Fingerprint scanner not working on Galaxy S9 – How to Fix it

fingerprint scanner not working on Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ are phenomenal phones that are excellent in terms of specifications, value for money and the user experience it offers. Even the best can sometimes falter and many users around the globe have reported that the fingerprint scanner not working on Galaxy S9 and here’s how to fix it by following the methods below.

See also: How to fix Samsung Galaxy S9 Wi-Fi Issues

Fingerprint scanner not working on Galaxy S9 – Here’s how to fix it

Method 1: Change the Secured Lock Time in Settings

Most phones don’t have a hardware issue as most users opine and try to exchange their phones immediately. Based on a user comment posted in the Samsung support forum, it looks like you could possibly solve it by tweaking the secured lock time in the settings menu.

  1. Tap to open the Settings menu on your Galaxy S9 phone
  2. Scroll to find lock screen and security
  3. Open it and find secure lock settings page
  4. Tap to open Secured Lock Time
  5. Once you reach this stage, choose Instantly with Power Key or When Screen Times Out

When you use the power button to turn off your display, you often assume that the phone is instantly locked. However, there is a delayed interval before it is locked. It could be set to a few seconds, a minute or more based on personal preference. If you try to use the fingerprint sensor to immediately switch the display on, it will not work until it is actually locked.

By following the methods mentioned here, you can change the secured lock time so that your phone would respond to your touch every time.

Method 2: Identify if the Physical Fingerprint Hardware is working

Before you get into the frenzy to try to replace your phone or tweak the settings, it is very important to confirm whether the hardware aspect of the device is working. If the fingerprint sensor has been damaged in transition, has any default issues due to quality control missing to find it, it definitely needs to be replaced.

Try using the fingerprint to unlock apps, with Samsung Pay or with an app like LastPass that requires fingerprint verification to gain access to it. If there is no issue with the hardware, it will work flawlessly. You can once again try to unlock your phone using it. If it doesn’t, the problem lies with the software part and you can tweak the settings or wait for Samsung to roll out an update in the near future.

Method 3: Reset Your Fingerprint Button on Your Galaxy S9

The method applies to both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the S9 Plus smartphones. It might sound complicated, which is why we have split the entire method into small steps that you can easily understand. Instead of trying to grasp it all at once, do one step at a time by following the instructions and you will eventually be on your way to making your button work as it should have.

  1. Open the Settings menu on your Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone
  2. Scroll down to find the option; Lock Screen and Security
  3. You most probably saved up to five fingerprints in it so that you could unlock your device easily
  4. Make sure you delete all of them without leaving a trace
  5. Once deleted, reboot your phone. You can do this by holding your power button for a few seconds and choose the restart option

Creating New Fingerprints

  1. If the fingerprints already stored on your device is corrupted or the files are not accessible, the sensor may not detect when you press it
  2. Create a new set of fingerprints
  3. Start by opening Settings, Lock Screen and Security and Set Up Fingerprints
  4. You can also dial *#0*# on your smartphone dialer to access the service menu
  5. Choose Sensors and then Fingerprint
  6. Tap on Normal and reboot your device once more to fix the issue

Galaxy S9 Finerprint button reset

Method 4: Disable Active Fingerprint Gestures

While fingerprint gestures may not directly affect the sensor and its response, it could possibly be causing an issue on your Galaxy S9 Plus phone. The available option is to disable it completely and see if your phone responds to your touch as it is supposed to.

  1. Open the Settings app on your smartphone
  2. Scroll to find the Advanced Features option
  3. Keep scrolling to find Finger Sensor Gestures page and disable the feature
  4. After successfully disabling it, reboot your phone
  5. Wait for the phone to boot up, give it some time and check if the issue has finally been resolved

Galaxy S9 Fingerprint Button disable

Method 5: Set Up Your Fingerprint Sensor Manually

Samsung does have some tips for newbies to get a hang of how to use their hardware and find ways through problems when they arise. If fingerprint scanner is not working on Galaxy S9, you can go back to the manual procedure and one of the most trusted methods. While it is not a big change, it did make the fingerprint sensor finally work for many Galaxy users, which is why you should try it as well.

