How to solve fingerprint problems on Windows Hello

Guide to solve the problem of fingerprint recognition on Windows Hello
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As Fix fingerprint recognition issue on Windows Hello in 9 practical and simple steps.

Today I would like to tell you about a recent technological adventure of mine. Always passionate about efficiency and practicality, I decided to purchase a fingerprint sensor Compatible with Windows Hello. My goal was to speed up the login process, not only on my device, but also when using various online services such as Google and others. The idea was to leverage biometric technology for quick and secure access, eliminating the need to enter passwords every time. However, as soon as I started the setup process, I realized that things weren't going to go as smoothly as expected. Despite some initial difficulties and a series of attempts, I finally managed to find an effective solution to make everything work. Here is my experience and the solutions I discovered to help you overcome any obstacles with fingerprint recognition on Windows Hello.

Fingerprint recognition problem on Windows Hello: how did I solve it?

Below I will explain some steps I took to fix the problem with my fingerprint sensor, although, unexpectedly, the real breakthrough happened at step 6. Discovering that policy directives on my computer were turned off by default was a revelation. This often overlooked detail can in fact be the root cause of many Windows Hello related malfunctions on various PCs. So while some of the steps I've followed may seem like preliminaries, they're still essential to making sure everything is set up correctly. So here are the stages of my troubleshooting journey, which I hope can help you also solve similar problems.

1. Remove and Re-Register Fingerprint

The first step to take is to remove your fingerprint from Windows Hello and register it again. This step, while it may seem basic, is often the most direct solution to troubleshooting your fingerprint reader. Here's how to do it:

  • Press Win + I to open the app Settings.
  • Go up Account > Sign-in Options.
  • In the Windows Hello section, click on the button Remove.
  • Once removed, click on Tax and follow the on-screen instructions to register your fingerprint again.
Windows account settings screen with sign-in options.

remove and re-register your fingerprint

If the problem persists or if you are unable to remove and re-add your fingerprint due to the “This option is currently unavailable” error on the Windows Hello page, there may be a problem with the biometric drivers on your PC. In this case, you will need to proceed with further checks and actions, as described in the following steps.

2. Reinstall the Biometric Device Driver

Biometric drivers on your PC are essential for Windows to communicate with the fingerprint scanner. If these drivers are outdated or not working properly, you may encounter problems.

In most cases, you can fix the problem by simply uninstalling and reinstalling the driver on your PC. Here's how to proceed:

  • Right-click the Start icon to open the Power User menu.
  • Select Device management from the list.
  • Expand the section Biometric Devices.
  • Right click on your fingerprint scanner device and select Uninstall device.
  • Select Uninstall to confirm.
Windows Device Management screen with biometrics highlighted.

reinstall the device drivers

Additionally, you should also expand the section USB (Universal Serial Bus) Controller in Device Manager and look for any entries with a yellow exclamation mark. If you find any, right-click on each one and select Uninstall device to remove them.

After completing the above steps, restart your PC and check if the problem persists.

3. Run the Hardware and Device Troubleshooter

Windows 10 and 11 include several troubleshooters to address various system-related issues. In this case, you should use the troubleshooter Hardware and Devices. This tool will scan your computer's fingerprint scanner for any problems and attempt to fix them.

Here are the steps to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter on Windows:

  • Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic in the Open and press field Sending.
  • In the Hardware and Devices window, click After you.

Wait for Windows to diagnose any problems with your computer. If problems are detected, follow the onscreen instructions to apply the recommended fixes. This step is essential because it allows the system to identify and, possibly, automatically correct any inconsistencies or errors that could affect the operation of the fingerprint reader.

4. Disable Quick Startup

Fast Startup is a very useful Windows feature that speeds up your PC's startup time after shutting down. However, this feature can sometimes prevent Windows from loading properly. When this happens, the fingerprint scanner may not work properly on Windows 10 or 11 PCs.

