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Question: Touch ID stopped working after Big Sur update

I have a 13-inch 2019 MacBook Pro that I just upgraded to Big Sur 11.1. After the restart, I wasn't being asked for Touch ID, only my password. I went into System Preferences and everything was checked. I tried restarting but that didn't help. I deleted my fingerprints, turned off all the Touch ID options and restarted the Mac. I went back into System Preference and tried to add a fingerprint, but when I click on the +, nothing happens. I can check the boxes, but once I exit the Touch ID screen and go back in, they are unchecked again. Any ideas?

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Posted on Dec 17, 2020 4:22 PM

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Dec 18, 2020 7:47 AM in response to Please-HelpMyMac In response to Please-HelpMyMac

After upgrading from Catalina to Big Sur, I found two issues. First, Touch ID did not work. When I attempted to create a new fingerprint option under Users & Groups, I could not unlock these preferences because my admin passcode also did not work. Shutting down, holding the power button for at least 10 seconds, followed by a normal restart, fixed both of these issues.

Dec 18, 2020 7:47 AM

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Dec 18, 2020 6:54 AM in response to urtzy13 In response to urtzy13

Resetting the SMC as explained here https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT201295 ended up doing the trick for me.


I only had to do the first suggestion....shut down your MAC and hold the power button for 10 seconds. After restarting, Touch ID worked properly.



Dec 18, 2020 6:54 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Dec 18, 2020 7:47 AM in response to Please-HelpMyMac In response to Please-HelpMyMac

After upgrading from Catalina to Big Sur, I found two issues. First, Touch ID did not work. When I attempted to create a new fingerprint option under Users & Groups, I could not unlock these preferences because my admin passcode also did not work. Shutting down, holding the power button for at least 10 seconds, followed by a normal restart, fixed both of these issues.

Dec 18, 2020 7:47 AM

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Dec 19, 2020 9:45 PM in response to urtzy13 In response to urtzy13

Had the same situation after I upgraded. Dealt with it for a couple days before I decided to google it and was led to this forum. Resetting as suggested in the previous comments fixed it. Just commenting in case anyone else finds themselves here after googling the problem, it really works. Thanks!

Dec 19, 2020 9:45 PM

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Dec 20, 2020 5:11 AM in response to ogikolo In response to ogikolo

Be sure that you reset, and did not just restart. When I held down my power button, my MacBook acted as though it would restart. But after about 7 seconds, the fan came on for a second, and then it shut down. I held the power button down for several more seconds before I let it go. Then I waited about 30 seconds before I pressed the power button to restart. This worked for me.


Hope his helps.

Dec 20, 2020 5:11 AM

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Dec 20, 2020 2:34 PM in response to RMoman In response to RMoman

I tried three things: 1) Resetting the SMC following the shutdown + right shift-left option-left control for 10 seconds + power button for 10 seconds then waiting 30 seconds. Problem still exists. 2) Reset by shutting down + holding the power button for 10 seconds. Problem still existed. 3) Deleted and recreated my fingerprint. Problem still exists. I have a 2020 MacBook Pro 13"

Dec 20, 2020 2:34 PM

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Dec 23, 2020 1:52 AM in response to AmyVSeattle In response to AmyVSeattle

Amy, see my comment from Dec 20th above. There is a somewhat subtle difference between powering down, which takes about 5 seconds, and the RESET, which takes 10 seconds or so. The behavior of your MacBook will help determine which you are doing. On a power down, the screen goes black, after which one releases the power button. On a RESET, first the screen goes black and the MacBook appears to shut down. By continuing to hold the power button down, it does a little extra, you hear the cooling fan come on and off for about 1 second, and then all goes quiet. Wait a few seconds more before releasing the power button. Then wait about 30 seconds before pressing the power button again to restart. This should fix your issue(s). If not, make an appointment with the nearest Apple store.

Dec 23, 2020 1:52 AM

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Dec 23, 2020 11:16 AM in response to RMoman In response to RMoman

Hi I’m having the same issue with my MacBook :( and I suck with technology.

these Are the steps I did :

1) shut down my macbook

2) pressed the power button for 10 seconds

3) by then my MacBook was on, and simply put the password

but after this, I still couldn’t change fingerprints or use them :( please help where I went wrong

Dec 23, 2020 11:16 AM

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Dec 23, 2020 11:45 AM in response to sele18 In response to sele18

1-You should delete the finger print that is there now in your Touch ID !

2-Then shut down the Mac BUT Don't just shut it down, FORCE SHUT " HARD RESET" it down by holding the power button until it shuts off & KEEP holding it for another 20 secs or more to be safe ! Then power it up.. At that point you should be able to redo your finger print & all should work ! APPLE SYSTEM Preference- TOUCH ID

Dec 23, 2020 11:45 AM

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Question: Touch ID stopped working after Big Sur update