MacBook Pro Touch ID is not working: How to fix?

Many MacBook Pro users found that the machine’s Touch ID is not working. The Touch ID worked smoothly in the last session and was unresponsive the next day. Mac can register five fingerprints in the machine, but you can get denied entry due to some glitch. Let’s try basic and advance troubleshoot solutions to resolve the Touch ID issues on the latest MacBook Pro model.

Why is Touch ID not working on MacBook Pro?

MacBook Pro Touch ID is not working by veeterzy

We can solve the Touch ID problems when we know the root cause. Apple has optimized the software for exceptional performance, but the macOS has a fair share of flaws. I have shared a few reasons why the Touch ID is not working in your Pro model.

The 48 hours rule:

The Touch ID won’t work if you haven’t turned on or used the Pro notebook for 48 hours. You have to enter the login password to access the computer. Apple has much security and 48 hours is another security policy. Use the login password to enter into the Pro model.

macOS Bugs/Glitches:

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Apple has a dedicated team working on the macOS. The in-house developers take time to release patch fixes in the next update. In the meantime, we have no choice but to endure the flaws and be patient.

Dirty Touch ID Surface:

It’s easy for the Touch ID to get dirty. I remember when I had to confirm my identity through a biometric device. The dirty fingerprint sensor made the entire process difficult for the staff and students. Clean the Touch ID surface using a dry cloth.

Only One Fingerprint Registered:

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There is a reason why Android and iOS phones register two fingerprints on the device. You can add up to five fingerprints on the Pro model. Don’t be shy and add multiple fingerprints for backup. Use different fingers, and never worry about locking yourself out of the notebook.

The Magic Keyboard Issue:

Many Pro model owners connect Magic Keyboard to type faster on the notebook. The newer Magic Keyboard has a built-in fingerprint reader on the unit. Use the lighting cable and connect the keyboard to MacBook. The Touch ID will accept the fingerprint.

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Incorrect Input for Five Times:

The MacBook will lock out if the fingerprint input doesn’t match the records. The macOS has stopped accepting fingerprint inputs. I have shown you how to unlock the macOS machine using other solutions.

MacBook Pro Touch ID is not working: How to fix it?

Users must use the login password to unlock the computer if they have logged out, shut down, or restarted the notebook. There are ways to reset the lock screen password, so don’t panic when you can’t remember the combination.

Touch ID Compatible Device List

Many readers might ridicule me for adding the compatible list. Apple occupies 15% of the computer market. The MacBook may seem like a popular machine among content creators. The new Pro notebook owner may not know whether the computer supports Touch ID or not.

a. MacBook Pro (13-inch, Apple Silicon M1, 2020)

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b. MacBook Pro (13-inch, Apple Silicon M1, 2020)

c. MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021)

d. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021)

e. MacBook Pro (13-inch, Apple Silicon M2, 2022)

Used Pro models go on sale on several platforms. A new Mac owner wouldn’t know about the Touch ID-compatible device list.

Touch ID supported macOS Edition

The first Pro notebook arrived a decade ago, and the fingerprint sensor didn’t exist on the laptops. Apple optimized the macOS Big Sur 11.4 or later with Touch ID capabilities.

1. Click on the Apple menu.

2. Choose ‘System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

3. Click on the ‘Software Update’ option.

4. Connect the charger and leave the MacBook alone.

Let the macOS automate the installation process for you. Backup the data in the Pro model in cloud storage and external storage.

Clean the Pro Model

When was the last time you cleaned the Pro model?
Your MBP requires a thorough cleaning. I have suggested a few methods to clean the machine.

a. Use a dry microfiber cloth.

b. Remove dirt and debris from the notebook.

c. I don’t recommend anyone using liquid while cleaning.

d. Avoid using sharp tools to remove tough stains.

Clean the Touch ID gently using a dry microfiber cloth. Many suggest putting 99% isopropyl alcohol to remove tough stains. Use a dry cloth, and don’t think about any liquid solution because it can damage the Touch ID hardware.

Restart Pro Model

Many Pro notebooks remain in sleep mode for weeks. Content creators don’t want to open folders, editors, web pages, and design tools. They put the MacBook in sleep mode to save time. The desktop-class operating system accumulates junk files over time. Get rid of the trouble causing temp files by ending the session.

