Touch ID lets you have the security of a passcode or alphanumeric password while conveniently accessing your iPhone — all while using your fingerprint. You can register up to 5 fingerprints from your own fingers, that of your family or colleagues, or a fellow traveler in case of emergencies — without having to give them your passcode or password. Best of all, adding new fingerprints is easy. Here's how to set up Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad.

How to set up Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

You can register a fingerprint for Touch ID as part of the initial set up process on any new or restored iPhone or iPad. You can also set it up, or add additional fingers, at any time.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen
  2. Tap on Touch ID & Passcode
  3. Type in your passcode for authorization, if asked. (Touch ID requires a passcode, so if you don't have one already you'll be asked to create one.)
  4. Tap on the Add a Fingerprint button.
  5. Place the finger you want to register on the Home button and leave it there until you feel a buzz.
  6. Lift your finger up and place it back down. Repeat each time you feel a buzz.

  7. Tap continue when Touch ID alerts you it has completed the first step and now requires peripheral data.
  8. Place the edges of the finger you want to register on the Home button and leave it there until you feel a buzz.
  9. Lift your finger up and place it back down. Repeat with a different edge until you've registered the entire surface of your finger.
  10. Tap Continue to finish.

Repeat for every additional finger you want to add, up to 5 total. You can register any combination of your and other people's fingerprints, including family or staff. You can even temporarily register a travel-mate just in case of emergencies, without having to give them your passcode or password.

How to identify a Touch ID fingerprint

If you registered a fingerprint with Touch ID but don't remember which one is which — i.e., is Fingerprint 1 your right thumb or left index finger? — you can check and find out. That's how you can make sure you rename and delete the right ones in the future.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Type in your passcode when asked.
  4. Place your registered fingerprint on the Home button.
  5. Look for the label that changes color from white to gray.

How to label a Touch ID fingerprint

Rather than identifying your fingerprints each time you need them for something, you can label them to make it simpler and faster to find the one you're looking for. (And remember which and whose fingerprints are registered.)

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Type in your passcode when asked.

  4. Tap on the Finger you want to rename
  5. Type in a new, more recognizable name for your fingerprint. (i.e. right thumb.)
  6. Tap on the Done button.

Repeat the steps 4-6 until all your fingerprints are labeled.

How to turn off Touch ID for the Lock screen, Apple Pay, or the iTunes and App Stores

Touch ID is meant as a convenience. If you prefer more security on your Lock screen, like a strong alphanumeric password, you can turn Touch ID off.

  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the Touch ID & Passcode button.
  3. Enter your passcode when prompted.
  4. Switch iPhone/iPad Unlock, Apple Pay, or iTunes and App Store to Off.

How to delete a Touch ID fingerprint

If you have given someone fingerprint access to your device for an emergency, or for a specific reason, and you don't need that person to have access anymore it's a good idea to delete their fingerprint. Also, if a fingerprint becomes glitchy, you can remove it and redo it. That's because deleting Touch ID fingerprints is even easier than adding them!

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Touch ID capable device.
  2. Tap on Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Type in your passcode when prompted.
  4. Tap on the fingerprint you want to delete.
  5. Tap on Delete Fingerprint.
  6. Tap on Done at the bottom right.

Repeat steps 4-6 for each fingerprint you want to delete.

More on Touch ID

Want to troubleshoot Touch ID, or use it on your Mac? Check out our Touch ID Ultimate Guide.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments.