Windows Hello fingerprint not working? Here’s 9 ways to fix it

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Windows Hello fingerprint not working fix

With just a simple swipe or touch, Windows Hello fingerprint lets you sign in to your Windows 10 computer or device.

Many more devices that can recognise your face and fingerprint are slated to be available in the coming future, but most computers with fingerprint readers are already working with Windows Hello.

Devices with front-facing cameras are able to recognise you face and the iris of your eye, allowing you to sign in without touching the screen or touching your keyboard.

Microsoft Modern Keyboards with Fingerprint ID, however, let you use the fingerprint reader to sign in. Sometimes though, Windows Hello fingerprint reader may not work, or may present some troubleshooting issues.

When Windows Hello fingerprint doesn’t work, you may need to do a few things before you proceed to using the solutions to fix them. Some of these things include:

  • Restarting your device or computer
  • Ensuring Windows Hello is correctly set up
  • Making sure you’re connected to the Internet (or you’re online) because Windows Hello won’t work when you’re offline
  • Turn Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID off, then back on again. This refreshes the Bluetooth connection
  • Check keyboard battery. If the light just above the Up arrow key flashes in red colour, the battery is low. Connect the USB cable that came with the Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID to your keyboard and computer. If the light blinks white, it is charging.
  • Redo your fingerprint. This helps when the fingerprint wasn’t properly recorded or was not read accurately.

Once you have checked the above, try to sign in using Windows Hello again, and see if it recognises your fingerprint. Usually when successful, it signs you into Windows automatically.

Note: If you have set up multiple methods of signing in such as a password, PIN or Windows Hello itself, Windows will show you these options at the sign in screen. Select Windows Hello so that it works.

If the above don’t bear any fruit for you, then try the solutions described below to fix Windows Hello fingerprint.

How can I fix Windows Hello fingerprint issues?

  1. Set up Windows Hello again
  2. Sign in with a PIN or password then set up Windows Hello again
  3. Check your hardware or software
  4. Uninstall and reinstall drivers
  5. Update the fingerprint sensor driver
  6. Check if Biometrics is enabled in BIOS
  7. Update the fingerprint hardware driver
  8. Perform a Clean Boot
  9. Install drivers in compatibility mode

Solution 1: Set up Windows Hello again

Here’s how to do this:

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings

fix Windows Hello fingerprint

  • Click Accounts

windows hello fingerprint

  • Click Sign in options to set up Windows Hello

fix Windows Hello fingerprint

  • Under Windows Hello, choose the option for fingerprint (you’ll get either face, fingerprint or iris if your PC supports it)
  • Sign in with a quick swipe

Note: you may be asked to add a PIN before setting up Windows Hello.

Did this help? If not, try the next solution.

If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.

Solution 2: Sign in with a PIN or password then set up Windows Hello again

If your fingerprint didn’t scan correctly, or you used the wrong finger to sign in, an error message will pop up when trying to sign into Windows Hello.

In this case, use a PIN or password to sign in, and then set up Windows Hello again as in solution 1.

PIN isn’t working on your Windows 10 PC? Find out how you can fix the problem in a couple of simple steps.

Solution 3: Check your hardware or software

In the event nothing happens when you sign in to Windows Hello, or you get no error message, then the issue may be your hardware and/or software.

To fix the hardware issues, run the Microsoft easy fix solution for devices and hardware that checks for commonly occurring issues and ensures any new device or hardware is correctly installed on your computer. Use the following steps:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to View by option on the top right corner
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Large icons
  • Click Troubleshooting

troubleshooting windows 10

  • Click View all option on the left pane
  • Click Hardware and Devices
  • Click Advanced
  • Click Run as Administrator
  • Click Next

Follow the instructions to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.  The troubleshooter will begin detecting any issues.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.

If you’re using the Surface Pro 4, detach and reattach the cover then try to use it again. If reattaching the cover with Fingerprint ID doesn’t fix it, try typing or try using the touchpad.

If the IR camera or fingerprint reader won’t work, sign in using a PIN or password then redo the fingerprint or scan. You can remove the fingerprint or scan then set up Windows Hello again by doing the following:

  • Click Start
  • Select Settings
  • Click Accounts
  • Go to Sign-In options
  • Under Windows Hello, select Remove
  • Set up Windows Hello again

How to fix software issues on Windows Hello

The first thing to do is ensure you have the latest updates for your device and Windows Updates installed.

Having trouble updating your Windows? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.

Once this is confirmed, restore or reset your PC to a state when it was working properly because a recently installed app, driver or update may be the cause of Windows Hello fingerprint not working.

Perform a System Reset

Performing a reset allows you to choose which files you want to keep, or remove, and then reinstalls Windows. Here’s how to get started:

  • Click Start
  • Click Settings
  • Click Update & Security
  • Click Recovery on the left pane
  • Click Reset this PC

fix windows hello fingerprint

  • Click Get started and choose an option either Keep my files, Remove everything, or Restore factory settings

Note: all your personal files will be deleted and settings reset. Any apps you installed will be removed, and only pre-installed apps that came with your PC will be reinstalled.

