Touch ID Trick: Train Multiple Fingerprints at Once

| How-To

Apple’s Touch ID is an excellent security convenience, allowing you to quickly unlock your iPhone or iPad without having to type in your Passcode. Most of us will want to train at least the index finger and thumb of both hands in order to have some unlocking flexibility. That requires adding each fingerprint manually, and the iPhone only allows five total fingerprints to be trained. What if you want to train more than five fingers? Or what if you want to make the training process more efficient?

Train Multiple Fingers Simultaneously

In Sunday’s Mac Geek Gab 616, listener Robin provided an answer to these questions: train multiple fingerprints simultaneously.

It sounded crazy to us, too, and then we tried it. This method works flawlessly for us here and many listeners that have also reported success. The process is simple:

  1. On any Touch ID-capable iOS device, visit Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and enter your Passcode
  2. Remove your existing fingerprints (if you like) by swiping right-to-left on the ones that exist.
  3. Tap “Add a Fingerprint…
  4. Start cycling through your fingers. I did this with thumb, index and middle finger of my right hand first, in that order. One tap per finger. When the phone vibrates, skip to the next finger in sequence. When you finish with the middle finger, return to the thumb.
  5. Use the middle/pad of each finger first (just as the iPhone instructs) and then when it tells you to start using the edges, do so until it tells you you’re finished. Ignore any messages about moving too much or too little between scans.
  6. When finished you can leave the name alone or tap it to rename. Robin suggests “Right hand” and “Left hand”.

touchid_multiple_fingers

In the time it normally takes to train a single finger you’ve now tained three. This has worked with all existing versions of Touch ID sensors for everyone that has tested thus far. As is typical, the more you use it the more reliable it will get: Touch ID continually trains itself.

Use the comments below to let us know how this goes for you.

One Comment Add a comment

  1. mrboba1

    Assuming that this works effectively for the owner (few false negatives), I wonder how merging 3 fingerprints into 1 makes the possibility for the non-owner of the fingerprints to be able to access the phone (a false positive).

    This would decrease the security aspect of this feature, if this is indeed a result.

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