Fingerprint Scanner Issues


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 9, 2013
Phone: Iphone 6+ gold 128GB

I am having fingerprint scanning issues. I programmed my fingerprint the first day i had the product. Within hours my fingerprint was becoming less successful to unlock my phone. I removed all fingerprints and setup just 1 print. This worked for about 5 minutes and eventually gave up on it and just decided to use my passcode for now on. Well later that day and being tired of typing in passcodes / passwords (for the app store) i decided to clear the print and try again all the while i cleaned the home button with a microfiber cloth. I setup my thumbprint after failing to register it (i failed about 2-4 times), i tried to use the thumb to unlock the iphone. It failed within 30 seconds of being setup. I had about a 1 in 20 chance of success for my thumb print. Now i have a 0 in 50 success rate. It's very annoying and seems to be a very unsuccessful feature of the phone for me.

I do tend to have sweaty hands and my fingers leave nice prints on the home button, so i am always wiping the button off before use. I also wipe my finger off as well.

Does anyone have any extra suggestions to help with said issues.


macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2014
Maybe this might help?

If not I might go down to the Apple store to have a 'genius' help you set it up correctly...


macrumors 6502a
Feb 28, 2009
Texas, US
I copied this from another thread I posted in, hopefully this will be helpful.

Touch ID works Fantastic for me, and works stupid well for almost every one I know with a 5s or 6.


I've seen 2 problems before.

My mom was having tons of trouble with Touch ID on her 5s even after multiple delete and repeat scans. Eventually I put one of my thumbprints in it, fast forward a month or two and she tells me it still didn't work. I asked to see her phone and gave it a try. It read my thumb print the very first time, and every time after that. Huh.

It just doesn't like her prints.

In the other case a friend has an almost beat to heck & back 5s that won't read anyone's prints very well.

The phone has had a very hard life though... Caseless carry (she's about as clumsy as me so that's a lot of drops) plus a teething toddler that likes the bright screen and the iPhone's superior taste.

I suggested a slober-proof kids tablet, a case and a wipe & restore or at least a settings reset but that's a no-go for her so hard to rule in or out hardware or software.

My suggestion for those having trouble is:

1) Make sure your getting a good scan. (Both for setup & use) Seems obvious, but it isn't always. Good center area of your pad. That's the area where your skin stays fairly consistent throughout the day. Don't use the edges as those are usually where calluses build up. Have a friend who's Touch ID experience is great demonstrate their setup & scan method. Maybe you're missing something.

2) Try a different finger. (Remember sanding your fingers back in your bank robbing days? Yeah, maybe your thumb print just isn't there anymore. Seriously, thumbs take a lot of wear & tear, get wet, callused, burned. Maybe you've got a more consistent print on another finger.

3) Try a trusted friend or spouse's print. This is especially important if your Touch ID experience seems to get worse with time. If it still works for your friend, it's likely a skin condition thing.

4) Try a setting reset (maybe wait for iOS 8.1 before you try that though)

After that, I'd carry my happy self to the Apple Store and see about a replacement.


macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2013
Note: Im not sure if this is in the video in the OP (haven't had time to watch it), but

you can continue to "teach" TouchId you fingers by going to the TouchID and Passcode configuration and scan your fingers, you'll notice that the appropriate Finger under "Fingerprints" will highlight when you touch the sensor. I've read somewhere (last year after 5S came out) that it will refine your print for that finger.

Newtons Apple

Mar 12, 2014
Jacksonville, Florida
Touch ID did not work well on my 5S so I never used it. Was hoping my 6 would be better and it was. But it still fails enough that it becomes a paint in the butt so I have turned it back off.

I never lay my iPhone down so I am not too worried about theft. I do wish they would put it on the new iPad Air units as it does get left around but I keep it pass code protected.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 9, 2013
While setting up the fingerprint really isnt the issue, the issue is that the fingerprint scanner sucks as far as success rate. I have followed your video to give it a shot and see what happens. The success rate so far is 3/6 attempts, while i had failed the very first time trying the thumb, repositioned and pressed again. I had success there but afterwards it failed like 2 times in a row, then i had 2 successes in a row.

It's significantly a step up from before however I am going to test it out for a weekend and see how i feel about it.


macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
I've heard some people have had success adding the some finger more then once. That way if your finger fails to match one saved print maybe it'll be matched the another saved print of the same finger.

I bet that'll help at least somewhat, you definitely should be getting better then 50%. I've had my 6 since launch day and I'd say I have around 95+% success rate and I haven't added the same print more then once.
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