Touch ID Not Working in Cold Weather? Here’s a Fix
Many iPhone users have noticed that Touch ID becomes finicky in cold weather, often not working at all when the temperatures drop in winter. Or at least, that’s what it seems like, but the real culprit is quite likely to be your skin and the effects of colder climates on fingerprints, which is what Touch ID is using to recognize and unlock your device. Fortunately, a solution to improving Touch ID recognition in colder weather is quite simple.
What you’ll want to do is add a new fingerprint to Touch ID while your hands are cold (which usually means the skin is more dry too), matching the general conditions where Touch ID is failing on a regular basis. This is easy to do if you’re in a cold climate, but a bit more challenging if you only occasionally visit a land of chilly temps, like a ski resort, so you’d just want to remember to add a new fingerprint to Touch ID when in those conditions. You can think of this as a weather dependent variation on the reliably unlocking with Touch ID by adding the same fingerprint multiple times trick, which works very well to improve recognition in general.
The steps for the cold climate trick are pretty straightforward:
- Be in an environmental condition that represents colder weather when Touch ID recognition is not working consistently or at all
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to “Touch ID & Passcode”
- Tap on “Add a Fingerprint”
- Add a new cold weather fingerprint to Touch ID, you may want to give it a label like “cold thumb” for easy reference – be sure to add this in addition to your primary fingerprint used to unlock the iPhone or iPad
- Enjoy using Touch ID even in adverse weather conditions
If you have already hit your 5-finger limit in Touch ID, you’ll need to remove one of the fingerprints from the iOS device (hopefully Apple will allow additional fingerprints in the future for this climate reason alone) while you’re in Touch ID Settings.
This seems to be a really common issue for many iPhone owners who live in places with strong seasons, or even when visiting a location with dramatically different weather. Since many users setup their iPhone in a different season than when they’re experiencing the Touch ID irregularities, they often only have that single fingerprint added during the initial device setup anyway. Thus, adding the new fingerprint to Touch ID while in the alternative weather condition almost always resolves the recognition troubles in those chilly temperatures and when you have drier skin.
This apparently works in reverse too for those coming from constantly cold weather to hot temperatures, like if you were to live in the South Pole and visit Hawaii, your fingerprints and skin texture would likely change a bit and Touch ID could become unresponsive. Again, just add a new print to Touch ID, and it should work well again.
For what it’s worth, if you try to use the same fingerprint that is not detected multiple times, the iPhone will require that you enter a passcode manually because “Touch ID does not recognize your fingerprint”, this is what that error message looks like:
Did the cold-finger winter weather Touch ID trick work for you? Let us know in the comments.