Fingerprint sensor not working on Android? Fix it now

Ask anyone what’s the quickest way to unlock a phone and the answer will be by using the fingerprint sensor. It literally takes a second to unlock the phone and you can start using it as you want. The scanner adds a pretty sophisticated layer of security since your passwords can be guessed by fingerprints and are less likely to be forged. What if you found that the fingerprint sensor is not working on your Android phone?

Turns out there are many instances where users have reported similar issues. It could be for a second or the sensor could be down for a long time. Here are some troubleshooting methods you can use.

1: Check if your Fingers are clean [ Fingerprint sensor not working on Android ]

A fingerprint sensor is a sophisticated tool that scans fingerprints and allows access after authentication. Damped or dry or dirty fingers can discourage a fingerprint sensor from registering the stimuli and since the sensor was unable to authenticate your fingerprint, it won’t work even if you are the phone owner and use the right finger the right way.

Use a napkin or a tissue to wipe clean your finger and try again. We usually recommend registering two or three fingers so in case if your index finger is dirty, you can still use the middle finger or thumb to unlock the phone.

2: Check if the Fingerprint sensor is clean

Assuming that your finger is clean, now it’s time to look after the fingerprint sensor. If it isn’t clean, it will have issues authenticating the user. Oils, liquid, or any other stuff covering the fingerprint sensor partially or fully will distort its ability to register a touch, and thus, you will face difficulty unlocking the phone this way.

You can use a slightly wet cloth or tissue to clean the module. It goes without saying, you shouldn’t use hard or sharp objects like keys to remove debris collected on the module because it will cause more damage.

3: Reboot the phone [ Fingerprint sensor not working on Android ]

If you thought this method might not work here, think again. Turns out temporary software glitches can cause the phone’s fingerprint scanner to behave abnormally such as it won’t register a fingerprint. Thus, a quick reboot and you are actually on your way towards fixing this temporary software glitch.

4: Software Updates

Outdated software (both Android and the custom UI like MIUI, OneUI, OxygenOS) should be updated from time to time to relieve the phone from any bugs. If you are complaining about the fingerprint scanner not working issue, it could be because of outdated firmware.

It won’t take much time to check if there’s an update available. If yes, simply download and install it via Settings >> About Phone >> Software Updates (System Updates) and this should do the trick.

5: Wipe cache partition [ Fingerprint sensor not working on Android ]

This particular method requires you to boot into the recovery mode. If you aren’t comfortable with it, we strongly recommend skipping this method. For those who want to proceed, you can clear the phone system cache using this feature. Here’s how it works.

  • Turn off the phone.
  • You need to enter the recovery mode. The procedure might differ based on the make and model such as some devices use Volume UP + Power or Volume DOWN + Power and so on. Search what method suits your device. You’ll need to keep the buttons pressed till the phone boots in recovery mode.
  • Now, use the volume rockers to change between options. The power button is used for selection here. Note that the touchscreen doesn’t work here.
  • Select “Wipe Cache Partition”.
  • Finally, “Reboot the system now” and it is done.
  • Verify if the fingerprint scanner works or not.

6: Reset your Android phone

This method is like putting the last bullet in the skull. This is because once you reset your phone, all the data that was ever stored on the device will vanish. We don’t recommend doing this method without backing up the data.

  • First up, go to Settings.
  • Proceed to System >> Reset Options >> Erase all data (factory reset).
  • You will be prompted whether you want to go through with it or not. Select “Erase All Data” to agree and finally, enter the password to confirm and set the reset mechanism in motion.

7: Report the issue

Assuming that you are still struggling to fix the fingerprint sensor not working issue on your Android device, it’s time to call in the big guns. We are talking about taking help from an official technician at your phone’s OEM’s authorized service center. You can still report the issue to a local service center but you will risk losing the warranty on the device.


These were some of the troubleshooting methods you can use to fix the fingerprint sensor not working issue on your Android smartphones. Some of the methods can work for iOS devices as well.

Also read: Android phone won’t connect to PC? Just do this

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