Having Touch ID issues on your compatible MacBook Pro or MacBook Air? The troubleshooting steps below address potential hardware and software issues with the fingerprint recognition feature.

First introduced on the iPhone 4S a decade ago, Touch ID is an authentication tool found on all modern iPhones, some iPads, and Macs, including the 2021 iMac. The tool has several features, including the ability to unlock. your device, use Apple Pay, log into third-party applications, and make purchases at different Apple online stores.

Touch ID Problems: Basic Troubleshooting

Once you’ve set up Touch ID on your Mac, you may never run into any issues. And yet they do happen. Often times, things can be easily resolved by cleaning the Touch ID button on the keyboard or by resetting the tool. However, other possible solutions will take longer and require several steps to be taken.

Time to clean

Over the years, Apple has made Mac keyboards more durable and less prone to malfunction. However, our fingers are not exactly the cleanest part of our body. They contain oil and are sometimes wet, which could cause problems. You should clean your Mac keyboard regularly and make sure to wash your hands throughout the day. The keyboard should be cleaned like the mouse or other computer accessory to remove dirt or debris.


Restarting a computer is a good way to solve various problems, including those related to Touch ID. Doing so causes your computer to restart different functions, and this might be the troubleshooting step you need to solve the current problem. Follow these steps to restart:

  1. Shut down your Mac using the menu Manzana > command To turn off.
  2. Hold down the power button for 10 seconds and release.
  3. After a few seconds, press the power button to restart your Mac.

Re-add your fingerprints

Our fingerprints never change. However, sometimes they need to be added back to Touch ID to troubleshoot. To do it:

  1. Enter the System preferences from your Mac.
  2. Please select Touch ID.
  3. Hover over the current fingerprint and click on the “X”.
  4. Login to your Mac account, where appropriate.
  5. Choose Remove to remove the current fingerprint.


  1. Please select Add fingerprint in the same page.
  2. follow the on-screen instructions to add your fingerprint.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to add another fingerprint.

Once you add your fingerprint again, you may want to adjust Touch ID settings on the same Touch ID family page. By default, your fingerprint:

  • Unlock your Mac
  • Used with Apple Pay
  • Works with iTunes Store, App Store and Apple Books
  • Use the Password AutoFill or automatic filling of passwords

Activate and deactivate your selections.


Apple regularly sends macOS updates. If you have been late in installing these, do it now. The update could be the key to finally getting your Touch ID issues resolved.

To check for updates:

  1. Click on the apple icon at the top left of the menu bar.
  2. Choose About this Mac.
  3. Please select Software update.
  4. Install the upgrade where appropriate.

Touch ID Problems: Advanced Troubleshooting

If the steps above haven’t resolved your Touch ID issues, it’s time to move on to the more advanced troubleshooting steps.

Intel only: Restart the SMC

Resetting your Mac’s system management controller is the next step to fix your Touch ID problems. Unfortunately, this solution only works on Intel-based Macs. If you have a Mac with Apple Silicon, restart your computer.

To reset the SMC on Intel MacBooks with a T2 security chip:

  1. First, turn off your Mac using the Apple menu> Shutdown command.
  2. Then press and hold the following three keys for seven seconds: Control, Option and Shift.
  3. Keep holding all three keys while holding down the power button for another seven seconds.
  4. Stop holding all four keys and wait 10 seconds.
  5. Turn on the machine.

To reset the SMC on Intel desktop Macs with a T2 security chip, including the 2021 iMac with Touch ID:

  1. Turn off your Mac and unplug the power cord.
  2. Wait 15 seconds and plug the power cord back in.
  3. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the Mac.

To reset the SMC on all other Intel-based Macs, follow the Apple website instructions.

After you turn your computer back on, check to see if the Touch ID issues have been resolved.

Safe Mode

One last step to troubleshooting Touch ID is to restart your computer in safe mode.

On Intel Macs:

  1. Turn off your computer.
  2. Quickly press the power button , and then press and hold Shift key.
  3. Stop holding the Shift key when you see the login screen.
  4. Login to the computer in safe mode and check if the problem is resolved.

On Macs with Apple Silicon:

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Hold down the power button for 10 seconds.
  3. Release the power button when you see the startup window.
  4. Choose your boot disk and hold down the Shift key.
  5. Please select Continue to enter safe mode.
  6. Drop the Shift key.

Touch ID Issues: Technical Support

If Touch ID issues continue even after performing the troubleshooting techniques above, it is best to contact Apple for assistance. Your Mac may need a hardware replacement to resolve the situation.

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