5s fingerprint scanner issues?

Ruffian829

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2008
319
2
My fingerprint scanner doesn't seem to work right/well. At least half of the time I end up needing to put in my password, if not more. And probably 3/4 of the time that I don't need my password I have to try multiple times before it works. I'm making sure I'm using the right "part" of my finger and staying consistent, but I'm still having issues.

I had figured this was common so I was somewhat shocked when I googled and didn't find much at all... And my cousins fingerprint scanner is much more reliable.

I set up both thumbs and both index fingers and I have this problem with all of them. I have been deleted them and re-entered them and it hasn't helped much. It seems to help for a bit and then it goes back to not working.

Is this common? Would it be a hardware or software issue? Should I see if I can get a new phone or is there something I can do about it before I go that route?
 

bbplayer5

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2007
2,965
574
I actually get a black screen with the apple logo once every 15 unlocks or so. Pretty annoying :\ Not sure if its hardware or software at this point.
 

mstadnik59

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2013
13
0
Having the exact problem and we are not alone. There is another thread somewhere on the forum something to the effect of "fingerprint ID sucks" where I and a number of others have reported issues. While we are not alone we do seem to be in the minority and one wonders if it is a software or hardware issue. For the most part after trying a couple of times it just seems faster to enter the pass code but still it should work better than it does.
 

Ruffian829

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2008
319
2
Any insight on how apple is reacting to this issue? Worth trying to exchange the phone?
 

gCloud

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
703
22
United Federation of Planets
My launch day 5s that i replaced due to a screen issue had a terible FP scanner, i didn't work most the time (tried rescanning and scanning same finger several times), i thought it was me and my skin not being compatible with the tchnology. Replacement works every time, i rarley raley see try again, wether fingers are humid or dirty. Do yourself a faviour and get it replaced if touchid givng u any hassle.
 

slapppy

macrumors 65816
Mar 20, 2008
1,227
42
My launch day 5s that i replaced due to a screen issue had a terible FP scanner, i didn't work most the time (tried rescanning and scanning same finger several times), i thought it was me and my skin not being compatible with the tchnology. Replacement works every time, i rarley raley see try again, wether fingers are humid or dirty. Do yourself a faviour and get it replaced if touchid givng u any hassle.
Yep. That works if you haven't tried this first. Make sure you did a full back up in iTunes and iCloud first before proceeding.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2110
 

Ruffian829

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2008
319
2
Yep. That works if you haven't tried this first. Make sure you did a full back up in iTunes and iCloud first before proceeding.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2110
I am wishing I heeded this advice. I made an apt at the apple store while at work, my co-workers said that they would back up the phone for me when I was there. The apple guy said that he never had a fingerprint scanner issue and thinks its software, so he asked if I had an icloud backup and I said no and he asked if I wanted to save the apps and I said yes so he took it in the back to reinstall the software but he didn't back ANYTHING up. He told me my photos and apps will all be fine. But, he was merely depending on photostream, icloud, and my apple ID for remembering the apps. I basically got back a restored phone (I could have done that at home), with nothing on it. All my videos of my two year old that I hadn't yet backed up are gone, because they don't go through photo stream... all the info I put into the apps are gone (all that time saving and storing photos of business cards, paint colors for our house, pictures of my toddler's art...). I'm so upset. I dont understand why he asked if I wanted to save my apps and promising all my data was safe if he had no intention of backing it up.
 

Ruffian829

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2008
319
2
So, after all of the above, the fingerprint scanner is still not working well. I frequently get asked to put in the password still, and it's feels like it's getting more frequent. Hopefully another trip to the apple store will help- they can't make it worse than they did last time...
 

mstadnik59

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2013
13
0
I made an appt at the Genius Bar for Monday but just tried restoring my phone and re-doing touch id. I didn't do it during set up tho... I waited till after that was done. Not that it will make any difference. It's working perfectly after setup. Let's see whether it still is in a few hours. :::::keeping fingers crossed::::::
 

ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
1,646
Florida
Did you.....

Press home button once, keeping finger on home button lightly afterwards until the home screen is displayed. Don't remove finger until then. First time I used the finger print sensor, I clicked on the home button, but removed my finger, and of course I had to use the passcode to get in.

Is that what you have done ? You did not describe it at all, how you used the sensor.
 

Ruffian829

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2008
319
2
I've had the phone for weeks... I've used the sensor probably every way there is. Yes I've left my finger on there after pressing the home button and I've also pressed the home button to get to the lock screen and then tried to unlock via the touch ID. At the end of the day it probably worked under 50% of the time, no matter which way I used it. I would actually say it was less successful leaving my finger there, I almost always got a "try again" and then sometimes before the three times were up I could get it to unlock before it asked for my password.
It's not like I'm just clicking the home button (and removing my finger) and thinking that should unlock the phone.

