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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.



  1. Vincent

    11/13/2015 at 2:14 pm

    Is there a way to diagnose or reset the fingerprint scanner? Mine worked fine for three months then just stopped recognizing my fingerprint. Can’t log in with password or Google as mentioned above. No changes to hardware (case) or software/apps were made. Just work up and it was nonresponsive. Every function behind the lock-out is functioning perfectly.

    • Lester

      01/31/2016 at 6:33 am

      Hi, I have the same problem now, were you able to fix yours without doing a hard reset?

  2. Alex

    11/17/2015 at 1:24 pm

    My Note 5 finger print scanner also worked fine up until a week or so when I started noticing it wouldn’t recognize my finger prints as quickly or reliably as it once had. I have now deleted and redone the finger print scans 3 times, cleaned the scanner and made sure my hands were extra clean but the issue remains. On the odd occasion it will recognize a print first time with no issue which leads me to think that this could be a intermittent hardware issue rather than me applying my finger to the sensor incorrectly. I was really loving this phone and thought it was a very impressive upgrade from the Note 4 which in my opinion was not as good as the Note 3 but now with this finger print sensor issue its beginning to prove quite irritating.

    • pug462@

      01/14/2016 at 10:07 pm

      Alex, may I ask how you were able to delete that dang-blasted fingerprint issue? I am soooo annoyed with thing. My email is [email protected]. I would so appreciate the help. The instructions printed in this article did not work for me. Galaxy Note 5

  3. Fidelis Agbagba

    12/12/2015 at 8:10 am

    After cleaning the surface severally & placed my fingertips yet my note5 could not open up. Pls what should I do?

  4. Pete

    12/16/2015 at 6:22 pm

    I just had it lockout for the second time in 2 weeks – and a friend had hers lockout the day after my first… the fingerprint scanner won’t ready, AND it won’t recognize the backup password… WTF?

  5. Rick

    12/19/2015 at 10:03 am

    Same thing just happened to me…not recognizing print Or pw…any solution??

  6. Thuta

    12/23/2015 at 6:22 pm

    Like What Rick said, my phone does not recognizing my fingerprint Or pw…any solution??

  7. Thuta

    12/23/2015 at 8:52 pm

    i know how to fix. there are 2 options.
    First option, use google credential to unlock (this option only works after remove 2 step verification).
    Second option, use “Unlock my screen” feature from (you can only use this option, if you had configured Find My Mobile with Samsung account on your device).

    • Suniljeet Singh

      04/18/2016 at 8:14 am

      thank you for the options. there has been a problem with my screen since the past 2 months. the bottom section of the screen is non functioning. was using the stylus to operate in that section and just now lost my stylus at the gym. OMG fingerprint scanner failed to scan and there was no way to unlock the screen and used the second option you mentioned and it worked. Ty

  8. KevinP

    12/24/2015 at 10:32 pm

    My Samsung Galaxy Note 5 was purchased just five (5) months and up until now I was very pleased. Now my phone all of sudden doesn’t recognize my fingerprint. Never had to use my backup password but it wouldn’t recognize that either. (?) Very frustrated because it’s Christmas Day and I need my phone to coordinate gift delivery. No new screens or skin on my phone. (*) Baffled.

  9. Giovanni

    02/01/2016 at 6:10 am

    I saved a fingerprint but no backup password now it won’t let me in without backup password which I never made can anyone help my phone is only a week old :(

    • Brianna

      02/02/2016 at 6:20 pm

      Did you figure out I still am locked out

  10. Brianna

    02/02/2016 at 6:17 pm

    My fingerprint scanner just stopped I’m totally locked out and can’t get in my phone at all I don’t want to loose everything what do I do please help

    • Rory Tate

      04/30/2016 at 12:53 pm

      Brianna, I am in the same kind of trouble. Did you ever get your situation solved? If so, how? I definitely do not want to lose all my data.

  11. newfriend

    02/08/2016 at 8:19 pm

    My note 5 fingerprint scanner stop working today, it say unable to recognize fingerprint.My backup password is not working too! What worst is i normally off my wifi and data before i go to sleep, now i can’t even login via the google account! Anyone can help???

  12. Charles G.

    02/09/2016 at 11:56 am

    My note 5 fingerprint stopped recognizing my fingerprint. My backup password doesn’t work either. I got into my phone using my Google account. Is there anyway to reset fingerprint scanner without having to put in a password that doesn’t work???

  13. Kenneth

    02/12/2016 at 2:16 pm


  14. Diablola

    02/22/2016 at 3:53 pm

    Guys I spent around 15 hours trying to unlock my samsung galaxy s6, and found a solution. You’re welcome. You need google acc+dont need a connection turned on already for this to work (worst case scenario).
    It didnt recongnize my fingerprints, and my backup password didnt work. I couldnt sign in to my google account since my wifi and mobile data was turned off before the device locked.
    This is the solution i found AFTER 15 hours of this madness, you need to be quick:
    1) enter wrong backup password 5 times
    2) wait 30 secounds countdown
    3) enter wrong backup password 5 times
    4) wait 30 secounds countdown
    5) select sign in with google account
    6) enter google account credentials (DONT SIGN IN YET)
    7) hold ‘wake up button’ (home button)
    8) press emergency mode and go thru with aggreeing to all it asks you to
    9) press TURN ON, and after that press ‘sign in’ with your google account (where step 6 left off)
    If you were quick enough, you will enter emergency mode and you will pass the lock screen, now quit the emergency mode the same way and change your backup password, and write it down this time so this doesnt happen again. You are wellcome.

