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Having problems with Touch ID failing? Read this for help

6735 Views 63 Replies Latest reply: Mar 20, 2014 5:08 AM by Charybdisc RSS
  • Dreanmachine1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I started this thread and from day one, with two phones (and then 2 replacement phones), we, like RC-R (and others), have tried everything offered, multiple times (both me and my wife).  Some limited success here and there, but ultimately frustration and levels of failure. I almost cringe each time a response comes in anymore because I know it is more guessing and trying, and hoping. I am very grateful for the many passionate folks who offer their inputs and desires to figure this out and help the mass market. However, I have grown weary and wonder if software brilliance will ever fix this someday from out of the universe. My wife no longer uses it and I keep hanging with it. I have an iPad Air and I have a sigh of relief each time I am required to enter my code and know there will be no 'Try Again' flashes of anger. I just had to vent one more time and share the many similar sentiments here in this thread and others. Thanks for listening to my emotional rant  .

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (13,815 points)

    Dreanmachine1 wrote:

    I almost cringe each time a response comes in anymore because I know it is more guessing and trying, and hoping.

    I don't think it is as much guessing & hoping as it is just that what works well for some users doesn't do anything useful for others.


    The one variable we (& Apple) can never assume is the same for everyone is the biometric characteristics of different fingertips. Some have more distinct fingerprint patterns or thicker, more leathery skin than others. Older folks like myself probably have drier, less pliable skin than younger ones, so even how firmly or lightly one needs to press to get the same amount of contact with the sensor will vary significantly.


    Some people's skin absorbs moisture or the oils in lotions more readily than others, & that too will affect the results. (Curiously, I can rub a whole lot of hand lotion into my thumb & that does not have much if any effect, but even the tiniest bit of moisture results in failure every time.)


    If you are having problems with Touch ID, I believe the best advice remains to try the various suggestions & see which (if any) work for you. If none do, tell Apple about it. There isn't much else we can do, right?

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I deleted my enrolled print and re-enrolled putting a bit firmer pressure as you suggested. I'll see in time if that gives me a longer run without trouble. Using the lighter pressure enrollment (but your method otherwise) gave me about a month before I started to get the smaller and smaller area of recognition. By 7-8 weeks I was getting far too many "try again" messages to live with.


    Thanks for your continued work on this Joe.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well, 48 hours later and I'm already getting noticeable print degradation. Not a good sign. I just wiped it and started again. Amazing how it recognizes so much of your print right after you enroll. Why oh why can't it stay that way Apple?!


    When I had the longest run of success I started with a new phone and clean install of iOS. Maybe I'll have to try that route again and restore from DFU mode. What a pain...

  • Charybdisc Calculating status...

    Just an observation I have: I get better unlocking results if I place my registered finger on the touch ID sensor and unlock using the Sleep/Wake button rather than pressing and releasing the home button. Seems less pressure works better for me.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well, there are so many variables involved that it is really hard to say whether lighter or firmer pressure works better at this point.  What I can say is that my previous method of registration was just to touch the sensor, and I wasn't thinking about how much pressure to use.  In fact, I enrolled the print in the Apple Store after getting a new phone right out of the box.  I wasn't even particularly careful with the registration method as I was standing there at the Genius Bar. That one lasted about 8 weeks, though the last few weeks of it I was having a lot of "try again" messages.  I did not notice any significant issues after bathing ,etc. so I probably wasn't using as light a touch as you did in your experiment.


    This time I've deliberately applied more pressure on your suggestion. When I did  it a couple days ago I may just not have been careful enough with my method, so I'm trying again.  It does seem logical that this would work better, especially considering that it is apparently a capacitive sensor.


    What continues to intrigue me is that when first registering a print almost the entire print will unlock the phone, including closer to the tip.  After a couple days the tip and the outer edges are no longer recognized.  Generally, the middle "meatier" part still works well, but that too will eventually degrade after a month or so in my experience.


    Nothing over the last four months has convinced me that this is anything other than a software (or firmware) issue.  I don't know why it affects some and not others, but there are so many different configurations and combinations of settings and apps that each user may be running it would be impossible to test with just one or two phones. And that's not even taking into account the differences in users' fingerprints.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Joe, to follow-up on this, I couldn't get anything to work for more than one day or so.  Decided I had to start again from scratch...backed up phone in iTunes, erased all settings and content, put it in DFU mode (different than straight restore or recovery mode, DFU mode reloads the entire firmware as well), restored and set up as a new phone.  Enrolled only right thumb using average-to-light pressure, as had previously worked well for me.  Restored again through iTunes, this time using my backup (but the print enrolled when the phone was a new set-up was retained). I was still having an issue with "try again" and noticed the "location services" arrow was lit.  Checked under location services in settings what was just using my location.  It was "frequent locations" which I turned off.  After that I have had no problem with Touch ID. It's back to 100%, for about 10 days anyway.


    So, a couple things here: 1) Something seems to corrupt the firmware, causing TID to fail.  Restoring in DFU mode seems to resolve it.  2) Maybe coincidental, but the iOS 7 "frequent locations" feature seemed to cause some problems, because when it was disabled the issues suddenly resolved and have not reappeared.


    Again, this really seems to rule out a hardware issue for me.  It does seem that there is a combination of software and firmware issues at play when it goes bad, but once the firmware is corrupted no software or other tinkering can resolve it until the thing is completely wiped and the firmware is reinstalled via DFU mode.

  • Charybdisc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's only been a little over a day since I upgraded to ios 7.1 but I have experienced better touch ID response than ever before. No faulires or fades and it usually unlocks on first try rather that three or four attempts. I usually have degraded performace after one day and after 4 days it's unbearable.


    I erased my fingerprint before the upgrade and setup just one finger still after the upgrade. Joe, it looks like they changed the scanning process and you cannot exit out of the scanning setup after the primary fingerprint scans (full thumb print) by going back. There is only the cancel option, so I scanned the edges as they force you to do this. So far so good. I'm sticking with one finger until I have at least a week or two of success.


    I'd like to hear what other users with the fading print issue are experiencing after the ios 7.1 upgrade.

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (13,815 points)

    Charybdisc wrote:

    I'd like to hear what other users with the fading print issue are experiencing after the ios 7.1 upgrade.

    It has only been a few days for me as well, but after updating to 7.1 so far the Touch ID has unlocked the phone on the first try every time, with no delay at all.


    I did not have to erase my previous scans, having done that a couple of days prior to the update because they had faded to the point of zero recognition. Also, I have both a thumb & one finger scanned & both work equally well.


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