1. Click on the menu from the top bar.

2. Choose ‘Shut down instead of the ‘Restart’ option.

3. Let MacBook turn off completely.

Give the notebook ten minutes of rest. Let the electrical discharge from the internal components cool off. Turn on the Pro laptop after ten minutes.

Touch ID supported macOS Edition

Touch ID on MacBook Pro by SporkDork

The first Pro notebook arrived a decade ago, and the fingerprint sensor didn’t exist on the laptops. Apple optimized the macOS Big Sur 11.4 or later with Touch ID capabilities.

Turn off Automatic Login

The Mac has an auto-login feature for home users. You can unlock the Mac computer without a password or authentication. Gain complete access to the macOS machine without finishing the Touch ID process. I don’t recommend disabling the auto-login feature for office and professional users.

1. Click on the Apple menu.

2. Choose ‘System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

3. Click on ‘Users & Groups’ from Settings.

4. Find the ‘Automatic Login’ option on the first row.

5. Click on the drop-down menu.

6. Set the feature off.

Professional users shouldn’t disable the auto-login feature because it will put the data at risk. A home user will have lesser security vulnerability compared to an office user.

Enable Biometric Authentication for iTunes & App Store

Did you allow App Store and iTunes to use biometric authentication to install apps or purchase music?

Allow the Touch ID to use the same fingerprint to authenticate app downloads and music purchases. Your Touch ID is not working to download apps because you have turned off the option.

1. Click on the Apple menu.

2. Choose ‘System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

3. Click the ‘Touch ID’ option.

4. Select all three options.

a. Unlocking your Mac

b. iTunes Store

c. App Store & Apple Books

Add multiple fingerprints to the MacBook to avoid being locked out again.

Add Another Fingerprint on Mac

My index finger doesn’t get recognized in one go. I faced many problems while getting my index finger authenticated for university records. I couldn’t use biometric security for many years due to recognition issues. We have multiple fingers, and you can record up to five fingerprints on the Mac.

1. Click on the Apple menu.

2. Choose ‘System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

3. Click the ‘Touch ID’ option.

4. Click on the ‘Add Fingerprint’ option.

5. Enter the password to confirm your identity.

6. Place your finger and follow the instructions to complete the process.

7. Click the ‘Done’ button.

8. You can find the new finger record under the ‘Finger 2’ name.

Use your different fingers and add up to five prints in the MacBook Pro. Use a different finger when the primary selection is not working.

Use Lighting Cable

Use Lighting Cable

Many content creators purchased Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse to edit videos and code. Use the lighting cable to connect the keyboard to MacBook Pro. There must be a problem with the Bluetooth device. I can tell you about everyday software-related issues. Contact the Apple service center if the Touch ID is not working through the lighting cable.

Reset SMC in Pro Notebook

Mac has a dedicated SMC chip in the notebook, and it’s called System Management Controller. The SMC manages the internal fans, power distribution, status lights, etc. A corrupted file or incorrectly configured file can ruin the experience. Reset the SMC in the Pro model and resolve the Touch ID issues.

For Intel-based Mac:

1. Turn off the Pro notebook.

2. Leave the laptop alone for two minutes.

3. Press three keys from the keyboard together.

a. Right Shift key

b. Left Option key

c. Left Control key

Hold three keys together.

4. Do not release the three keys.

5. Press and hold the Power button for another seven keys.

6. The Mac will turn on and turns off. You keep holding the keys no matter what flashes on the screen.

7. Release all keys after seven seconds.

Leave the MacBook to sit idle for a few minutes. Turn on the Pro model and use the Touch ID to unlock the system.

For Apple Silicon processors like M1 and M2:

Apple cut off ties with Intel for processors. The manufacturer worked on the Apple Silicon processor to handle the SMC functions in the system.

Shut down your M1 or M2 powered notebook, and leave the machine idle for one minute. A quick restart will work like SMC reset on an Apple Silicon processor.

Bottom Line

I have suggested viable solutions to fix MacBook Pro Touch ID that is not working. Meet the Apple service centre if none of the solutions fix the Touch ID issues in the Pro model. Reinstall the macOS edition in the notebook if you suspect a malware attack. Let us know how you solved the Touch ID problems in the Pro model.

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