Android 10: no fingerprint for unlock

I experience the same problem. Fingerprints are still stored and functioned well until recently. But now they won’t do the trick for unlocking the phone. Also for me: deleting the prints, rebooting and re-registering worked, but after a while they stop working…

My guess is, that it has something to do with failed attempts: if you have the phone in your pocket it may try to unlock often when it slightly moves inside. Is it possible that there is not only a counter for each individual attempt to unlock, but also an overall count?

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I don’t believe there’s this type of counter. But every reboot disables fingerprint unlocking for me, even “controlled” manual reboots.

but after a while they stop working
Android 10 on the Fairphone tends to crash from time to time (causing a reboot). This is a known issue right now. Does this might be what you experienced?

Since the last update, this problem is gone with my FP3+.
Only that the fingerprint sensor often does not detect properly and I have to unlock via different mode.

When did this update happen? Didn’t got any update in November for my FP3 (non-plus).

I was referring to the last one a few weeks ago, I believe it was Oct 22?

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Thx, I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t a FP3+ exclusive update already I missed (By the way, here’s a list of all updates: ✏ FP3 OS updates - changelog & OTA links). October update didn’t fix anything for me.

Hello everyone,
maybe you know this already but you can unlock your FP3 with fingerprint by default. Maybe it came with an update.

I was having this issue after updating my system to Android 10, but the “fingerprint” option under settings → security wasn’t even visible, and it did not register anything at all with the fingerprint reader, not even an inaccurate print.

While in settings → security, I accidentally clicked on “security update”, and apparently that was not up to date, so I updated it and now my fingerprint reader works as perfectly as it did before.

Perhaps check that all your updates are finished? Mine just needed to restart, but hadn’t given me any push notifications about it so I didn’t know.


Since acquiring my FP3+ in September I’ve never been able to use the fingerprint scanner / reader satisfactorily, but I’ve often had problems with other fingerprint scanners so I wasn’t surprised.

I had entertained the idea of trying the adhesive tape trick but never got round to it. However since updating to the latest 10 version 8901.3.A.0107.20210513 it’s been working perfectly. I can’t be sure this is due to the update but it seems so. No problems with reboots either. Very short taps work fine.



Not sure I have the same issue as yours, but here’s mine: if I don’t use the fingerprint immediately after the boot, I can’t use the fingerprint anymore to unlock the screen.

Here is what happens:

  • Boot the phone and wait until the lock screen appears (the one with the clock, by default)
  • Either unlock the phone using the pin (and not with the fingerprint) or wait until the screen turns off
  • When you try to unlock the phone later, you can’t use the fingerprint method (nothing happens if you touch the sensor) and you must use the pin (or other method) to unlock

Now reboot and use the fingerprint immediately when the first lock screen appears: it asks you to type your pin (as it’s the first unlock since reboot, that’s normal) but then you can use the fingerprint every time you want to unlock the phone.

Has this issue already been seen?

I always unlock the phone after booting, otherwise there are apps that don’t get loaded.

Which PIN are we talking about? I take it this is not the PIN for the SIM which is requested first. Peronally I use a pattern rather than a PIN, to unlock the phone.

No mine works fine

What OS and version are you using.?

Have you tried starting in safe mode?

I always unlock the phone after booting, otherwise there are apps that don’t get loaded.

That’s probably what I should do!

Which PIN are we talking about?

The PIN to unlock the phone, not the SIM card :wink:.

What OS and version are you using.?

Android 10 build 8901.3.A.0129.20210805

Have you tried starting in safe mode?

That’s a good idea but currently I no longer succeed in reproducing the problem :sweat_smile:.
Basically it happens when I switch my phone off for the night (if I don’t need the alarm clock). When I boot it again in the morning, I encounter the issue.
I just tried to reproduce by switching off, wait a minute, boot, wait the lock, a minute again, but then I can unlock using the fingerprint (it asks me to type the phone pin as it’s the first time after the boot, but the fingerprint sensor is well on).
I’ll pay attention to your suggestion and come back to you next time I’ll sleep in :wink:.

Yes fingerprint sensor will not allow login after switching off then on.

Same happened to me. After a small update, the fingerprint no longer unlocked the phone, but worked fine everywhere else.
Rebooting and toggling settings didn’t work.

What worked for me, on my FP3 Android 10:

  • Remove all stored fingerprints.
  • Reboot the phone
  • Add fingerprint again

I can now unlock my phone again by touching the reader.


Same problem here. Since last week I could not use the fingerprint to unlock my phone (FP3 Android 10) , although all other apps using fingerprint still worked nicely.

No Android update installed in the last couple of weeks, but maybe some firmeware update, I’m not sure?

Same workaround as mentioned above did the trick.

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This is an old topic so I thought it would be good to wrap it up with the following summary. I’m marking this post as “Solution” so that the topic is seen as solved, but it’s the cumulated experience of all the contributors to whom thanks. The information here concerns FP3 standard Fairphone Android (stock OS).

  • Make sure Android is up to date
    Settings > System > Advanced > System update
  • Make sure Google Play is up to date (this can be more recent than the System update)
    Settings > About phone > Android version > Google Play system update
  • Clean the scanner if really (visibly) dirty
  • Delete all registered finger prints
    Settings > Security > Fingerprint
  • Reboot the phone
  • Set up at least one finger.
    It can help to record the same finger more than once.
    When registering the fingerprint, at each touch, leave the finger on the sensor for about 3 seconds until told to “Lift finger then touch sensor again”.

Once at least one finger has been registered, you can use it to unlock the phone except the first time after a reboot. Using the fingerprint is not an option listed under “Choose screen lock” which is managed separately and offers None, Swipe, Pattern, PIN or Password.


Worked for me still, thank you.

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