Nov 2nd, 2021

After getting rid of the fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google brought back the rear-mounted scanner with the Pixel 5. It also remains a staple on the Pixel “a” series of devices, but with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, we now have an in-display scanner.

This is a trend that we’ve been seeing on devices across all different price points, and it makes sense given that Google wanted to bring a truly-unique device to the market. However, in the early days since the Pixel 6 has been released, there have been more than a few complaints about the reliability of the scanner.

Getting everything setup for the first time and registering your primary fingerprints has been just fine. But then when you go to use the scanner to unlock your Pixel 6 or 6 Pro, and you’re met with misreads that are just plain annoying. Especially when you’re trying to quickly unlock your phone.

Luckily, there are two different steps that you can take in order to make the fingerprint scanner more reliable, and both of these have actually fixed the problem for many. Here’s what you can do to “fix” the fingerprint scanner with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

Register multiple fingerprints

The first, and more obvious, method for improving the reliability of your fingerprint scanner is to actually register multiple scanning of each finger. For example, I either unlock my phone with my left or right thumb, so I have a total of four registered fingerprints. This has done wonders after trying to see how the Pixel 6 Pro would do without forcing me to register multiple fingerprints.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Security.
  3. Select Fingerprint Unlock.
  4. Enter your PIN or passcode.
  5. Tap Add fingerprint.

Increase touch sensitivity

The next method is one that was found by @ZAKtalksTECH on Twitter, and is a toggle found in the Display settings of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. The original intention, it seems, was to improve sensitivity for the display itself when using a screen protector. But ever since enabling this, along with registering multiple fingerprints, has resulted in my Pixel 6 Pro not misreading a scan once.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display. 
  3. Scroll to the bottom and enable Increase touch sensitivity.

Software fixes are coming

Just as we’ve seen with the display flickering issues that are plaguing users, along with the fact that there was a substantial Day One software update, Google is still working out the kinks. This seems to happen whenever a new Pixel is released, and the trend is continuing with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Nevertheless, at least we know that Google is aware of the problems so we just have to await the arrival of the software update that will fix our issues.

Let us know if you have another method for making the fingerprint scanner faster and more reliable.

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