iOS 9 Disables Touch ID if You Don’t Use it for Eight Hours



As pointed out by MacWorld, Apple has updated its list of cases in which you are asked to enter a passcode even when Touch ID is enabled, in order to unlock your device in iOS 9. In addition to device restart, five failed fingerprint recognition attempts and receiving a remote lock command via Find My iPhone, a passcode is now asked for unlocking the device in two more scenarios.

“When the iPhone or iPad hasn’t been unlocked with its passcode in the previous six days, and Touch ID hasn’t been used to unlock it within the last eight hours. It’s a rolling timeout, so each time Touch ID unlocks a device, a new eight-hour timer starts to tick down until the passcode is required”.

So if you’ve been wondering why you were being randomly prompted to enter your passcode on your iPhone or iPad even when Touch ID is enabled, this is likely the reason.

A recent court order compelled the owner to use her fingerprint to unlock an iOS device. However, this timeout would add an additional ticking clock, and may affect the outcome, unless the court order also requires the person to enter a password for unlocking the device.


  • Tim Stewart

    My 6+ resets itself every at 3am every Sunday morning, so I’ve grown used to having enter my password even with TouchID being enabled.

  • speedracer99

    Resets itself? How?

  • Tim Stewart

    It does a reset to the white Apple logo and restarts to the lock screen telling me that I need to enter my passcode after a reset. I watched it do it one night and it was odd to see. I’ve spent a couple months worth of weekends trying variables to figure out what could be causing it, but since it’s not a real inconvenience I haven’t bothered with contacting support about it.

  • Marco

    you should contact support. Mine never does that…

  • Tim Stewart

    I will be, I just haven’t made it a priority. It’s not like my original unit that had a bad charging port.

  • Werdner

    Never noticed this, guess I haven;t slept 8 hours in a while..

  • Shino

    It’s because you’re jailbroken.

  • Tim Stewart

    If my phone was jailbroken I could understand that as a reason, but I’ve not felt that jail breaking has been necessary since my 3GS:

  • johnnygoodface

    I guess it took that article to make me realize it too!
    Note to self: wake up at 4:00am and use TouchID

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    This should be an option in the Settings. You pick the length of time. I rather have 12 hours than 8 hours

  • speedracer99

    That is not normal. If it is consistently at 3 AM, you must have an app or jailbreak that is scheduling the restart. There is no built-in internal setting which can restart your device according to a schedule. Your device been jail broken without your knowledge?

  • Chrome262

    It’s probably an app that runs a background process. The app probably updates weekly and it’s causing a crash that the device resets for. Probably a large app. But who knows

  • Tim Stewart

    Unless the Apple store gave me a replacement unit that was jailbroken, it’s still bone stock and iOS fully updated. I’ve even manually restarted it and used TouchID before 3am and it still does it. I’ll be contacting Apple support one of these days when I’m frustrated enough and have the time. Thanks anyways for the suggestions guys.