Enable fingerprint unlock on iPhone/iPad

I get so many people that still don’t know about the fingerprint security feature on iPhone 5S and later.  I figured it’s time for a post on how to setup touch ID for those that didn’t do it during the setup assistant.

You still need your passcode for times when your device updates and reboot it’s or when you lose power the next boot up of your phone will need your passcode.

  • Go to Settings > Touch ID and passcode > Input your passcode.
  • Tap “Add a fingerprint”.
  • Press one finger on the home button and hold it until you feel the vibrate.
  • Keep tapping and change the angle slightly
  • It will keep asking until the phone has the detail it needs to be able to read your finger print in different positions
  • You’ve got 5 fingers you can set, (unless you do the more than 5 workaround) not necessarily all yours. Someone else in the family can be added to unlock your phone.

How does the fingerprint reader work?

The home button is made from Sapphire crystal which is one of the hardest, clearest materials known. Underneath is a high-resolution 500  sensor that is able to read the details of a fingerprint fine enough to get the accuracy needed.  Apple doesn’t actually store images of your fingerprint. The Touch ID feature stores a mathematical representation of your finger, so it isn’t possible to reproduce an image.

Is it Secure?

According to Apple.

“Every fingerprint is unique, so it is rare that even a small section of two separate fingerprints are sufficiently alike to register as a match for Touch ID. The probability of this happening is one in 50,000. This is much better than the one in 10,000 odds of guessing a typical four-digit passcode.”