Fingerprint sensor "forgetting" fingerprints

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2014

I hope this is the right forum to put this question in.  

 

I have a 5s, purchased a week ago.  I have set up both of my thumbs and index fingers on the fingerprint sensor.  It works great at first but by the next day, it forgets my prints.  It *might* work sometimes - like 1 out of 10 attempts.  But not like at first right after I scan when it works every time.  And then eventually, won't work at all and I have no choice but to re-scan.  Then after I re-scan it works fantastic but by the next day, not so much.

 

Is anyone else experiencing this?  Am I doing something wrong, or is it supposed to do this, or is something wrong with my phone?  

 

Really frustrated...

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37

    Yes, it’s specifically designed to do that.

  • Reply 2 of 37
    Yes, it’s specifically designed to do that.
    Wait, what? It is designed to forget your fingerprint scan? What does rescanning mean (I don't have the 5s yet)? Does that mean you have to re-train the system to recognize your fingerprint? Everyday? Wouldn't that be like the phone forgetting your passcode and you have to reset it every day? How is that convenient? I must be missing something. Do you have a link?
  • Reply 3 of 37
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



    Yes, it’s specifically designed to do that.


    Wait, what? It is designed to forget your fingerprint scan? What does rescanning mean (I don't have the 5s yet)? Does that mean you have to re-train the system to recognize your fingerprint? Everyday? Wouldn't that be like the phone forgetting your passcode and you have to reset it every day? How is that convenient? I must be missing something. Do you have a link?

     

    TS was joking. Obviously it is not designed to do that. It sounds like a faulty unit producing large variations in the scan data. Or maybe she's an alien?

  • Reply 4 of 37
    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

    TS was joking. Obviously it is not designed to do that.


     

    No, it is.

     



    An Apple spokesman pointed to other security features the company has added to the phone. Apple customers who wish the use Touch ID also have to create a passcode as a backup. Only that passcode (not a finger) can unlock the phone if the phone is rebooted or hasn’t been unlocked for 48 hours.


  • Reply 5 of 37
    OK, but that doesn't sound like ranchogirl's problem. She's saying her phone forgets her fingerprints by the next day. So maybe it is a defective unit. But even still, why does the phone do that after 48 hours? Did they give an explanation? Do you have a link to the actual article?
  • Reply 6 of 37
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     
    Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

    TS was joking. Obviously it is not designed to do that.


     

    No, it is.

     



    An Apple spokesman pointed to other security features the company has added to the phone. Apple customers who wish the use Touch ID also have to create a passcode as a backup. Only that passcode (not a finger) can unlock the phone if the phone is rebooted or hasn’t been unlocked for 48 hours.




     

    Agreed - but it doesn't require you to re-enter all your fingerprints, so I don't think that's the issue here.

  • Reply 7 of 37

    Same problem. I deleted and re-entered my prints, and the phone worked fine for a day. Now it has forgotten them again. Back to the Genius Bar, I guess.

  • Reply 8 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DrBob View Post

     

    Same problem. I deleted and re-entered my prints, and the phone worked fine for a day. Now it has forgotten them again. Back to the Genius Bar, I guess.


     

    I'm no expert but I'm thinking that it's not a hardware problem, or it wouldn't be working fantastic for that first day, but a software problem.  Like something in the software is forgetting the print prematurely.  And being that it might possibly be a software problem I'm surprised that more haven't spoken out that they are having the same issue. 

     

    On Saturday I rescanned 5 fingers - right and left thumb, right and left index finger, and right middle finger.  All worked fine until Sunday (yesterday).  On Sunday both index fingers and my right middle finger worked fine, left thumb worked sometimes, and right thumb didn't work at all.  Rescanned right thumb - my most used finger to unlock the phone.  As of right now the right thumb still works great and I'm actually surprised.  But left thumb doesn't nor does left index finger now.  The biggest surprise however is that my right index finger and right middle finger still work with every attempt and I scanned those on Saturday.  

     

    I don't think I'm updated to 7.0.2 yet, so going to do that now, and the next thing I will try is just having one finger scanned, until I'm really confident it's working.  Like 48 hours without a hitch.  Then add another finger.  If all else fails, my 14 days are up on the 7th, and I'll return to the Apple Store for an exchange.  I'm just worried that they won't have my phone in stock.  Ugh...

  • Reply 9 of 37

    And here's the other thing - I can just imagine a Genius Bar appointment - hello sir, my fingerprint scanner isn't working.  All they'll do is show me how to set it up and then wala - it will work great!  Unless they are going to go home with me to verify when it stops working, it will be hard to prove a defect in this scenario.  

     

    I'm hoping that as long as it's within the 14 days I can exchange it just because I want to.  However I feel that they will be more likely to have my phone in stock as long as there is something wrong with what I'm bringing in.  Just an inkling.

  • Reply 10 of 37
    muppetrymuppetry Posts: 3,328member
    ranchogirl wrote: »
    drbob wrote: »
     
    Same problem. I deleted and re-entered my prints, and the phone worked fine for a day. Now it has forgotten them again. Back to the Genius Bar, I guess.

