Touch ID not working after updating to iOS 7.1? Here's how to fix it!

Touch ID not working after updating to iOS 7.1? Here's how to fix it!

Touch ID is one of the things Apple says they've improved and made more reliable with iOS 7.1. As with any complex piece of software, however, what makes things better for many people can sometimes break it for a few. That seems to be the case with Touch ID and iOS 7.1. A few of our readers have reported that instead of making Touch ID better on the iPhone 5s, iOS 7.1 broke it completely. If you're having problems with Touch ID after updating to iOS 7.1 here are few things you can try to fix it.

1. Delete all your prints from Touch ID and add them again

The easiest place to start is by deleting all your fingerprints from Touch ID and re-registering them.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone 5s.
  2. Tap on Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. Type in your Passcode when prompted.
  4. Tap on any fingerprint and then tap on Delete Fingerprint. Repeat this until all your fingerprints are removed.
  5. Tap on Add a Fingerprint... and go through the process of adding your fingerprints again.

Now try Touch ID again and see if this fixed the issue for you. If it did, you're done and there's no need to go any further. For some people Touch ID seems to be failing on this process too or this doesn't rectify it. If that sounds like you, continue on to step 2.

2. Restore your iPhone 5s from a backup

If re-registering your fingerprints doesn't work you can try restoring your iPhone completely.

  1. Plug your iPhone 5s into iTunes.
  2. Choose your iPhone in the top right corner.
  3. On the main iPhone summary screen, click on Restore iPhone...
  4. Choose whether or not you'd like to back up your iPhone first in the next pop up. If you back up to iTunes, select Back Up. If you've already backed up to iCloud you can click on Don't Back Up.
  5. On the next popup click on Restore and Update.
  6. Let iTunes do its thing.

Once iTunes is done you can either restore from iTunes or unplug your iPhone and restore from iCloud. If you need help doing either of those, you can check out our guides:

Once you're done, test Touch ID functionality once more after completing your backup. If it still doesn't work, move on to the next step.

3. Visit the Apple Store

If restoring your iPhone didn't fix the issue, you may need to make a visit to your local Apple Store for further assistance. In some cases, your iPhone 5s may need to be swapped out for a new unit.

We recommend scheduling a Genius Bar appointment before going so you can decrease, if not completely eliminate, your wait time.

4. Were you able to remedy your Touch ID issues after updating to iOS 7.1?

If you were able to remedy the Touch ID issue some people have been experiencing after updating, what did you do? Was it something different than what we've suggested above? Let us know in the comments what worked for you! And if you haven't solved the problem after trying all of the above, let us know that too!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Touch ID not working after updating to iOS 7.1? Here's how to fix it!


My scanner was working but I deleted my old fingerprints and did new ones. My finger scanner works really fast now. Much better than before. I suggest you delete your old finger prints and do new ones. You might be amazed.

I wish my Nexus 7 tablet had this function. lol.

Yeah, you definitely could edit fingerprint names... Just click edit then tap on the fingerprint you want to change names...

Sent from the iMore App

None of this works for me. On mine the sensor completely stops working randomly to the point I can't even register a new print.

Awesome update. Not sure why it fails for some people but all I did was update and it's been flawless since then. Like others - same prints as before.

Before 7.1, Touch ID would only work about half the time, and I would have to remove my fingerprint and re-add it every few days. After updating it has worked every time :) I'm not sure if they made it less sensitive or what, but I'm a fan.

My scanner has worked haphazardly since day one, to the point that I do not actually use it. 7.1 made it, if possible, even less reliable based on my quick test. It trains OK, or so the device claims, but after that, in actual use, it will not work. I do not live in the US, so there is no Apple store where to take the phone. I hear that taking it to the operator store where I bought it will only result in their sending it to Apple on my behalf, and Apple in turn will take 4 to 6 weeks to process the unit before sending it back with the faulty component swapped -- which is too long for me. So, I am going without the TouchID functionality. Not that it was all that important for me to beging with.

Not sure what country you're from, but most of the world (excepting most of Africa and South America) has AppleCare support, which will overnight you a phone and a box to send the old one back in. If your country is on the following list, I'd give them a call:

i have updated my 5s to 7.1.1 and then deleted my finger prints prior to scanning new one's after registering new one's, it worked in flawless manner but then after some time it just stopped working at all now it doesn't recognize my thumb in any orientation. what should i do now ?