During the initial setup of your phone, Samsung suggested that you shouldn’t keep on tapping the sensor to make it record your print. Rather, you should swipe your finger across the button on the back and it detects it without any difficulty. From a generic perspective, it doesn’t make much sense, but technically it works; which is why the company suggested it in the first place. You should try the alternative now.

  1. Open your Settings option, head to Lock Screen & Security
  2. Make sure to delete all the fingerprints you have previously saved on the smartphone
  3. Samsung will ask you to swipe your finger and not tap it
  4. Don’t follow their advice and keep your finger firmly on the sensor button until it captures your prints
  5. Keep repeating the same until it saves all your fingerprints
  6. Make sure to rotate your finger in all directions so that the corners are properly registered on the phone

Complete the process and reboot your phone. Check if your fingerprint sensor works without any issues and if it does, your problems will be solved even before Samsung could rollout software updates. Besides, not everyone’s device will get fixed because in many cases, the problem lies with the device, how it is set up and how a user moves their finger over the sensor.

Galaxy S9 Fingerprint setup

Method 6: Get Rid of Physical Issues

A lot of users try to instantly blame the manufacturer, the hardware or the phone’s operating system. A huge discussion on the Samsung forum on Reddit confirmed that the newest version of their phone is just awesome. The users suggest that compared to the previous phones such as the Galaxy S8 or even the older Galaxy S6, the new Galaxy S9 and the S9 Plus are way better in terms of recognizing a finger in an instant. It never takes more than two tries even if you get it wrong the first time.

Physical issues are very common when people tend to use their phones. Often they try to unlock with a wet finger, with food items or oil smudged on their fingers that lead to such issues. Make it a habit to clean your thumb, forefinger, or whichever finger you have registered as the primary one, to securely unlock your smartphone.

The sensor used in the phone is the fastest and the most accurate of them all, suggests reviews and users on Reddit forums. A deep teardown even revealed the build quality of the product and Samsung continues to make it even better with software updates, but if the problem lies in your physical self, there is no way it is going to get fixed unless you take necessary actions.

Method 7: Hard Clear the Cache on your Galaxy S9

When fingerprint scanner is not working on Galaxy S9 and you need to know how to fix it, try hard clearing the cache in your smartphone.

  1. Hold the power button, volume up and the Bixby button to reboot your phone
  2. Wipe the Cache memory so that everything stored so far is erased
  3. It works much better especially when Samsung has recently rolled out a software update and your phone faces fingerprint detection issues
  4. Setup fingerprint once again and try unlocking it
  5. You can also wait a day or two to let the phone adjust to your pattern
  6. If it still doesn’t work, consider visiting the Samsung Galaxy service center to get it repaired or replaced as required

Galaxy S9 clear cache

A quick tip that every Samsung owners should know is that, when registering your new fingerprints, don’t swipe and make sure to tap different areas of your fingers. The more you tap, the higher the chances of the phone being able to detect your finger quickly when you try to unlock it.

The newly launched Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is yet another amazing smartphone along with the S9 and the S9+. They are impeccable in terms of hardware, design and build quality. A new Android OS is getting launched soon and all you have to do is to follow the tips to make it work to confirm that it’s not a hardware issue. There are lots of complaints online stating fingerprint scanner not working on Galaxy S9, but you can easily know how to fix it by following one or all the methods mentioned here until it works.

  1. The culprit on my phone was Nova Launcher (Prime). In Android Settings > Lock screen > Secure lock settings, ‘Lock automatically’ was set to Immediately and ‘Lock instantly’ was selected. So that wasn’t the problem. Before doing anything more difficult like resetting, reinstalling, or rebooting, I went to Nova Settings
    > Advanced > Screen lock method, and selected Device Admin. It says the setting immediately locks the device, requiring your defined screen lock method (in System Settings) to unlock. It also says that fingerprint unlock will not work with this method, but it does… my problem was immediately solved with no resetting or rebooting.

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