Galaxy S20 Fingerprint Scanner is not working. Here’s how to fix it!

Most, if not all new smartphones already support fingerprint scanning among other biometrics and security features. And Samsung’s newest Galaxy flagship smartphone has it too. If for some reason you can’t get your Galaxy S20 fingerprint scanner to work as intended, I’ve mapped out some quick and effective solutions you can try. Read on to find out why your Galaxy S20 fingerprint scanner is not working and how to fix it at home.

Before you proceed, try to determine when and how the problem started. Identifying the root-cause of the problem usually results in finding a quick and ultimate solution. To give you some hints, I’ve summed up the possible causes as follow:

  • Software issues
  • Dirt or oil on the fingerprint scanner
  • Damaged or defective fingerprint sensor

If you look into the probable causes, there can only be two possibilities and that’s either a hardware issue or software glitches. 

Before taking a trip to a service center, you can try some workarounds to rule out software issues from the underlying cause. Read on to learn what to do then.

Troubleshooting Galaxy S20 Fingerprint Scanner that’s not working

Time Needed : 10 minutes

To get started, check and ensure that the fingerprint button or scanner is not dirty. If it is dirty, then you can clean it with a cotton swab damped with alcohol to wipe the surface. Let the sensor dry and then tap to see if it is already working. Also ensure that your finger is dry and clean. If the scanner still doesn’t work, then you can try the following methods to eliminate software-related causes.

  1. Force restart the phone.

    If everything was working fine with your phone’s fingerprint scanner and then suddenly it stopped or failed to recognize your fingerprint, it could be just due to some random system glitches. To clear this out, performing a system restart or reboot would be necessary.

    You can do the usual restart or soft reset but I recommend you carry out a force-restart. Doing so will abruptly end all corrupted apps and services that might have caused conflicts to the fingerprint scanner or biometric system on your device.

    To force restart the Galaxy S20, press and hold the Power/Bixby and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for about 10 seconds and then release both buttons when the phone reboots.

    There’s no need to back up files beforehand because this process does not affect any saved data on the phone’s internal memory. 
    Just wait for your phone to restart all system services and when it’s done, try to use the fingerprint scanner to see if it’s already working as intended.

    galaxy s20 fingerprint scanner not working - force restart

  2. Update to the latest software version available.

    Another recommended solution you can try is installing available software updates on your phone. Software (Android) updates are not only pushed to bring in new features but also cater bug fixes to address existing issues attributed to stubborn system bugs and malware.

    Before you update the phone, make sure it’s sufficiently charged. Also ensure that it’s connected to a Wi-Fi internet.

    To check for updates, open the Apps screen then navigate to Settings-> System updates menu and then tap the option to Check for system updates.
    If a system update is available, you will see a notification saying that a new Android version is available for download. If it says so, just tap Download and install and then follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to finish installing the update on your phone.

    Don't forget to reboot after updating to ensure that all new system changes and bug fixes from the recent update are properly implemented.

    Alternatively, you can use Smart Switch to manually update your Galaxy S20 on a computer. This process involves wired connection, which means the need to connect your phone to the computer using the supplied USB cable.

    The computer must also have the latest Smart Switch app installed to execute the update process.

    galaxy s20 fingerprint scanner not working - install software updates

  3. Delete the registered fingerprint then add it back.

    Sometimes, things would just stop working for unknown reasons. If this is what’s transpiring on your phone’s fingerprint system, deleting the registered fingerprint can help. This is often needed if the registered fingerprint has been corrupted. 
    To delete the registered fingerprint on your Galaxy S20, navigate to Settings-> Lock screen and security-> Fingerprint scanner menu and then tap Edit on the upper-right side of the screen. On the next screen, you will see the registered fingerprint(s). Scroll down to the Manage Fingerprints section and then select the fingerprint that you'd like to remove. After selecting the fingerprint, tap Remove to delete it.
    After deleting the fingerprint, restart the phone then re-add your fingerprint.

    galaxy s20 fingerprint scanner not working - remove then re-add fingerprint

Tools
  • Android 10, One UI 2.0 and up
Materials
  • Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy S20 Ultra

If none of that helps, then this is the point when you should consider taking a trip to a service center or contacting your carrier (if you got the phone from your carrier) for further assistance and recommendations.

Should this be found to be a factory defect, you can avail for warranty either for service or new unit replacement. 

And that covers everything in this troubleshooting guide. Please keep posted for more comprehensive troubleshooting guides and tutorials that would help you make the most of what the new Samsung Galaxy S20 has to offer.

You can also check out our YouTube channel to view more smartphone video tutorials and troubleshooting guides.

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