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Prof.

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
5,298
1,980
Chicagoland
Let's get straight to the point.

I have an iPhone 5S, and yesterday I was walking to class with a cold water bottle in my right hand and my books in my left hand, iPhone in my hoodie pocket. When I got to class and set everything down, I reached for my iPhone and placed my thumb on the home button to unlock it... "Try Again". I tried again and again and it never unlocked. It was then I noticed that my fingertips were cold from holding the water bottle during the 3 min walk to my class.

Later after class - when my fingertips had warmed up, the phone unlocked after the first try. Later that night, I tried unlocking the iPhone with my left thumb - try again. Turns out, Touch ID doesn't like dry/cracked skin.

Anyone else experiencing this?!

This winter is going to be fun!
 
Last edited:

verwon

macrumors 68030
Jul 26, 2011
2,676
2
Seattle
Yes, I've had it happen when my hands were very cold and after washing them/getting a shower.

Though, anytime your skin may experience changes, it's to be expect that it's going to alter your fingerprints and it may not be able to read them. There is no way to make such technology work for any eventuality.
 

Prof.

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 17, 2007
5,298
1,980
Chicagoland
Was there any condensation on your fingers at the time?
I'm sure my thumb was "wetter" than it should have been, though I did wipe them dry on my hoodie. :p
Yes, I've had it happen when my hands were very cold and after washing them/getting a shower.

Though, anytime your skin may experience changes, it's to be expect that it's going to alter your fingerprints and it may not be able to read them. There is no way to make such technology work for any eventuality.
I expected as much. I don't expect Touch ID to be 100% fail-proof when it comes to changes in your skin. It will be interesting to see what happens this winter. My skin cracks/bleeds due to my eczema during the winter. :(
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,132
1,409
Wrinkled-fingers-550x412.jpg


Makes the fingerprint harder to get ID ;)
 
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kodemunkey

macrumors newbie
Nov 7, 2012
4
0
New Mexico, USA
Hi Prof. I actually just got my new 5S yesterday and was really looking forward to using TouchID (primarily because I hate entering my password every time I download an app or access the iTunes store). Unfortunately, I have always suffered from really dry/chapped hands (especially as the weather gets colder). I was able to successfully get both my thumbprints recognized, but whenever I tried to use it I would end up having to enter my passcode. I'm inclined to think that this is because my fingerprints are a bit harder to read because of the dry hands, but I honestly can't say for sure. I'm with you though, if TouchID doesn't like dry/chapped hands, then it looks like I won't be able to use TouchID until spring at the earliest.

Btw…for those that are going to ask "why don't you just use lotion?"; it's because I am a developer (and use touch devices quite a bit) and I really hate having my devices all greasy/oily because of the residue that most lotions leave on my hands. Not to mention, but since it is flu season again I'm always washing my hands so I don't get sick (have a 2 year old at home). If anybody has some good recommendations for non-greasy moisturizers I'm all ears.

Thanks!
 

mbcoutinho

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2014
2
0
I got thru this by getting my hand cold and addind a new fingerprint on the touch ID settings. (Now I got fingerprints there for both thumbs, warm and cold situations)
 

Lissababy

macrumors newbie
Apr 15, 2018
1
0
Hi Prof. I actually just got my new 5S yesterday and was really looking forward to using TouchID (primarily because I hate entering my password every time I download an app or access the iTunes store). Unfortunately, I have always suffered from really dry/chapped hands (especially as the weather gets colder). I was able to successfully get both my thumbprints recognized, but whenever I tried to use it I would end up having to enter my passcode. I'm inclined to think that this is because my fingerprints are a bit harder to read because of the dry hands, but I honestly can't say for sure. I'm with you though, if TouchID doesn't like dry/chapped hands, then it looks like I won't be able to use TouchID until spring at the earliest.

Btw…for those that are going to ask "why don't you just use lotion?"; it's because I am a developer (and use touch devices quite a bit) and I really hate having my devices all greasy/oily because of the residue that most lotions leave on my hands. Not to mention, but since it is flu season again I'm always washing my hands so I don't get sick (have a 2 year old at home). If anybody has some good recommendations for non-greasy moisturizers I'm all ears.

Thanks!



Try using OKeeffes Working Hands Hans cream. Comes in either a 2.7 oz jar and also a tube. Works wonders for dry, cracked and even bleeding fingers during those nasty months.
 