Here's how to disable Fast Startup on your Windows computer to see if that fixes your fingerprint scanner issue:

  • Open the Control Panel.
  • Go up Hardware and sounds > Power options.
  • Click on Choose the action of the power buttons.
  • Click on Change settings that are not currently available.
  • Uncheck the box Enable fast startup (recommended).
  • Click on Save Changes.

5. Configure the Windows Biometric Service to Start Automatically

Windows Biometric Service is an essential program for Windows Hello, as it captures and manages your fingerprint data. Ideally, the service should start automatically every time Windows starts. However, this may not occur if the service is not configured correctly.

Here are the steps to set up the Windows Biometric Service:

  • Open the app Services using the search menu.
  • Scroll down to locate the Windows Biometric Service in the list.
  • Right click on it and select Properties.
  • Click on the drop-down menu to change the startup type to Automatic.
  • Click on Apply followed by OK.

After performing these steps, restart your PC. After that, you should be able to log in with your fingerprint.

6. Enable Biometrics via the Local Group Policy Editor

Another possible reason why Windows Hello fingerprint login may not work is that the feature is disabled in the Local Group Policy Editor. It is important to note that Group Policy Settings are only available in the Professional, Education, and Enterprise editions of Windows. If you are using Windows Home, this step is not necessary.

To enable fingerprint authentication in the Local Group Policy Editor, follow these steps:

  • Press Win + S to open the search menu.
  • Type gpedit.msc in the search box and press Sending to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Use the left pane to navigate Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Biometrics.
  • Check if all policies within the Biometrics folder are enabled. If they aren't, double-click each policy, one at a time, and set them to Qualified.

After completing these steps, restart your PC one more time and see if the problem persists. This change can be crucial in making fingerprint recognition work properly, especially if the default settings are not optimized for using Windows Hello.

Computer biometry settings screen.

enable biometrics via local group policy editor

7. Create a New User Account

A problem with your current user account may cause some Windows features to not work. This usually happens when user account files become corrupted. If you suspect this is the case, you can create and switch to a new user account to resolve the issue. Here's how to do it:

  • Press Win + I to open the app Settings.
  • Go up Account > Other users.
  • Click on the button Add account.
  • In the Microsoft account window, click I don't have this person's login information and follow the on-screen instructions to create a new user account.
  • Set up Windows Hello fingerprint login for your new user account and see if you can log in with your fingerprint.

8. Perform a System Restore

If the fingerprint problem only occurred recently, you can use System Restore to return Windows to a previous state. This will allow you to undo any changes that may have caused the problem. Note that this is only possible if you have previously enabled System Restore on your PC.

Follow these steps to perform a system restore on Windows:

  • Press Win + S to open the search menu.
  • Type Create a restore point in the search box and press Sending.
  • In the tab System Protection, click on System recovery.
  • Click on After you.
  • Select a restore point created before the problem occurred and click on After you.
  • Review all the details one last time before clicking end.

Windows will restart and return to the specified restore point. After that, fingerprint recognition should work as before.

9. Install the latest Windows Updates

Microsoft regularly releases software updates for Windows 10 and Windows 11 to add new features, improve performance and, crucially for our purposes, fix bugs. If your fingerprint not working issue is caused by a system bug, updating Windows to the latest available version should help.

You can check for new updates by going to the tab Windows Update in the Settings app. Download and install any pending updates on your PC. Hopefully this solves the problem.

Fix Windows Hello Fingerprint Check

In conclusion, fixing fingerprint recognition problems with Windows Hello may seem complex, but it's often a matter of following a few basic troubleshooting steps, with most difficulties can be overcome with a little patience and the right ones technical skills.

If, despite these indications, you still encounter obstacles or need further clarification, do not hesitate to contact me. You can send me an email at info@gianlucagentile.com oppure compilare il modulo di contatto disponibile nella sezione apposita del mio website. Sono disponibile anche per incontri virtuali tramite Google Meet o Zoom, dove possiamo discutere in modo più dettagliato le vostre specifiche esigenze e trovare insieme la soluzione più adatta al vostro caso. La tecnologia è in costante evoluzione, e sono qui per aiutarvi a navigare in queste acque talvolta turbolente.

 

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