How to Fix Galaxy Note 5 Fingerprint Scanner Problems

Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, and even the earlier Galaxy S6 all feature one of the best fingerprint scanners on any smartphone. Being able to easily unlock users phones, pay for apps, use Samsung or Android Pay and more. However multiple reports have surfaced about problems using this feature, and below are a few helpful suggestions to fix Samsung Galaxy fingerprint scanner problems.

In April the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge arrived with an all-new fingerprint scanner very similar to Apple’s TouchID. No longer did users need to use the inaccurate swipe-based option that debuted on the Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4. Since then millions of owners have started enjoying Samsung’s new phones for 2015, but not all comments are good.

Read: How to Reset a Frozen Galaxy Note 5

Lately more and more reports have emerged that users are having problems with the Galaxy Note 5 (or Galaxy S6) fingerprint scanner. Most are in regards to it failing to recognize a finger, and won’t unlock users devices, and most end up typing in the backup password. If you’re having problems, below are a few helpful tips, suggestions, and tricks to improve the experience.

Galaxy Note 5 fingerprint

The fingerprint scanner on all recent Galaxy devices is very fast and accurate. Often unlocking phones in less than 0.5 seconds. It’s extremely easy to use, setup, and enjoy. I’ve been using it since before the Note 5 was released on a review unit, without any problems. It works probably 95% of the time, if not more. Usually I’m too fast and it’s user error.

We’ve already detailed how to use the fingerprint scanner in our guide linked to below, but this post is about fixing problems or issues some users have been facing.

Read: How to Setup the Galaxy Note 5 Fingerprint Scanner

All it takes is a quick tap n hold of less than one second, and the phone will unlock or do whatever it is owners are trying to do with their fingerprint. However, we’re getting a lot of complaints that 50-60% of the time it doesn’t work, sometimes more, and users are getting frustrated.

If you’re having problems with the Galaxy Note 5, S6, or other 2015 Samsung’s fingerprint scanners not working right, you have a few options to fix it. I’ve experienced no problems, but everyone is different.

Samsung Galaxy Fingerprint Scanner Tips & Fixes

If your Galaxy Note 5 or Galaxy S6 and other devices is failing to recognize your saved fingerprint it could be a few of multiple reasons. Below we’ll go through them all, the proper way to set up and insert your fingerprint, and a few other steps to avoid problems.

First up, if you’ve already added a fingerprint or two, make sure the scanner surface is clean, as it may not be getting an accurate reading. Facial and fingerprint oil build-up, makeup, dirt and more could be causing it to malfunction and not get a 100% accurate reading.

However, the biggest thing is how you setup your fingerprint. The setup is pretty self explanatory, and Samsung has users tap at different sides of their finger, angles and more. If you didn’t do this right, you may want to delete them and redo each saved fingerprint. In the video below we’ve fast forward to entering a fingerprint, and it’s a good example of doing different angles, sides, areas, flat end or the tip of your finger.

If users are experiencing problems with it not being accurate and failing to read a finger, delete it and try again. Simply head to settings > person > lockscreen & security > Fingerprints > tap your finger to allow access, and long press any of the saved fingerprints and tap “Remove”. This will delete it, and allow you to re-add it to the phone.

Some forum members claim doubling the same finger in the system for a better chance of success, but this just makes the system more confused, so we’d recommend only doing one entry for each finger.

What we have noticed though, and what is likely the biggest problem for all owners, is not only dirty fingers during the process, or a dirty fingerprint scanner, but screen protectors or cases.

Read: 20 Best Galaxy Note 5 Accessories

If you’ve recently added a new screen protector or case to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, or other Samsung’s with the scanner, it may not be getting the same reading as when you entered and saved it.

Those who’ve added a screen protector or case to the Note 5 should delete (remove) all fingerprints saved, and redo the process following the how-to video guide above. Most cases have a slight lip over the screen for protection, and this could be causing a slightly different angle to your fingerprint, and causing the system to not work properly.


Personally I’ve added both a tempered glass screen protector, and a case, and I’m experiencing no problems. However, if your Note 5 fingerprint scanner isn’t working right, try deleting them all and starting over. Entering them with the case should solve most problems.

Users need to add fingerprints to store into the system with their screen protector or case installed, to get the best and most accurate reading for how the phone will actually be used. Most users are enjoying the scanner without any issues whatsoever, but those who are having trouble should try deleting them and starting over, especially if cases and accessories are involved.

It’s a good idea to wipe the surface of the finger, and the scanner before starting, to get the most accurate reading. The entire system is pretty straight forward and hard to do wrong, so follow some of the steps above, and enjoy a faster easier to use and more secure smartphone.