Phone Junky

macrumors 68020
Oct 29, 2011
2,431
4,240
Midwest
Try using OKeeffes Working Hands Hans cream. Comes in either a 2.7 oz jar and also a tube. Works wonders for dry, cracked and even bleeding fingers during those nasty months.
Try looking at a calendar. You’d see that the thread you’re replying to is 4 1/2 years old.
It’s funny the number of brand new, just-registered members, that reply to ancient threads.

LOOK AT THE DATE.
 

rugmankc

macrumors 68020
Sep 24, 2014
2,196
648
Try looking at a calendar. You’d see that the thread you’re replying to is 4 1/2 years old.
It’s funny the number of brand new, just-registered members, that reply to ancient threads.

LOOK AT THE DATE.

I agree on the newbie's posting to years old threads. Uncanny---I assume one joins after first getting an iPhone or a having a specific issue. Not sure how they find theses things for a first post. Search--I know--

Anyway, welcome Lissababy--:)
 

craigio85

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2017
629
729
United Kingdom
Try looking at a calendar. You’d see that the thread you’re replying to is 4 1/2 years old.
It’s funny the number of brand new, just-registered members, that reply to ancient threads.

LOOK AT THE DATE.
Be fair though, when a newbie dares to post a new thread, they get lynched with people saying “this was already discussed in this thread!!” Accompanied by a link to a thread from 1947. Maybe she was just searching to see if people suffering from dry/cracked skin had the same touch ID woes. Mine works less consistently in the winter due to this and I actually looked up the skin cream mentioned as i’m yet to find any effective solution to the problem. So not a completely useless post
 
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AsherN

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2016
587
2,742
Canada
Fingerprints don't always work. My wife an't use TouchID. When she registered for NEXUS, the CBP fingerprint readers could not read her fingerprints either.
 

LizKat

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2004
6,761
36,270
Catskill Mountains
Be fair though, when a newbie dares to post a new thread, they get lynched with people saying “this was already discussed in this thread!!” Accompanied by a link to a thread from 1947. Maybe she was just searching to see if people suffering from dry/cracked skin had the same touch ID woes. Mine works less consistently in the winter due to this and I actually looked up the skin cream mentioned as i’m yet to find any effective solution to the problem. So not a completely useless post

Right, and it's even in the guidelines to look for an appropriate existing thread first before making a new one. I happened to notice @Lissababy's post when I was logging in and it's not useless to me. I have problems w/ TouchID in winter and had never even bothered to look up what anyone else did, just swore when I realized what was going on and figured OK so it's passcode city until Spring.

Try using OKeeffes Working Hands Hans cream. Comes in either a 2.7 oz jar and also a tube. Works wonders for dry, cracked and even bleeding fingers during those nasty months.

... so thanks, @Lissababy, welcome aboard and I'm gonna give that stuff a shot next winter. For now I'm almost at the point where TouchID usually recognizes my left ring finger... usually.

Meanwhile I filed the whole experience under "I taught my smartphone some bannable phrases."
 

appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
6,861
2,493
15 minutes in the future
Be fair though, when a newbie dares to post a new thread, they get lynched with people saying “this was already discussed in this thread!!” Accompanied by a link to a thread from 1947. Maybe she was just searching to see if people suffering from dry/cracked skin had the same touch ID woes. Mine works less consistently in the winter due to this and I actually looked up the skin cream mentioned as i’m yet to find any effective solution to the problem. So not a completely useless post
She probably googled dry hands and posted to popular forums to advertise that hands cream. I see it advertised on TV all the time so I assume they must have a marketing department.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,473
8,170
Somewhere
Try looking at a calendar. You’d see that the thread you’re replying to is 4 1/2 years old.
It’s funny the number of brand new, just-registered members, that reply to ancient threads.

LOOK AT THE DATE.
To be fair unlike a lot of the threads that get dug up this was at least a relevant response to something that is still an issue on current models.
 

TheSkywalker77

macrumors 68030
Sep 9, 2017
2,884
2,756
Touch ID can be iffy at times - especially 1st gen Touch ID on the iPhone 5s. When I had my 5s it wouldn't work unless I had plastic wrap over it, no idea why tho.
 

CTHarrryH

macrumors 68030
Jul 4, 2012
2,932
1,422
I found when I used Touch-id - i had to redo my prints at least a couple of times a year. At the time it was worth it - now with Face-ID what a pain that was.
 
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