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How to set up Touch ID on the MacBook Pro

Owners of the new MacBook Pro can unlock their machine or use Apple Pay with just a fingerprint. Here's how to set it up.

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Apple's fingerprint tech, Touch ID, is no longer limited to its iOS devices. The new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar features a Touch ID reader embedded in the power button, just above the Delete key.

Using Touch ID, you can do things like approve Apple Pay purchases, unlock your MacBook Pro or unlock critical apps such as 1Password.

Apps with support for Touch ID

Right now, the list is pretty short outside of Apple's own apps. Short enough that 1Password appears to be the lone third-party app updated with Touch ID support. As for Apple apps, you can use Touch ID to view your iCloud Keychain in Safari, or unlock secured notes in the Notes app, in addition to unlocking your MacBook Pro and using Apple Pay.

There are two ways to set up Touch ID on the new MacBook Pro; let's take a look at both of them.

Initial setup

The Touch ID sensor is on the right side of the Touch Bar.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

During the initial setup or addition of a new user account, a prompt will show up asking to set up Touch ID.

The process is simple: Place your finger on the reader a few times, just like you would on an iOS device, making sure to move your finger slightly between presses.

A few seconds later, you're done. You aren't given the option to add more than one finger during initial setup.

System preferences

You can add multiple fingerprints into the Touch ID feature.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you want to add another finger, or you skipped over initial setup, you can always open System Preferences and click on Touch ID.

Follow the prompts to add your first fingerprint, or click on the "+" sign to add another.

You can then tailor how you want to use Touch ID on your MacBook Pro by checking (or removing a check) next to the three options listed: Unlocking your Mac, Apple Pay and iTunes & App Store.