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How to Fix: Fingerprint Scanner Not Working on Samsung

By Carrie Murray, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016

Most Samsung new models are equipped with fingerprint scanner, including:

  • Galaxy A5/A7/A9/A9 Pro

  • Galaxy S5/S6/S7/S7 Edge/S8/S9

  • Galaxy Note 4 /Note 5/Note 6/Note 8

It is very convenient for us to unlock Samsung phones with fingerprint. However, thing doesn't always go well and at some point, the fingerprint scanner just stops working for some reasons. Here we list the common situations that Samsung phone is unable to be unlocked by fingerprint and how to fix them.

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Case 1: Samsung Failed to Recognize My Fingerprint

Q: I have a Galaxy Note 5 and use fingerprint to unlock my phone. It had been working fine. But suddenly my phone just couldn't recognize my fingerprint. What's worse, I have forgot the backup password. Now I am locked out of the phone. Help! Please!!!!!!!

A: Firstly, don't panic. Secondly, check if your Note 5 is connected to Wi-Fi or celluar data. If it does, you can unlock your phone again with Google account or via

Unlock Samsung with Google Account

Precaution: To unlock your Note 5 with Google account, you should have google account added to your phone before you were locked out.

After entering the wrong backup password for more than 5 times, you get the option of "Unlock via Google". Then type your Google email and password, tap "Sign in". After you log in, the "Lock Screen" will be reset as "Swipe".

Unlock Samsung with Google

Unlock Samsung via

Precaution: You should have added Samsung account and turned on "Remote Control" on your Samsung phone to use the unlocking feature on

Go to and log in with your Samsung accoun. Then find the "Unlock my screen" option. Click on "Unlock" button and your get the message: the screen is unlocked. Setup screen lock on the device.

Unlock Samsung via

Your Galaxy phone should be unlocked now.

Unlock Samsung by Factory Resetting

What if you have switched off network connection or don't have a Google/Samsung account? You can still get your phone unlocked by resetting the phone to factory settings.

Step 1. Put your phone into recovery mode. Turn off the device. Then press and hold the "Volume Up", "Power" and "Home" buttons at the same time until the Android logo appears. Release "Power" button but continue to hold the other buttons until the following page comes up.

Enter Recovery Mode

Step 2. Tap "wipe data/factory reset" and "wipe cache partition" to erase all the settings and data in the phone. Then, reboot the phone, the screen lock will be removed.

Note: Factory resetting will wipe out all your settings and data in the phone. So you'll lose all data if you don't have a backup.

Case 2: Fingerprint Scanner Stopped Working after Upgrading

Q: I used to unlock my phone with fingerprint. However, after I upgraded my Galaxy S6, the fingerprint scanner stopped working. Everytime I tried to add a fingerprint or use the scanner, I got the message: Make sure Home button is clean and dry, then try again. What's going on with my phone?

A: Every Android new update may have some small bugs and cause problems in some models. To eliminate the bugs, you should wipe the cache partition in recovery mode first:

  • Put your phone into the recovery mode.

  • Use the volume buttons to scroll down to highlight "Wipe Cache Partition". Press the "Power" button to confirm. After that, choose "Reboot System Now" to restart the phone.

If the problem persists after that, here suggest you try the other three methods:

1. Fix with Broken Android Data Extraction to protect data. With this method, it enables you to repair the system if you cannot access the system and then extract the phone data to PC as a backup.

Disadvantage: Part of Samsung models can be supported.

Extract Data from Broken Phone

2. Do factory reset the phone under recovery mode. (Factory resetting the phone will delete all data and brings your phone back to factory state.) Therefore, backup important data to computer before performing a factory reset).

Disadvantage: All Data will be gone!

Factory Reset in Recovery Mode

3. Downgrade your Galaxy S6 with Odin or flash the stock ROM by flashing a new firmware to your phone

Disadvantage: Remove all your phone contents and settings and get your device back to original state.

Any more questions about fingerprint scanner not working on Samsung? Leave your question below and we'll see what we can do.

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