----------

I made an appt at the Genius Bar for Monday but just tried restoring my phone and re-doing touch id. I didn't do it during set up tho... I waited till after that was done. Not that it will make any difference. It's working perfectly after setup. Let's see whether it still is in a few hours. :::::keeping fingers crossed::::::
I know it doesn't make much sense but when I had to do a restore (after apple tried to reinstall the ios) it worked better... For a day and then it went back to hardly working. Or, maybe it was just my wishful thinking that made it seem like it worked better.

I went back to the apple store yesterday and they replaced the phone. So far, the new one is working great. Fingers crossed. But the guy did tell me problems with the fingerprint scanner is hardware related, he was happy to give me a new phone. The first person I saw insisted it was software. So who knows.
 
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Ruffian829

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2008
319
2
I did that, a few times actually. Then then I learned that it "learned" your print the more you used it so I also tried not resetting my fingerprints for awhile and just constantly using them hoping it would become more accurate but it didn't really help.
 

hakr100

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
832
12
East Coast
I avoided all fingerprint scanner issues on my 5S. I'm not using it. I still prefer using a four digit number to unlock my phone. Works every time, no issues. :D
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,198
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
I did that, a few times actually. Then then I learned that it "learned" your print the more you used it so I also tried not resetting my fingerprints for awhile and just constantly using them hoping it would become more accurate but it didn't really help.
I's take it back...Mine works perfectly now...if you've re-scanned and it still won't work then I'm guessing you have a bad sensor.
 

mstadnik59

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2013
13
0
I'm really on the fence as to whether it is okay or not. Worked great for several hours after restoring phone but within about 15 hrs started to work less and less well. Today it's working better again. I'm inclined to have the phone replaced if they will. And yes I know how to use the touch ID... Been successful with it many times. It just seems to start forgetting the print after a few hours.
 

roccobladr

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2011
300
35
Just recently mine has been acting really weird. It has worked fine since day 1 but randomly it will just not pick up my prints at all. Doesn't even say "Try again" Just nothing happens. Does this seem like its hardware related?
 

mstadnik59

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2013
13
0
I have noticed that wiping off the scanner periodically does seem to help maybe give that a try if it had been working and now it's not. Otherwise I would say yea it's probably hardware related which I'm pretty sure is what's going on with mine
 

paradox11

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2013
39
0
I've actually had some success re-enrolling them while putting the phone in airplane mode. Not sure why, but it's worked a lot better since then.

I honestly believe that it's certain apps that are causing interference, but it's impossible to say.
 

mstadnik59

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2013
13
0
Well last night I thought "what the heck" and tried deleting my fingerprints, put it into airplane mode and re-enrolled both of my thumbs and it's been about 99% since. I'm cautiously optimistic bc every time I've re-done my prints it works flawlessly for a time after but has never made it to 24 hrs. It always started to fail sometime toward the end of that first 15-20 hrs. It's been about 23 and is continuing to work great. I don't know why airplane mode would affect it positively but if it continues to work well over the next few hrs I will be a happy camper :)
 

ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
1,646
Florida
One interesting experience.....

I had one issue in the sensor not working for me, but later found out that I had just taken a hot shower, dried off, than attempted to log on, and the finger print sensor did not work. Waited a while until my hands/finger were really dried, and cooled down, and all worked just fine.

Unknown if the finger prints being hot/warm, from the shower (even if drying with a towel at first was not long enough to dry completely) was the caused of this hick-up. Never had any more issues with the sensor.
 

Ruffian829

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 17, 2008
319
2
I have the same problem with it not working if my hands were wet or everything was steamed from the shower. But it also didn't work a million other times. I'm going to try the airplane mode and see if that helps...
The new phone is working better for me but it's far from consistently good. I may have to accept the fact that it just doesn't like my fingerprints? Or maybe it is some app interference as I loaded the new phone from an iCloud backup?
 

FoxFifth

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2012
262
2
Somewhat similar experience to your shower issue. Almost every time I wash my hands using either hot or cold water I get the "Try Again" repeatedly if I use the fingerprint sensor within the next 5 minutes or so. I've tried making sure my hands are completely dry with no success. And I have yet to have problems any other time.
 

mstadnik59

macrumors newbie
Oct 26, 2013
13
0
It's now been a couple of days and I'm rarely getting "try again" since redoing my prints while in airplane mode. For me this has seemed to have solved the problem. I have no idea why it worked but am glad that it has. Hopefully it has put an end to my frustration... Yay!
 

JonMPLS

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,507
80
MN
What worked for me . . .

Just something to try on the chance it might help.

It has been WAY better since I changed the way I use the home button. I used to use my thumb at about a 45 degree angle to push the home button. Not exactly the tip, but not the "flat" part either. So I set my scans up for this and had about a 25-30% success rate on first scan.

I erased these scans and rescanned with the more flat part of my thumb. More or less like being fingerprinted. (before you ask, it was for a job interview . . .)

Now I have been having great results for a couple of days. Realistically, I don't expect a phone scanner to be 100% anyway, but just good enough to avoid being frustrated. I have to say, when it works this fingerprint scanner is a nice feature.
 
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