    • Azza

      03/15/2016 at 9:06 pm

      Thank you SOOOO very MUCH!

    • glitz

      05/07/2016 at 8:59 pm

      ho may gash, thank you very much

    • glitz

      05/07/2016 at 9:05 pm

      been entering my google credentials, but it won’t accept, it accepted only when enabled the emergency mode (^_^)

    • Randa

      05/16/2016 at 4:02 am

      5) select sign in with google account
      6) enter google account credentials (DONT SIGN IN YET) <- you just typed in both email and password?
      7) hold ‘wake up button’ (home button) <- when i hold the home button it just goes blank
      8) press emergency mode and go thru with aggreeing to all it asks you to <- where do you see the emergency mode?
      9) press TURN ON, and after that press ‘sign in’ with your google account (where step 6 left off)

  15. connie

    03/10/2016 at 9:12 am

    What do I have to do to get back into my fone?nothing is working!!!

  16. Marlon Garren

    03/18/2016 at 11:29 pm

    Same issue here. I actually got in one time signing in with google account. Reset everything, new backup password. Everything looked fine. Eventually the screen timed-out since I wasn’t using it. Tried unlocking, got in using fingerprint. Second time I tried to get back into phone it AGAIN would not recognize my print NOR does it accept my password… AGAIN! Only this time, after entering the “wrong” password over and over again, it makes me wait the 30 seconds after 5 attempts, but NEVER offers to let me get in through my Google account like it did 2 minutes before.

  17. Avinash

    03/19/2016 at 3:48 am

    Thanks. Above solution worked for me. Luckily my mobile data and wifi was on before it got locked so after 5 tries, twice I got the google account option and screen was unlocked as soon as I put my google password.

  18. Manieslm

    03/21/2016 at 11:26 pm

    Hi all use any password 5 times continues and it will ask for open via Google account.

  19. Nasih

    03/27/2016 at 8:57 am

    My note 5 same fingerprint problem, no mobile data, no sim, no wifi, its not working, help

  20. Cassandra

    04/08/2016 at 7:50 pm

    I have a note my finger print or my emergency password does not work. I have no new equipment and yes I have cleaned my finger and my phone are cleaned

  21. Shirley Telfer

    04/10/2016 at 11:11 am

    I have a s6 and it won’t register my fingerprint, it will not also allow me to enter my back up password. I have now been locked out of my phone and have now possibly lost everything, according to technical support as the phone needs to be wiped. Is there another way of sorting this problem out without losing all my data? HELP!

  22. Muhammad

    04/10/2016 at 2:15 pm


    me too faced same issue… “fingerprint scanner” & “Backup password” both were not allowing me to unlock my screen.

    i followed following steps, which is quick and simple..

    keep scanning you finger (and) entering backup password until you get “GOOGLE ACCOUNT” option..
    enter google credentials and enjoy…

    “no need to format / restore your mobile”

  23. Andy

    04/19/2016 at 1:29 pm

    Hate my new Samsung going to change the chip back to iPhone much better phone

  24. Russel

    04/22/2016 at 9:00 am

    My Samsung S6 edge+ locked out on me. I tried possible all backup password so many times that now every time i try it lock me for 1 hour. I tried to change my backup password through Google android manager. It wont change the password. What bugs me most, they made it to protect my personal data now it is protecting my own data from me. To hell with Samsung. They should provide with master password printed inside of each box. This is my right. To all profit mongering lawyers please file a class action against Samsung. I am loosing hope after 2 days now and i think i have to reset everything now. I am not tech savvy and now i have to pay for it by loosing 2 years of contact, messages, pics.

  25. Adriane Hawkins

    04/24/2016 at 5:15 am

    Here’s my situation. I only have a problem with the fingerprint recognition if the phone wakes itself up such as if I get a text message or something. It works fine if I wake the phone up.

  26. Sherry

    05/07/2016 at 3:00 pm

    I am having the same issue as others, unable to use fingerprint, backup password or google.
    But I have a new twist, I was locked out while in Airplane mode, so now I can’t turn on WIFI or Data to allow me to enter my Google sign-in.
    Any other suggestions, I have tried everything above to no avail.?

  27. mc

    05/13/2016 at 8:29 am

    I had the same issue. Backup pw not working, not logged anywhere; fingerprints not working. Plus every time I tried it would increase the amount of time before it would let me try again. As soon as I put in a bad password it was up to an hour before I could try again. Finally used my Google account from my pc to locate and lock the phone. It assigned a new password and as soon as I unlocked the phone using the new password I could remove the fingerprints etc.

  28. Randa

    05/16/2016 at 4:21 am

    Has anyone tried this: ? I really don’t wanna lose any of my data :(

  29. Briana Fitch

    04/16/2017 at 1:07 pm

    I’ve tried all the solutions and still have problems with my fingerprint scanner. I’ve deleted my prints and re did them and I’ve not got any new cases or protectors and I’m still having this problem! Anyone have any solutions?

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