Even the most well-known Android has issues with its technology now and again. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. And one as frustrating as a security measure, not working can raise your blood pressure.

With fingerprint scanning become more widely used, it doesn’t stop it from behaving out of character. If you’re suffering from a phone that doesn’t want to read your fingerprint, read on.

1. Alter your Secure Lock Settings

Anytime you lock your phone, it doesn’t immediately lock. There’s an opportunity to unlock the phone without needing your fingerprint. This is known as your “Secure Lock Settings.” And yours may be set too fast. Here’s how you dial it up:

1. Open Settings.

2. Select Lock Screen and Security.

3. Select Secure Lock Settings. You’ll need a password if one was put in place.

4. From the list of options, ignore Immediately.” Instead, alter the lockout at 5 seconds. Your phone will now wait 5 seconds before locking.

2. Test your Fingerprint on Other Apps

What you’re experiencing can be related to hardware, but before you toss your phone away, test the finger sensor on another app. The app could be anything with fingerprint security, like Samsung Pay, but stick to apps that are sanctioned by Android themselves. Doing so ensures the app is upholding the same level of security, rather than testing your fingerprint on an inferior, third-party app.

With that being said, if it works, then congratulations, you’ve just discovered a software issue. If it doesn’t, unfortunately, it’s probably a hardware issue. A software issue would be the lesser of two evils–still annoying and frustrating–but can still be fixed with an update or two or fiddling with your sensor settings.

3. Fingerprint Gestures Getting in the Way

  1. Open Settings.

2. Select Advance Features. You may have to scroll to find it.

3. Again, scroll until you come to Finger Sensor Gestures and disable it.

4. Restart your phone. Press and hold the power button. Wait one minute before firing up your phone again.

4. Finger Sensor Etiquette

Your first instinct is to blame Android. That isn’t to say Android is infallible. Instead, look inwards and you may find the problem is right in your hand. Recognizing your finger takes a serious amount of precision.

(This exercise is in no way a representation of Android’s performance, but rather, to better understand the significance of precision security). To put it in perspective, imagine your finger has a thin layer of dirt. You pull your phone out and, easily enough, your finger works just fine.

Imagine the same scenario, but replace yourself with a stranger. They have possession of your phone and, with one dirty finger, they unlock your phone. What this exercise represents is the importance of precision security.

These sensors are designed to be particular. The slightest inconsistency can barr you from getting pass. At first that seems like a major issue, but if you’re having problems then that means strangers are going to have even less fun unlocking your phone.

So, before you throw pitchforks at the developers and manufacturers, practice finger sensor etiquette.

  • The sensor needs a dry finger.
  • Clean your screen. Food and oils disrupt the sensors.

5. Clear your Cache Data

Clearing your cache data is an often overlooked solution. You see, cache data is like a shortcut for specific processes. Have you ever noticed an app loading faster after using it a few times? That’s cache data. It holds onto specific bits of data that’ll speed of the individual processes an app uses.

It matters here because cache data is still data. Somewhere along the lines that cache data was corrupted. Corrupted data is nothing but a hindrance on application processes. You need to snuff them out. Here’s what you do:

1. Press and hold three separate buttons together: Power button + Bixby button + volume up button. This will restart your phone into Android Recovery.

2. With the volume buttons, maneuver down to Wipe Cache Partition.

3. Afterwards, select Reboot System Now.

You’ll have the opportunity of redoing your fingerprint. Remember your finger sensor etiquette. Head to the section “A New Set of Fingerprints” to get started.

6. Deleting Old Fingerprints

You may have registered fingerprints with inconsistencies that are making it twice as hard for the sensor to recognize. This is an easy fix. First, you’ll have to delete the old fingerprints so they don’t conflict with the new ones.

1. Open Settings.

2. Scroll until you come to Lock Screen and Security. Select it.

3. Tap Fingerprint Scanner. You’ll need the password if one was put in place.

4. To the right of Manage Fingerprints, select Edit.

5. Now, select every fingerprint you want deleted. Alternatively, you can select All, near the top-left corner. Delete every single fingerprint.

6. Tap Remove when you’re finished.

Refer to the section “A New Set of Fingerprints” for step-by-step instructions on setting up new fingerprints after you’ve restarted your phone.

7. A New Set of Fingerprints

If you cleared your cache data, refer to the section “Clear your Cache Data” for instructions, then you’re going to need a new set of fingerprints. If you didn’t, refer to the section “Clear your Cache Data” on why it’s a good idea.

Cache data stores, well, data. That data may have been damaged at some point, giving your sensor trouble whenever it scans your fingerprint. As you can probably imagine, corrupted data doesn’t play well with programs. Here’s what you do:

1. Open Settings.

2. Select Lock Screen and Security.

3. Select Fingerprint Scanner. You’ll need the password if one was put in place.

4. Tap Register fingerprint. This step needs precision. Any twitch or movement can result in a faulty fingerprint, in turn, presenting more problems in later uses. Also, add several fingerprints. There are a plethora of situations where you might need to use your thumb instead.

Before you complete the process, test your fingerprint. If you’re having more failures than successes, redo your fingerprint.