MacBook Pro Touch ID not working? How to fix it!

Touch ID Not Working on MacBook Pro

Touch ID has been a groundbreaking inclusion in the MacBook Pro Devices since late 2016. Presenting users with easy access to their Mac without entering a password helped Apple gain unmatched loyalty.

Excluding a couple of odd experiences where my MacBook Pro Touch ID stopped working, I’ve loved the feature since its launch, personally. At first, I thought it was just happening to me, so imagine my surprise when I found this to be a common glitch faced by many across the globe.

In lieu of this, I’m sharing the possible reasons and solutions behind why my Touch ID stopped working on MacBook Pro. Let’s take a look.

  1. Dry your fingers
  2. Update your macOS
  3. Delete and re-add your Touch ID fingerprints on Mac
  4. Reset the SMC

Food for thought: Know your Touch ID.

1. Dry your fingers

This is the most common cause for a broken Mac Touch ID. The fingerprint sensor on your Mac won’t respond if your finger is dirty or wet. Count it a ‘cleanliness feature’ and know that your MacBook Pro loves it when you use the sensor with clean and dry fingers.

2. Update your macOS

After making sure your fingers are clean and Touch ID is still not working, this is your second step. Check for an update in macOS and, if there’s one available, execute it.

Note: To perform the following steps, unlock your Mac; since your Touch ID isn’t responding, enter your password.

  1. Locate and click the Apple icon located at the top left corner of the screen and go to System on apple logo and select system preferences in macos big sur
  2. Now click the Software Update icon. The next window will tell you if there’s a pending software update. If available, download and install it.Click on Software Update in System Preferences on Mac
    Click on Update Now to Update macOS

3. Delete and re-add your Touch ID fingerprints on Mac

If your Touch ID still isn’t working, it’s time to delete your saved fingerprints and re-add them. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Click on the Apple icon located at the top left corner and select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click on Touch ID in the window. Now hover over the fingerprint you want to remove until you see the x icon in the upper left corner.Click on Touch ID in System Preferences on Mac
  3. Click on the x icon to delete. Confirm after adding your password.Click on x icon on Fingerprint in Mac System Preferences
    Enter Mac's Password and Click on OK
    Click on Delete to Remove Fingerprint from Mac Touch Id

How to re-add your Fingerprints

  1. Click the Apple icon located at the top left corner and select System Preferences from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click Touch ID from the window and select Add a Fingerprint.Click on Touch ID in System Preferences on Mac
    Click on Add Fingerprint in Touch Id on Mac
  3. Enter your password and scan your fingerprint.Add Fingerprints to Mac Touch Id

4. Reset the SMC

The SMC on your MacBook Pro is responsible for managing settings like temperature and battery management.

If nothing else worked for you, resetting SMC (System Management Controller) is the last option. Here’s how to do it:

Note: Make sure that your Mac is completely shut down and not connected to a power source.

  1. Hold Shift+Control+Option and the power button together for around 10 seconds and then let go.
  2. Now plug in the power cable and start your Mac. You’ve reset your SMC.

Video: 4 Ways to Fix Touch ID Not Working on MacBook Pro

YouTube video

Food for thought…

Things to know about Touch ID

Before we begin, let’s take a look at some important dates:

  1. Touch ID made its debut with the iPhone 5s in 2013.
  2. In 2015, the second generation was launched, which became an integral part of Apple Pay with the iPhone 6s.
  3. In the same year, it was introduced in the iPad Air 2.

What does Touch ID do on MacBook Pro?

Touch ID utilizes electronic fingerprint recognition technology to allow users to unlock and access numerous features on their device in a secure manner. The information collected is kept in a secure enclave on the Apple A7 and later chips.

The Touch ID button on your MacBook Pro allows you to:

  1. Shutdown, restart and enter sleep mode.
  2. Unlock and access your Mac. (via fingerprint scan)
  3. Access system preferences and other areas that may require a password.
  4. Make purchases using Apple Pay, as well as in the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBook store.
  5. Force shutdown or restart.

When was Touch ID first introduced in MacBook Pro?

The first MacBook Pro to receive Touch ID was the 2016 model. It’s been located on the right side of the Touch Bar ever since.

Who invented Touch ID for Apple?

Well, interesting as it may sound, the technology was initially recognized as AuthenTec’s fingerprint tech. It was invented by Scott Moody, a co-founder of AuthenTec, a mobile and network security company.

Apple acquired the company for a whopping $356 million in cash in 2012. After three years of research and work, they launched it with the Apple 5s.

Found this interesting? Have an addition to make? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Author Profile

Marcus is a freelance tech writer/editor with a focus on succinctly explaining consumer devices and their software. His previous work has been published on MakeUseOf where he covered everything from iOS to Git and UI design.

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