Is Touch ID on iPhone waterproof?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by airlied, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. airlied macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    I know iPhone is not a waterproof phone and nobody wanted to throw it into water. But is Touch ID waterproof? Since I unlock the phone using my wet fingers sometimes and if it's not I'll be burned.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
  3. Narien macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Since the button is "lose" from the rest of the phone, there is a gap where water could get in. So no, it is not waterproof.
  4. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012

    How can it be waterproof when the phone is not?
  5. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    No Touch ID is not waterproof, but the input device is.
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Throw a bunch of water on the touch id button and let us know if it's waterpr or not.
  7. ttmrn macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2014
    Technically the Touch ID parts shld not be affected by water.

    However as a whole iPhone, it's inconclusive.
  8. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    I'm sure that Apple built some degree of water resistance around the Touch ID, because as the OP mentioned, a lot of people are going to occasionally touch the screen with a not-perfectly-dry finger on occasion. I don't think a minimal amount of dampness on the outside of any part of the iPhone is going to trigger any water failures that would cause a problem or be detected by a diagnostic test. Just like taking it out and using it when it's lightly raining outside shouldn't cause problems. Just don't drop it in water, and you should be fine.
  9. robert109 macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2011
  10. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013

    I looked closely at photos from's teardowns of the 5 and 5S last year. I was concerned about the effect of sweat seeping into the home button, but I believe it isn't a problem for the following reasons:

    In the iPhone 5, the home button cover is glued (creating a seal) on top of a rectangular polymer gasket. The gasket in turn has adhesive on its upper face, which seals against the underside of the display unit. A steel plate that backs the entire home button assembly and is secured with 2 screws helps keep this all in place.

    Liquid that gets in between the gap between the home button and display assembly is blocked by the adhesive seal between the button cover and gasket, and by the adhesive seal between the gasket and display assembly.

    The iPhone 5S is constructed similarly, except that the home button cover has the TouchID sensor under the circular sapphire panel.

    Liquid will only get in if the gasket tears or the adhesive fails. Under normal usage patterns in normal climates, I think it would be years before the gasket and adhesive began to degrade. Unless you are squirting industrial solvents into the gap between the home button and display, I really don't think you should worry.
  11. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012

    The question was is it waterproof and the answer is clearly, NO.
  12. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Don't be an ass. Despite the OP's poorly worded title, he made it clear in his actual post that he was concerned about whether he could safely use the Touch ID with a wet finger, and the answer is very likely, YES.
  13. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    Probably be fine with wet fingers but the drier the better as theres always a risk of some water getting in down the sides of the button.

    Really wish apple had made the 6 waterproof, doesn't seem like it would have been hard to do as it all looks pretty seamless and well sealed as is.
  14. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Yes, but I believe wet fingers can interfere with the accuracy of TouchID. So better to dry fingers first when possible.
  15. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

    Jun 12, 2013

    See my post above. Unless the gasket or sealing adhesive breaks, liquid that falls down the side of the button can't get into the inside of the device.
  16. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    of course it can... its water ;)
  17. logeox macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2014
    If you have ever taken apart a iPhone you know that there is a rubber seal around the home button on the underside. This prevents water from entering into the electronics area. When you depress the button it hits the sensor for the home button. I can't comment how this has changed since they added the fingerprint scanner to home button.

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17 October 12, 2014