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Unable to Activate Touch ID on this iPhone? 6 Solutions to Fix It

DoubtUser Concern

“My Touch ID is not working on my iPhone 12. I tried several forced power off and restart but still the prompt out message 'unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone' come out. Any suggestion about fixing this problem?”

Touch ID is a fingerprint identification sensor developed by Apple, which brigns us much convenience. With Touch ID, you can easily unlock your iPhone, install apps from Apple Store, make payment, etc. It would be really frustrating if you are unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone.

Recently, many iPhone users have reported that the Touch IDfailed to be activated after upgrading to iOS 15/14 or screen replacement. Relax, here we provide several solutions for touch ID activation problem.

unable to activate touch id on this iphone

Common Fixes for Unable to Activate Touch ID on This iPhone

Touch ID activation error can be both software and hardware related. If you get this error "Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone", follow these simple steps to find a quick fix:

  • Ensure that you have installed the latest version of iOS on your iPhone.

  • Ensure that your fingers and the home button are dry and clean. Try to clear away any dirt or debris on your finger or device using a lint-free cloth.

  • Ensure that your finger covered the entire home button and don't move your finger around, so the Touch ID sensor can scan your fingerprint properly.

  • Ensure that your phone case or screen protector doesn't cover the Touch ID sensor.

  • Ensure that iPhone Unlock or iTunes & App Store is enabled on the Settings.

1. Activate Touch ID from Settings

Before we take any other measures to fix the Touch ID activation issue, let's take a look at how to activate Touch ID from Settings on iPhone. Please note that Touch ID cannot be used on iPhone devices earlier than iPhone 5S.

  1. Open Settings on iPhone and go to Touch ID & Passcode.

  2. You need to enter the password when asked. This step will be skipped if you did not set a password before.

  3. On the next interface, enable iPhone Unlock and click "Add a Fingerprint".

  4. Now place your finger on the home button to add a new fingerprint. Be careful not to press the home button.

activate touch id from settings

The new Touch ID has been set up. Restart your iPhone to activate the new fingerprint. You can then unlock your iPhone via the new fingerprint.

2. Force Restart Your iPhone

If the error of "Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone" still cannot be removed after the setting, tryto force restart your device. This method could usually conducive to solving most iPhone issues. Follow the steps below to hard reboot your iPhone.

  • For iPhone 8 or Later: Press and release the Volume Up button quickly. Then press and release the Volume Down button quickly. Finally press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

  • For iPhone 7/7 Plus: Press the Sleep/Wake button and the Volume Down button at the same time until you see the Apple logo appearing on the screen.

  • For iPhone 6 or Earlier: Hold the Home button and the Power button for nearly 8 seconds until you see the Apple logo displaying on the device screen.

force restart iphone

3. Try to Turn Password Off and On

Some Apple users have left their suggestion on Apple forums, they got their Touch ID to work via the way of turning the password off. Here is how to do it:

  1. Go to Settings on iPhone and select "Touch ID & Passcode".

  2. Enter the password that you set before, click "Turn Password Off".

  3. Wait for about 5-10 minutes and then Turn Passcode ON.

turn off password

4. Reset All Settings on iPhone

This will reset all the iPhone setting to its default settings, it will not erase any of the device data or media files.

To reset the settings on iPhone, you need to tap the Settings icon on the screen, then click General > Reset > Reset All Settings. Now you can check whether the Touch ID can be activated or not.

reset all settings iphone

5. Factory Reset iPhone with iTunes

If none of the solutions mentioned above works, you can try to perform a factory reset with iTunes to fix this error.

  1. Launch the latest version of iTunes on your computer and connect your iPhone via USB cable.

  2. Enter your passcode to unlock the device and tap Trust this computer when asked.

  3. Select your iPhone and click on "Restore iPhone".

  4. Click on "Restore" again to confirm and iTunes will erase your device and install the latest iOS firmware.

restore iphone

All the data and settings will be erased if you choose to factory reset your iPhone with iTunes. So, you should make a backup before doing that.

6. Fix iPhone Touch ID Activation Issue without Data Loss

It is advisable to turn to FoneGeek iOS System Recovery for help if you are unable to find the internal cause of the Touch ID activation problem. This iOS Repair tool is dedicated to fix any iOS issues and get iPhone or iPad working normally without data loss. Besides the Touch ID activation issue, you can also use it to fix iPhone stuck in boot loop, iPhone apps keeps crashing and other iOS related problems. It is quite easy to use and will not affect the data while fixing. Also, this program is highly recommended by Software.Informer, CNET and many other media sites.


Here is how to fix your iPhone touch ID not activating problem with FoneGeek iOS System Recovery (iOS 15 and iPhone 12 supported):

Step 1. Free download the iOS System Recovery on the computer. Run it and you should view two options, select "Standard Mode" to continue.

choose repair mode

Step 2. You will be prompted to connect your iPhone to the computer and click the "Next" button.

connect ios device

Step 3. The iPhone information will be detected, check if the information is correct and click on "Download" to download the firmware package.

download firmware package

Step 4. When the firmware is ready, click on "Fix Now" and the program will begin to fix the Touch ID activation automatically.


The Bottom Line

If none of the solutions are helpful to fix your problem of Unable to activate Touch ID on This iPhone, we recommend you to consult with an Apple staff for more professional ideas. And you can also leave a comment below if you have any other issues that you don't find on our website.

Joan J. Mims

Joan J. Mims is interested in researching all tips about iPhone, iPad and Android. He loves to share useful ideas with all users.

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