    I'm no expert but I'm thinking that it's not a hardware problem, or it wouldn't be working fantastic for that first day, but a software problem.  Like something in the software is forgetting the print prematurely.  And being that it might possibly be a software problem I'm surprised that more haven't spoken out that they are having the same issue. 

    On Saturday I rescanned 5 fingers - right and left thumb, right and left index finger, and right middle finger.  All worked fine until Sunday (yesterday).  On Sunday both index fingers and my right middle finger worked fine, left thumb worked sometimes, and right thumb didn't work at all.  Rescanned right thumb - my most used finger to unlock the phone.  As of right now the right thumb still works great and I'm actually surprised.  But left thumb doesn't nor does left index finger now.  The biggest surprise however is that my right index finger and right middle finger still work with every attempt and I scanned those on Saturday.  

    I don't think I'm updated to 7.0.2 yet, so going to do that now, and the next thing I will try is just having one finger scanned, until I'm really confident it's working.  Like 48 hours without a hitch.  Then add another finger.  If all else fails, my 14 days are up on the 7th, and I'll return to the Apple Store for an exchange.  I'm just worried that they won't have my phone in stock.  Ugh...

    I don't see how it can be a software issue - everyone has the same software. The only explanation that seems plausible is inconsistent scan data that varies with time - a hardware problem. I would definitely request a replacement. Have you call Apple support?
  • Reply 11 of 37

    No I have not yet, as I've been trying to determine if it's something I'm doing incorrectly, or if it's the phone, and if others are having this issue too.  

     

    If I call Apple Support and they determine it should be exchanged, would they be able to reserve the same phone for me in the store?  I have a silver 32GB, which I understand is still hard to come by. 

  • Reply 12 of 37

    I read on another Apple forum that quite a few people are actually having this exact same problem.  One of them returned her phone for a new one and the same thing is happening.  Several posters have commented that it could be the user's fingers that have issues, not the phone.  

     

    I also noticed that it's usually my thumbs that I keep having to re-register.  Right now my index fingers that I registered on Saturday still work. 

     

    So, I'm conducting an experiment.  I registered my daughter's fingers in two fingerprint slots.  If, in two days, the phone forgets her fingerprints too, then it's probably the phone.  If it doesn't, then it's probably my own finger issue.  

     

    I'll let you know the results of my experiment.  

  • Reply 13 of 37
    drbobdrbob Posts: 3member

    On the advice of the Apple tech I chatted on line with, I did complete software restore on my iPhone 5S. It is now remembering my fingerprints perfectly a few days after I inputted them.

     

    Bob

  • Reply 14 of 37

    How do you do a complete software restore?  Go into iTunes and select restore?  How is that different from syncing?

     

    I was just coming on here to state that there is nothing wrong with my phone, but rather, with my thumb.  The phone still remembers my daughter's fingers, and one of my fingers (index).  But, not my thumbs.  Fwiw, my thumbs are not callused, but they do get dry.  Still doesn't explain why they work flawlessly on day 1 and maybe 2, however...

     

    I will try the software restore.  

  • Reply 15 of 37
    drbobdrbob Posts: 3member
    A software restore will completely erase your phone and then install a new copy of the phone software. Then it will restore all your apps , music, photos, etc. Be sure to back up your phone in iTunes before hitting the restore button. Good luck.
  • Reply 16 of 37

    Yup.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with my phone.  My index finger still works perfectly, every time, fast, and it hasn't forgotten it.  Same with my daughter's fingers.  Works perfectly every time.  My thumbs on the other hand, it doesn't like.  Well it likes it on day 1, but not past that.

     

    I called Apple.  They said that they were aware of the problem and that there will be a software update soon with a fix.  It seems that with fingers that it can't read as easily, the memory of the print that worked so well initially gets deleted.  Such as my thumbs.  The ones it can read easily, such as my index finger and my daughter's fingers, and most everyone else's fingers in the nation, it remembers.   

     

    My thumbs are not calloused but they do get dry.  

     

    So I'll be patient for now.

  • Reply 17 of 37
    We have 2 phones, both forget the thumbs. When it works, I love it - just push and open. If I have to have to handle the phone to use index, then I may as well just swipe. It happens to people so often that you know it had to happen in testing. Odd
  • Reply 18 of 37

    I have tried all kinds of fixes. I downloaded the new software update 7.03. Each fix only works for a short time then the phone forgets my fingerprints again. The only way to get the phone to open with prints is to go in and delete the old prints, record new ones and then the prints work for a few hours or up to a day. Then once again I have to go through the whole process again. I can tell the phone is no longer recognizing the prints because when I go into settings for fingerprints the print no longer gets the grey bar over it (which shows it recognizes the print). It is easy to check- record the print and the bar is grey over the print. Come back 4-5 hours later and the same print no longer gets the grey bar.

     

    Not sure what can be done to fix this, but it is supposed to be a major new feature of the phone and it is a dud.

     

    Will try to go to the apple store soon, but don't have much hope as it seems to be a software issue.

  • Reply 19 of 37

    Maybe you're just holding it wrong?

  • Reply 20 of 37
    It's happening to my phone also. I register my print and my phone forgets it within a day. I'm presuming that there will be a software update soon
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