Windows Hello fingerprint authentication not only facilitates sign-in, but also improves security.
However, there are many voices of troubles such as not being able to set up fingerprint authentication, or suddenly being unable to perform fingerprint authentication even though it worked without problems.
This time, I will introduce what to do when Windows Hello fingerprint authentication is not possible on a Windows 10 computer.
Re-set up fingerprint authentication
If you are using Windows for fingerprint authentication for the first time, you need to set it up first. Even if you have been able to use it without any problems, you may be able to solve the problem by re-setup using the normal procedure.
First, try the normal setup with the following steps.
Fingerprint authentication setup procedure
- When using an externally connected fingerprint reader, connect the fingerprint reader to your computer.
- Click the Start button, then click the gear icon when the menu appears.
- The Settings window is displayed. Click “Account”.
- Select “Sign-in Options” from the menu list.
- Scroll down the screen on the right and click the Setup button under Fingerprint Authentication.
- The Windows Hello setup screen is displayed. Click “Start”.
- “Touch the fingerprint sensor” is displayed. Follow the instructions and press your finger against the fingerprint sensor.
- You will be asked to touch the sensor several times, so repeat the procedure of touching and releasing the sensor as instructed. At this time, the accuracy will be improved if the recognition is performed while changing the position where the finger is applied little by little.
- When fingerprint registration is complete, “Other settings” will be displayed. Then click “PIN Settings”.
- You will be asked for a password. Enter your Microsoft account password and click OK.
- Next, set the PIN. Create by combining any number (or alphanumeric characters). Be sure to make a note of the PIN you have set, as you will have to enter the PIN instead if fingerprint authentication does not work or if fingerprint authentication cannot be used for some reason.
This completes the fingerprint authentication setup. If the setup cannot be completed even after following the procedure, try the following solutions.
Restart your computer
There may be cases where fingerprint authentication cannot be performed due to a problem on the Windows OS.
This is a basic workaround, but there are many cases where a reboot can solve the problem. Please try rebooting once.
Apply the latest Windows Update
If Windows is not up to date, please update Windows. Follow the steps below to update Windows 10.
- Click the Start button, setting button
- Click Update & Security.
- Select Windows Update and click Check for Updates.
- If there are new updates, you will see a message such as “Checking for updates …” followed by “Preparing to install updates”, “Downloading updates”, etc. The download and installation will be performed. Please wait.
- When the message [Your device is up to date] is displayed, the process is complete. Click the [X] button at the top right of the screen to close the Windows Update screen.
If you are prompted to restart after installing the new update, click the Restart Now button and restart your computer. Be careful not to turn off your computer during the restart.
Reset the PIN
You may be able to resolve the issue by resetting your PIN.
- Click the Start button on the taskbar. When the menu appears, click the gear icon.
- Click “Account” → “Sign-in Options” to proceed.
- Then Click the “Delete” button.
- A confirmation message will be displayed, so click “Delete” again.
- You will be prompted for a password, so enter your Microsoft account password. This will delete the registered PIN.
- Then reset your PIN. Click the “Add” button below the “PIN” item.
- You will be asked for a password. Enter your Microsoft account password and then Sign in.
- Set a new PIN. Create a PIN by combining any number. Be sure to make a note of the PIN you set.
- This completes the PIN reset.
After setting the PIN, set up fingerprint authentication again by referring to the “Fingerprint authentication setup procedure” at the top of this article.
Reinstall the driver
Reinstall the fingerprint sensor driver.
- Right-click on the Start button.
- Select “Device Manager” from the menu.
- Device Manager will start. Find the “Biometric Device” item and click the arrow icon on the left.
- Once the tree is expanded, right-click on the driver name under Biometric Devices.
- Click “Uninstall Device”.
- A confirmation message is displayed. If there is a check item “Remove the driver software for this device”, uncheck it.
- Click OK.
- Restart your computer. The driver will be automatically reinstalled when you reboot.
- Check if the fingerprint authentication function can be used without any problem.
Run the troubleshooting tool
If something is wrong with the fingerprint sensor, the Windows 10 troubleshooting tool may be able to resolve the issue. To run the troubleshooter, follow these steps:
- Click the Start button and the gear icon.
- Click Update & Security.
- Click “Troubleshooting” in the menu list.
- Scroll down the menu and click Hardware and Devices.
- Click Run Troubleshooter.
- If a problem is detected, it will be repaired on the fly if automatic repair is possible. If automatic repair is not possible, refer to the contents displayed on the screen and take corrective action.
Check the manufacturer’s support page
The fingerprint sensor driver and dedicated software may be updated as Windows is updated.
If the computer comes with a fingerprint authentication sensor, check the manufacturer’s site of the computer, and if you are using an external fingerprint reader connected, check the product page of the fingerprint reader, and the support information has been updated. Please check if there is any.
Revert the version of Windows
If you’ve been able to use it without problems, but suddenly you can’t use fingerprint authentication, Windows Update may be the cause.
If none of the above solutions work, restoring your version of Windows may help.