Planned iOS Update May Prevent Touch ID from “Forgetting” Your Fingerprint


Touch ID iPhone 5s

Apple plans to release a software update that aims to prevent Touch ID from “forgetting” your fingerprint, sources familiar with the matter told AppleInsider.

A source familiar with Apple’s development plans said the company is well aware of early adopter issues that many iPhone 5s users are experiencing with Touch ID, the fingerprint recognition feature introduced last year after acquiring AuthenTec in 2012.

After launching iPhone 5s last fall, Apple has continued to work with the original AuthenTec team to improve its recognition software and will release an update relatively soon, the source confidently reported. However, AppleInsider could not verify whether the update will ship as part of iOS 7.1, which is expected to drop in mid-March.

Shortly after the iPhone 5s hit the shelves, users began reporting that the integrated sensor was failing to scan their fingerprint. In a growing thread in the Apple Support Communities, a user complains, for example, that he bought two iPhone 5s devices and noticed fingerprint scanner failures 24 hours after using it.

There are multiple methods of solving the “issue”, such as scanning the same finger multiple times, but these workarounds offer only a temporary fix. A fix could be issued via a software update, but it is yet unknown whether it will be part of the highly anticipated iOS 7.1 (release expected mid-March) or a later one.


  • MikeJenkinson

    I’ve never, ever had any significant issue with the fingerprint scanner on my 5S and it remains an amazingly useful and accurate piece of technology.

  • Flaxx

    I only have problems when my finger is wet and the odd ackward scan. I do wish that itunes didn’t require me to enter the password every few days or weekly (which is about as often as I download apps).

  • Supacon

    I experienced this when I first got my 5s – Touch ID became less accurate over time and I had to reregister my fingerprints every two or three weeks. But now it seems much better – I usually register each thumb print twice using a different section of my thumb and it has been working flawlessly for months.

  • Steve Chan

    I love the fingerprint scanner on my 5S. Just wish other apps can start using it also.

  • magneticmoose

    I actually just visited an Apple Store last week about this issue – mainly to rule out a hardware issue. It’s the only thing about my 5s that I’m slightly disappointed with. Even with multiple prints for the same finger (and various other attempted workarounds), my iPhone seems to ‘forget’ my print over time.

    It may just be that my particular prints aren’t as readable as others, but I’m very glad that a software fix (a solution echoed by the Genius that I spoke with) may be coming soon!

  • websnap

    The dryness of Canadian winter has caused a lot of misreads for me. I just got back from a trip to Mexico and with the humidity, the scanner never failed.

  • xxxJDxxx

    I estimate it to work about 70% of the time for me. If my fingers are even the slightest bit sweaty or wet it won’t work at all. I’ve also rescanned my fingers several time since getting my 5S.

  • BookLover

    I have had nothing but problems with the fingerprint scanner. It has been the most annoying and frustrating thing about my iPhone 5s.

  • mrideas

    Only issue I’ve had is when my hands are cold or damp, otherwise it works well.

  • psolee

    always a problem should sue apple for refund and pain & suffering