environment, where it’s neither too hot nor cold. This can help solve the issue with the sensor and may be enough to get things working properly again.

4. Remove Your Screen Protector

Screen protectors are designed to protect your screen from scratches and scuffs, but they can also cause problems with some in-display fingerprint scanners.

In such an instance, removing the screen protector from your phone’s display might help resolve this issue. You can try replacing it with a different type, but this time, you should consider a couple of factors before purchasing a screen protector. If the issue persists you can consider going without one altogether.

5. Enhance the Scanner’s Touch Sensitivity

In-display fingerprint scanners can be based on different types of technology. Pixel phones, for example, 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 those.

But in-display 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’ll need to increase the fingerprint scanner’s touch sensitivity. Here’s how:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Android phone.
  2. Select Display, and tap on the Screen protector mode or Touch sensitivity option to turn it on. The name may differ depending on what phone you’re using.

6. Recalibrate Your Fingerprint

There may be instances where you registered your fingerprint incorrectly, thus preventing the in-display fingerprint scanner from working properly. Sometimes, some fingers you’ve registered just don’t seem to work very well. However, you can easily fix this issue by erasing the biometric data from your phone and recalibrating your fingerprints again.

The menus and options may look different on different phones, but the broad steps are the same on all.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your phone, and head to the Security section. Or type Fingerprint into the Search bar in Settings.
  2. Open the fingerprints option, where you will be prompted to confirm your PIN or Pattern.
  3. A list of the list of fingerprints registered to the phone will then be displayed (you may find this under the Fingerprint Unlock button); tap on each one and select Remove.
  4. Head back to the Fingerprints menu if needed. Tap on the Add fingerprint option to re-register your prints.

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 your 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, then there might be a bug in the latest software that’s preventing your fingerprint reader from working properly.

  1. Launch the Settings app, scroll down, and tap the Software update option.
  2. Your phone will automatically check and download any updates. Tap on the Install button, if there’s any update available.

8. Factory Reset Your Phone

If you’re experiencing problems with your phone’s fingerprint scanner and have tried everything else on this list, chances are that there’s something wrong with your phone itself.

In other words, it may be time to factory reset your phone so everything reverts to its original state before you installed any apps or changed any settings.

  1. Launch the Settings app, then scroll down and tap on System or General management.
  2. Next, select Reset and tap on Factory data reset.

9. Use an Alternative Unlock Method

The majority of 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 logins, like mobile banking apps.

If the in-display fingerprint scanner isn’t working after applying the listed solutions above, you can unlock your phone using another secure method. You’ll need to set individual apps to use a PIN or password instead.

This will ensure your confidential information is secured while you try to figure out the issue with your fingerprint scanner.

10. Get Your Phone Repaired or Replaced

If your fingerprint sensor doesn’t well work out of the box, then it’s worth getting your phone replaced while it’s under warranty.

If you’ve had it longer than that, you might 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 its surface when the screen is turned on. You may have dropped it accidentally. A cracked or broken screen prevents the in-display fingerprint scanner from working properly.

You’ll need to seek the services of an authorized technician preferably one authorized by your phone’s manufacturer. They’ll be able to identify the issue and repair your device so that you can go back to using its fingerprint security features in complete safety.

And finally, if you have your phone insured, you can contact your service provider regarding the issue and have them fix it.

Restore Your In-Display Fingerprint Scanner’s Functionality

Hopefully, you will be able to resolve the issues that you’re experiencing with your in-display 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 issue shouldn’t be a major one, and you’ll be able to sort it out quickly.

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