In many iPhones or iPads, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor comes in handy as a security and time saving feature. If you have a broken Touch ID on your iPhone (anything from iPhone 5 to 8Plus), iPad and some Apple laptops, it’ll probably refuse to recognize your fingerprints.
Touch ID is Apple’s proprietary fingerprint sensing technology, which has been working fine since its inception, but if you find that it doesn’t work as it did on your iPhone or iPad, there are some troubleshooting steps you need to take.
If you got an iPhone or iPad out of the box the first time and Touch ID didn’t work, you may need to book an appointment with an Apple expert at the Apple Store to get it checked. The component could be faulty and needs to be replaced.
How to fix broken Touch ID on iPhone or iPad
Clean the fingerprint scanner
This is the first line of defense in fixing a broken or unresponsive Touch ID. Its sensor takes high-res pictures of your skin’s sub-epidermal layers to read your fingerprint and compare with the one it has on file. If your home button has dirt or grime, then your iPhone or iPad may not be able to confirm your identity. In this case, clean the Home button with a soft, lint-free cloth and try again.
Position your finger correctly
Sometimes you may have positioned your finger the wrong way, which means the Touch ID sensor can’t recognize your fingerprint. Apple advises that you should cover the entire Home button when using the sensor and remember to tap slowly and not press down too hard. Also keep your finger still during the scan.
if your ios is outdated, then Touch ID may not work. To check if it’s updated, go to Settings>General>Software Update. Apple’s minor ios updates help make improvements to the software while fixing any bugs in the system. The fingerprint sensor technology could be one of the improvements when an update is released.
Check the iPhone or iPad Case
The iPhone or iPad case or cover can block the sensor or part of your fingerprint as the cutout for the Home button is sometimes tight. Check if this is the case and find an alternative case or make sure it fits properly.
Enable Touch ID unlock
To do this, open Settings>Touch ID & Passcode and then tap Touch ID. Enable the iPhone Unlock setting, and if you want to make purchases using your fingerprint in iTunes or App Store, you can enable both in this setting too.
You can add a maximum of five fingerprints to your iPhone or iPad’s Touch ID feature and use any one of the fingers to unlock your device when you have a broken Touch ID. To do this, open Settings>Touch ID & Passcode>Touch ID and add a new fingerprint.
You can also add re-register your fingerprint if there’s a particular finger that you enrolled and doesn’t work. To do this, go to Settings>Touch ID & Passcode>Touch ID>Edit. Delete the fingerprint and add a new one to replace the old print.
Make sure your fingers are clean before using the Touch ID sensor. Cold weather can also change fingerprints to some extent, but enough to confuse the sensor. You can re-register the prints for cold weather by entering them as normal when the weather and your fingers are cold.
Elsie is a tech writer with 8+ years professional experience. For Tech News Watch, she brings rich experience contributing to topics such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS among others. In her spare time, she loves checking out the latest tech trends, gadgets, and news, listening to music and cars.