Unable to Activate Touch ID on This iPhone? How to Fix It

12/28/2018 Posted by FoneGeek

Unable to Activate Touch ID on This iPhone

Touch ID is a fingerprint identity sensor that makes it easy for your to get into your device. After you set up Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad, you can use it to unlock the device, make purchases on various Apple digital media stores, and authenticate Apply Pay online or in apps. All in all, it is very important for users to secure their iPhone/iPad from prying eyes and keep information safe. 

However, Touch ID may stop working on iPhone due to software or hardware errors. Recently, many iPhone users reported that they get the error message "Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone" after screen or battery replacement, or updating to iOS 12. Do not stress out. In this guide, we will share some easy and helpful methods to fix unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone/iPad problem. Go through these solutions to make Touch ID work again on your iPhone XS/XS Max/XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8/7/6s/6 Plus, or iPad Pro. 

Tip 1. Activate Touch ID from Settings 

If you receive the error message "Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone", don't panic, you should first check if you have set up the Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad successfully. 

Follow the steps below to activate Touch ID from Settings on iPhone/iPad: 

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. 
  2. You will be prompted to enter your passcode. If you did not set up one before, this step will be skipped. 
  3. Now select "Add a Fingerprint" and follow the instructions to set up a new fingerprint. 

Activate Touch ID

Note: Please make sure to clean and dry your finger before performing this procedure. After completed the steps above, restart the device and your Touch ID will be activated. If you have saved fingerprints before, you'd better delete the old ones and then add a new fingerprint to fix the problem that Touch ID cannot be activated. 

Tip 2. Turn Off Passcode

You may experience unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone error if you enable Passcode and Touch ID simultaneously. This may cause a conflict between these features. So, if the first solution suggested did not help, try to turn off Passcode on your iPhone or iPad to fix the problem.

Here's how you can do to turn off your Passcode on your iPhone/iPad: 

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and enter your passcode. 
  2. Click "Turn Passcode Off" and tap on "Turn Off" to confirm your choice from the pop-up. 
  3. You will be prompted to enter your Apple ID password to confirm again, then click on "Turn Off". 

Turn Off Passcode 

Tip 3. Force Restart Your iPhone 

Performing a force restart on your iPhone can refresh the device, kill bugs and frozen apps. The restarting process can help to fix many iOS system glitched including unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone error message. Simply follow the steps below to fix the problem: 

For iPhone 8/8 Plus/X/XS/XS Max/XR: Press and release the Volume Up button them quickly the Volume Down button. Press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo comes up. 

For iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Volume Down and Side buttons together for about 10 seconds until the Apple logo shows up. 

For iPhone 6s and Older Models: Press and hold the Top (or Side) and Home buttons for at least 10 seconds until the Apple logo appears on the screen. 

Force Restart iPhone iPad

Tip 4. Factory Restore Your iPhone 

If you are still unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone/iPad, you can restore your device to factory settings to fix the issue. Please note the restoring process will wipe everything on your iPhone, such as data, apps, settings, etc. Thus, it is advised to back up your iPhone with FoneGeek iOS Data Backup & Restore before performing this method.

Here are the steps to factory reset your iPhone/iPad with iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer and launch iTunes. 
  2. Enter the password and trust the computer on your device if you are prompted to do that. 
  3. In iTunes, click on the device icon and tap on "Restore iPhone" from the summary tab. 
  4. Conform your choice by clicking "Restore" and wait for your device to be restored to factory settings. 

Recover Data from iTunes Backup

Tip 5. Fix Failed Touch ID with Third-party Tool 

If Touch ID sill not working on your iPhone even though you have tried all the above mentioned solutions, a third-party iOS repair tool will help you. FoneGeek iOS System Recovery is a powerful tool in fixing a wide range of system glitches on iPhone or iPad. Not only Touch ID failed issues, but also fixes iOS problems like iPhone black screen of death, iPhone stuck on Apple logo, iPhone stuck in Recovery mode, etc. What's more, no data loss will be caused during the repairing process.

Download Win Download Mac

How to fix unable activate Touch ID on this iPhone without data loss:

  1. Download and install FoneGeek iOS System Recovery on your computer. Run it and choose "iOS System Recovery". 
  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to the computer and click "Start", then follow the on-screen steps to put your device into DFU mode or Recovery mode. 
  3. After that, confirm your iPhone information and click on "Repair" to download the repaired plug-in and  fix Touch ID issue on your iPhone. 

iOS System Recovery


In this guide we introduced 5 different methods to fix Touch ID not working on iPhone problem. If you are unable to activate Touch on this iPhone or iPad, just follow one of the solutions above. Also, please make sure that the home button of your iPhone and your registered finger is free of water, oil, any other liquid, dirt, and dust, or the Touch ID may also be failed. In case that you may lose some important data after updating to iOS or screen/battery replace, we suggest you try FoneGeek iPhone Data Recovery. This tool can help you recover lost data on iPhone or iPad easily and quickly. 

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