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Galaxy S10: 5 tips for setting up the fingerprint sensor

Try these tips if you're having trouble with the S10's new fingerprint tech.

Angela Lang/CNET

The Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus both feature an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that's hidden underneath the display. The new tech means you won't find a sensor on the rear or side of the phone, as is the case with the Galaxy S10E's capacitive fingerprint reader.

But because the technology is new and this is the first time we've seen it on a smartphone, there's surely going to be some hiccups.

If you find yourself struggling with the S10's ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, here are five things to try.

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Real-world use

Jason Cipriani/CNET

When adding a fingerprint to your device, hold the phone as you most commonly do and place your finger on the screen at the same angle and from the same location you most likely will on a daily basis.

In other words, don't place the phone flat on a table and lift your finger straight up and down on the sensor. Unless that's exactly how you most commonly unlock your phone.

Be patient

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Some have had more success placing their finger over the sensor and leaving it in place until the phone tells you to lift your finger off the sensor.

This extends the amount of time it takes to register a fingerprint, but the additional time the sensor has to read and map your fingerprint just might make a difference.

Don't get carried away

The setup interface instructs you to move your finger around in-between each scan. This is accurate, but don't drastically move your finger around. Instead, only subtly shift your finger in between scans.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you just cannot get the reader to work with a particular fingerprint, open Settings > Biometrics and security > Fingerprints and remove that particular fingerprint then reregister it.

Update your phone's software

On launch day, Samsung released an update for the Galaxy S10 lineup, and one of the improvements includes better fingerprint sensor performance.

To improve the fingerprint sensor's performance, make sure your phone is running the latest software. Open the Settings app and select Software Update > Download & Install and follow the prompts if an update is found.