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How to Setup Touch ID on the iPhone 5s (Video)



The iPhone 5s fingerprint sensor is one of the most talked about features for Apple’s new iPhone. Instead of entering a pass code or PIN, users can place a finger on the home button and it will unlock the iPhone instantly.

Apple calls this feature Touch ID and in addition to unlocking the phone when there is a pass code, it can also skip the lock screen while a user is in the grace period between the last use and a lock, for faster access to your information.

It goes a step further with Apple App Store and iTunes integration. Instead of entering a complex Apple ID password to make a purchase, users can place a finger on the home button.

The iPhone 5s setup will prompt users to create a Touch ID fingerprint unlock, but if you are in a store or in a hurry, it is easy to skip this at first.

Here's how to use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s.

Here’s how to use the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s.

We’ll show you how to setup Touch ID on the iPhone 5s and how to use Touch ID to unlock the iPhone and to make purchases.

How to Setup Touch ID on the iPhone 5s

In the four-minute video below we explain what Touch ID is and show you how to set it up for up to five fingers, and then how to use Touch ID instead of an Apple ID password to make a purchase in the iPhone App Store.

The first thing you will need to do is go to Settings -> General -> Passcode & Fingerprint. This will prompt you to create a pass code and a fingerprint. You can use just a pass code if you don’t like using a fingerprint, but you cannot use a fingerprint without a pass code.¬†Apple will require a pass code after a restart and if the iPhone has not been used in 48 hours.

Go ahead and enter a pass code twice to confirm it. Once this is done you can tap on Fingerprints.

From here you can train up to five fingerprints. I trained my index fingers and thumbs, and have room for one more fingerprint. The system learns to read the prints at multiple angles and should get better over time.

Train Touch ID on the iPhone 5s.

Train Touch ID on the iPhone 5s.

Once the screen shows success, you can continue to add another finger, or exit to start using the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

When the iPhone is locked or just on a lock screen, push the home button with you finger to light up the screen, it will instantly read your fingerprint and if all is well it should unlock the iPhone. It’s about 90% accurate in our testing after a few hours.

When you try to make a purchase in the App Store or iTunes, the iPhone 5s will prompt you to use your fingerprint instead of an Apple ID pass code.

Users can delete fingerprints if they no longer want to use them. Apple’s marketing states that the fingerprint is not stored off of the iPhone, which is essentially saying it won’t go to the NSA, iCloud or some third party service.



  1. rafael

    09/20/2013 at 1:33 pm

    Can someone please help me to understand what is the point of touch id if still you can use the passcode? It will be great that you set it up to only use the touch id, but what if someone hacks or knows your passcode? Apple should let us decide if we want the touch id only or the passcode, but don’t put both… it takes out the cool thing about the touch id.

    • Anwar Sheikh

      10/08/2013 at 5:24 pm

      It makes no sense if touch id and passcode unlock the phone. Iphone that unlocks only by touch is desirable.

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