Android

Fix: Fingerprint Sensor not Working in Galaxy S Phones

The Galaxy lineup consists of Samsung’s flagship phones for each year and they are very popular among the consumers. Each year new features are shipped out with devices that provide an enhanced experience to the users. One such feature was the Fingerprint Scanner that scans your biometrics before letting you access your phone. This feature has become a standard one for most devices that exist nowadays and some even provide “In Display” Fingerprint Sensors.

Galaxy Phones Samsung

However, quite recently a lot of reports have been coming in of the fingerprint sensors on Galaxy devices not working properly. The sensors don’t register the user’s finger and the phone is not unlocked. This problem has been seen to recur for every Galaxy device every once in a while.

What Prevents the Fingerprint Scanners from Working Properly?

After receiving numerous reports from frustrated users we decided to investigate the issue and formed a list of solutions after implementing which the problem went away for most of the users. Also, we identified the reasons due to which the problem is triggered and listed them below.

  • Hardware Issue: It is possible that the Fingerprint sensor on your device has stopped working due to an issue with the hardware that means either the sensor is damaged or an important part inside the phone that handles the Fingerprint scanning has been damaged. It is very important to identify the hardware issue from the software ones because the software issue can be fixed easily and hardware issues can only be fixed by taking the phone to get it serviced.
  • Software Issue: It is possible that the Android software installed on your device has not been properly configured to use the Fingerprint scanning feature which is preventing the feature from working properly.
  • Corrupt Data: Once you enter the trusted fingerprints in the settings the device stores that data in the database and every time you try to unlock the device with the fingerprint sensor that database is accessed and the data from the sensor is matched with the data in the phone’s storage and only if it matches the device is unlocked. It is possible that the data stored in the phone’s storage has been corrupted due to which the fingerprint sensor is not working.
  • Fingerprint Sensor Gestures: It is possible that the “Fingerprint Gestures” feature of the device is causing an interruption with important system functions due to which the fingerprint sensor is not working properly.
  • Cache: Sometimes, the cache stored on the device might have been corrupted. This corrupt cache can interfere with important system functions one of them being the Fingerprint scanner.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the nature of the problem we will move on towards the solutions. Make sure to implement these solutions in the specific order in which they are provided to avoid any conflicts.

Solution 1: Checking Biometric Hardware

In order to figure out whether the issue lies within the hardware or the software, we will be conducting a test on the sensor. For that:

  1. Unlock your phone and tap on the “Dialer” icon.
    Note: Make sure to open the Stock Dialer that came preinstalled in the phone.
  2. Inside the dialer, type*#0* ” and tap on the “Call” button.
    Typing “*#0*” in the dialer
  3. The diagnostics menu will now open up, tap on the “Sensors” options and then on the “Fingerprint Scanner” test from there.
    Tapping on the “Sensors” Option
  4. Put your finger on the scanner and check to see if it is working properly.
  5. If the scanner detects your finger and functions properly that means it is not a hardware issue and can be fixed with the methods provided below.
  6. If the scanner doesn’t detect the finger it means you will have to take it into service as it is a hardware issue.

Solution 2: Checking for Updates

There were many instances where the Android software provided by the Samsung wasn’t properly configured and it malfunctioned due to which the fingerprint sensor was not working. Therefore, in this step, we will check to see if any update is available to fix the software problem. For that:

  1. Drag down the notification panel and tap on the “Settings” icon.
    Dragging down the notification panel and tapping on the “Settings” icon
  2. Inside the settings, tap on the “Software Update” or on the “About Device” option for older models.
    Scrolling down to the bottom and clicking on the “About Device” option
  3. Tap on the “Software” option and then on the “Software Update” option.
  4. Tap on the “Check for Updates” option and wait while the phone checks for new updates.
  5. If new updates are available, tap on the “Download Updates Manually” option.
    Clicking on the “Download Updates Manually” option
  6. Wait while the updates are downloaded and tap on the “Install now” option.
    Tapping on the “Install Now” option
  7. The phone will now be restarted and new Android will be installed.

Solution 3: Disabling Fingerprint Gestures

Sometimes, the fingerprint gestures feature can interfere with the fingerprint scanning feature and prevent it from working properly. Therefore, in this step, we will be disabling the Fingerprint Gestures Feature. For that:

  1. Drag down the notifications panel and tap on the “Settings” icon.
    Dragging down the notification panel and tapping on the “Settings” icon
  2. In the settings, tap on the “Advanced Features” option.
    Tapping on “Advanced Features”
  3. Tap on the “Finger Sensor Gestures” toggle to disable it.
  4. Restart the phone and check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 4: Adding New Fingerprints

It is possible that the database where the fingerprints are stored has been corrupted due to which the feature is not working properly. Therefore, in this step, we will be re-establishing that database and deleting the old data. For that:

  1. Drag down the notifications panel and tap on the “Settings” icon.
    Dragging down the notification panel and tapping on the “Settings” icon
  2. Tap on the “Lock Screen & Security” option.
  3. Tap on the “Fingerprint scanner” option and then enter your password or pin code
    Tapping on the “Fingerprint Scanner” option
  4. Tap on the “Trash Can” icon next to the Fingerprints that have been installed to delete them.
  5. Repeat the process for all the installed fingerprints and reboot the phone.
  6. Now drag down the notifications panel and tap on the “Settings” icon.
    Dragging down the notification panel and tapping on the “Settings” icon
  7. Tap on the “Applications” option and then on the “Three Dots” in the top right corner.
    Tapping on the applications option inside settings
  8. Tap on the ” FingerprintASM” app and then on the “Storage” option.
    Tapping on the Storage option
  9. Tap on the “Clear cache” button and then on the “Clear Data” button.
    Tapping on the “Clear Data” and the “Clear Cache” option
  10. Navigate back to the list of applications and now tap on the “Fingerprint Authenticator” app.
  11. Tap on the “Storage” option and then on the “Clear Cache” and “Clear Data” buttons.
  12. Now Navigate back to the “Lock Screen & Security” options and tap on the “Fingerprints” option.
    Tapping on the “Fingerprint and Security” Option
  13. Tap on the “Add a new Fingerprint” button and continue with the verification process.
  14. Once the Fingerprint is added, lock the screen and check to see if the issue persists.

Solution 5: Wiping Cache Partition

In some cases, the cache stored on the device can become corrupted and start interfering with important system functions. Therefore, in this step, we will be wiping the cache partition. For that:

  1. Press and hold the power button and tap on the “Power Off” option.
    Tapping on the Power off option
  2. Press and hold the “Volume Down“, “Home” and the “Power” button on the older devices and the “Volume Down“, “Bixby” and the “Power” button on newer devices.
    Button allocation on Samsung Devices
  3. Release the “Power button” when the Samsung Logo is displayed and all the buttons when the “Android” logo is displayed.
    Releasing the power key on Samsung’s Boot logo
  4. The Device might display “Installing System Updates” for a while.
  5. Use the Volume down key to navigate down the list and highlight the “Wipe Cache Partition” option.
    Highlighting the Wipe Cache Partition option and pressing the power button
  6. Press the “power” button to select the option and wait for the process to be completed.
  7. Navigate through the list with the “Volume Downbutton and pressPower” button when the “Reboot System Now” option is highlighted.
    Highlighting the “Reboot System Now” option and pressing the “Power” button
  8. The phone will now be rebooted, check to see if the issue persists.

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Fix: Fingerprint Sensor not Working in Galaxy S Phones

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