Need more info on how to factory reset your PC? Read this article and find out everything you need to know.

Disaster strikes and you can’t reset your PC! Fortunately, we’ve got the right solutions for you.

Perform a System Restore

Use System Restore to create restore points when you install new apps, drivers or Windows updates, or when you create restore points manually.

If you experience the issue of Windows Hello fingerprint not working, try and restore the system and see if it helps. Here’s how to perform a system restore:

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type System Restore
  • Click System Restore in the list of search results
  • Enter your administrator account password or grant permissions if prompted to
  • In the System Restore dialog box, click Choose a different restore point
  • Click Next
  • Click a restore point created before you experienced the issue of programs disappearing
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

If System Restore isn’t working, don’t panic. Check this useful guide and set things right once again.

Restoring doesn’t affect your personal files. It however removes apps, drivers and updates installed after the restore point was created. To go back to a restore point, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • In the control panel search box, type Recovery
  • Select Recovery
  • Click Open System Restore
  • Click Next
  • Choose the restore point related to the problematic program/app, driver or update
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

If you’re interested in more info on how to create a restore point and how would that help you, take a look at this simple article to find out everything you need to know.

Restore point not working? Follow these easy steps to solve the problem quickly.

Solution 4: Uninstall and reinstall drivers

You can download a driver and remove the one installed in your computer that is related to the Windows Hello fingerprint reader.

Once you have downloaded the driver, restart your computer and install the new driver.  Check your Device Manager, then go to unknown device and load the driver manually, then restart your computer.

This may not work for all computers, but if it does work for you, that’ll be great. Otherwise, you can try the next solution.

Windows can’t automatically find and download new drivers? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Solution 5: Update the fingerprint sensor driver

Sometimes Windows Hello fingerprint reader doesn’t work due to a faulty or outdated driver. Try and update the fingerprint sensor driver for your device by downloading the latest driver from the manufacturer’s support website (for your device).

We strongly recommend TweakBit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC. Thus, you avoid permanent damage to your PC by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.

Solution 6: Check if Biometrics is enabled in BIOS

Computers which allow biometric login usually store fingerprint data in the BIOS. Therefore, if the biometrics setting is disabled, your fingerprint won’t be recognized, thus you won’t be able to set up Windows Hello.

If biometrics is enabled in BIOS, you’ll get an option to reset the fingerprint data. Here’s how to check whether Biometrics is enabled in BIOS settings:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Run
  • Type gpedit.msc
  • Click Ok
  • The Local Group Policy Editor box will open
  • On the left pane, expand Computer Configuration

windows hello fingerprint

  • Expand Administrative Templates

windows hello fingerprint

  • Expand Windows Components

windows hello fingerprint

  • Select Biometrics

windows hello fingerprint

  • Double click Allow the use of biometrics

windows hello fingerprint

  • Choose Enabled

windows hello fingerprint

  • Click Apply
  • Click Ok
  • Double click Allow user to log in using biometrics

windows hello fingerprint

  • Choose Enabled

windows hello fingerprint

  • Click Apply
  • Click Ok

Does this help? Let us know. But if not, try another solution.

Learn how to edit the Group Policy like an expert with the help of this useful guide.

You don’t have the Group Policy Editor on your Windows PC? Get it now with just a couple of steps.

Solution 7: Update the fingerprint hardware driver

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Choose Device Manager
  • Click Biometric Devices to expand the list
  • The fingerprint sensor is listed as Synaptics FP Sensor (based on the model of your system)

windows hello fingerprint

  • Right click on the device
  • Select Properties
  • Click Driver tab
  • Click Update Driver

Solution 8: Perform a Clean Boot

If you’re still unable to get Windows Hello fingerprint working again, eliminate any software conflicts that may be causing the issue.

Performing a clean boot for your computer reduces conflicts related to software that can bring up the root causes of the Windows Hello fingerprint reader not working.

These conflicts can be caused by applications and services that start up and run in the background whenever you start Windows normally.

How to perform a clean boot

In order to successfully perform a clean boot on Windows 10, you have to be logged on as the administrator, then follow these steps:

  • Go to the search box
  • Type msconfig
  • Select System Configuration
  • Find Services tab
  • Select Hide all Microsoft services box

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  • Click Disable all
  • Go to Startup tab
  • Click Open Task Manager
  • Close Task manager then click Ok
  • Reboot your computer

You will have a clean boot environment after all these steps are carefully followed, after which you can try and check if your Windows Hello fingerprint reader still doesn’t work, or if the problem is gone.

If you want to know how to add or remove startup apps on Windows 10, check out this simple guide.

Can’t open Task Manager? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.

Solution 9: Install drivers in compatibility mode

Follow these steps to install in compatibility mode:

  • Download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website
  • Save it on your local disk
  • Right click on the set up file of the downloaded driver
  • Click Properties
  • Click Compatibility tab
  • Check the box next to Run this program in Compatibility mode
  • Select the Operating System from the drop down list
  • The driver will install, then check its functionality.

Were you able to get Windows Hello fingerprint reader to work again using any of these solutions? Let us know in the comments section below.

Leave there any other suggestions or questions you may have, as well.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness