Unlock with your fingerprint

If your phone has a fingerprint sensor, you can use your fingerprint to unlock your phone, authorize purchases, and unlock certain apps.

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 9 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Get started with fingerprints

About fingerprint security

We strongly recommend locking your screen to help protect your phone. Your fingerprint sensor gives you a convenient unlocking option.

But there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • A fingerprint can be less secure than a strong PIN, pattern, or password.
  • A copy of your fingerprint could be used to unlock your phone. You leave fingerprints on many things you touch, including your phone.
  • You'll be asked to add a backup PIN, pattern, or password. Remember your backup, because you'll need to use it sometimes, like after restarting your phone, or if your fingerprint isn't recognized.

Where your fingerprint data is stored

Your fingerprint data is stored securely and never leaves your phone. Your data is not shared with Google or apps on your phone. Learn more about how fingerprint data is secured.

Set up your first fingerprint
  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location.
  3. Tap Pixel Imprint.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps. If you don't already have a screen lock, you'll be asked to add a backup PIN, pattern, or password.
  5. Scan your first fingerprint. Tips:
    • Put your finger on your phone's sensor (not its screen).
    • Hold your phone as you'd normally hold it when unlocking. For example, hold your phone with its screen facing you.
Add more fingerprints
  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location.
  3. Tap Pixel Imprint.
  4. Scan your current fingerprint or use your backup PIN, pattern, or password.
  5. Tap Add fingerprint.
  6. Scan another fingerprint. You can add up to 5 fingerprints.
  7. To tell your fingerprints apart, rename them. Tap the current name, type a new name, and tap OK.

Tip: Anyone whose fingerprints you add will be able to unlock your phone and authorize purchases with your account. If other people share your phone, they should add their fingerprints from inside their own profiles. Learn about user and guest profiles.

Use your fingerprint

Unlock your phone
  1. Place your finger on your phone's fingerprint sensor until your phone unlocks. On some phones, first press the power button to wake the screen.
  2. Sometimes, for security, you’ll need to use your backup PIN, pattern or password instead. This is required after: 
    • Your fingerprint isn't recognized after a few tries.
    • You restart (reboot) your phone.
    • You switch to a different user.
    • More than 48 hours have passed since you last unlocked using your backup method.
Authorize payments or unlock apps

If a message asks you to scan your fingerprint, follow its instructions. Your fingerprint information isn't shared with the app.

Manage fingerprint settings

Remove, rename or replace your fingerprints
  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location.
  3. Tap Pixel Imprint.
  4. Scan your current fingerprint or use your backup screen lock method.
  5. Make the change you want.
    • To add a new fingerprint, tap Add fingerprint.
    • To delete a fingerprint, next to the fingerprint, tap Delete Delete.
    • To rename a fingerprint, tap an existing fingerprint, type a new name, and tap OK.
Stop using & delete fingerprints

Option 1: Use only PIN, pattern, or password to unlock

If you'd like to use only your backup screen lock method, instead of your fingerprint:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location.
  3. Tap Pixel Imprint.
  4. Scan your fingerprint or use your PIN, pattern, or password.
  5. Next to a fingerprint, tap Delete Delete. Repeat for all fingerprints.
Tip: You can temporarily turn off fingerprint unlocking by turning on lockdown. Learn how to use lockdown.

Option 2: Remove screen lock phone protection

We strongly recommend continuing to lock your screen for security. But if you'd rather not use a fingerprint, PIN, pattern, password, or automatic unlock:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location And then Screen lock.
  3. Pick None or Swipe. This will delete your fingerprints.

Troubleshoot fingerprint use

Fingerprint not accepted

If your fingerprint wasn't accepted:

​After you get back into your phone, you can make your fingerprint more likely to be accepted:

  1. Edit your fingerprints. Learn how to edit your fingerprints.
  2. Be careful to hold your phone in the same way that you normally hold it when unlocking. For example, hold your phone with its screen facing you.
  3. Add up to 5 fingerprints, in case a finger gets injured.
Screen lock option disabled

If you see a "Screen lock option disabled" message on the fingerprint settings page, your phone administrator requires a different screen lock method. For example, if you have a work account on your phone, your work can require you to use a PIN, pattern, or password. To change this, contact your phone administrator.

Tip: You can still use your fingerprint to authorize payments and unlock certain apps.

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