After taking a break from the crazy flagship race in 2020, Google is making a comeback. The software giant launched two chic new devices in October 2021 – the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro – in hopes of battling both Apple and Samsung. The phones, as expected, deliver raw performance and arguably the best cameras on the market. However, the two Pixel flagships are not without flaws.
Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have both been criticized for the performance of their fingerprint scanners, with many saying Google has cut back on the scanner’s implementation. Today we’re going to take a look at what the issues are with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro scanners and give you ten ways to fix them.
Related: Does the Pixel 6 have a headphone jack?
What’s wrong with the Pixel 6 fingerprint reader?
For the first time, Google has opted for a fingerprint scanner integrated into its new devices. And while that is surely a step in the right direction, Google could have done a better job of implementing the same. While its biggest competitor in the Android space, Samsung, uses an ultrasonic finger in its latest flagships, Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro come equipped with an optical scanner.
An optical scanner emits a bright light every time you place your finger on the scanner to unlock your phone, matching it to the values it received when you first registered your finger (s). Not only is 2D scanning inferior to the 3D implementation of an ultrasound machine, it is also considerably slower. Optical scanners also have a lot more misfires than their ultrasonic counterparts, which can get frustrating very quickly.
Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have done so well in positioning the fingerprint scanner favorably, making sub-par performance all the more daunting.
Related: Does an old Pixel case fit the Pixel 6?
10 Ways To Fix Pixel 6 Fingerprint Scanner Not Working Problem
If you own a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, you should have a hard time getting used to the fingerprint scanner. Try the solutions below if you are having trouble getting the fingerprint reader to work.
1. Scan the same finger two or three times
Fingerprint scanners have always been susceptible to scan failures. Even if the scanner tries to cover all the bases when registering your fingerprint for the first time, it may not be able to work its magic when you tap your finger from certain angles.
In order to counter this, you should aim to register the same finger two or three times if possible. After the first full biometric scan is complete, run another one and scan the same finger. If your Pixel 6 or 6 Pro doesn’t allow you to do this at first, try tilting your finger differently.
2. Hold your finger a little longer
Optical fingerprint scanners usually take a little longer to verify your digits. So make sure you give the phone an extra half a second every time you unlock your phone. We understand that this can be quite frustrating, but this is the only way to ensure that the fingerprint scanner registers your fingerprint perfectly.
3. Use optimal pressure
When it comes to fingerprint scanners, applying optimum pressure to the area is essential. You can’t afford to apply uneven pressure, especially when it comes to an optical unit. On your Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro, try applying pressure gradually and evenly. For example, when the outline of the fingerprint reader appears, you will need to touch it lightly and gradually increase the pressure. Try it a few times until you get it right.
4. Dry your hands before scanning
Ultrasonic scanners use ultrasonic waves to create a 3D map of your device, which means it doesn’t care if your hands are wet or dry. Optical scanners, on the other hand, are a bit riskier. They work best when your hand is completely dry. Even wet hands can drive them crazy, so be sure to dry your hands before getting a scan.
5. Make sure the screen is clean
In-screen fingerprint scanners are very convenient and much more pleasing to the eye. However, it also means that the performance of the scanner depends on the condition of your phone’s screen. If your screen has smudges, dirt, or debris, the scanner will not be able to take correct input and could be inconsistent.
So if you’re having a lot of reading errors, make sure your Pixel 6’s screen is free of dirt and smudges.
6. Use a compatible screen protector
Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro both have Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection on the front and back. Victus is arguably the best screen protection technology Corning has developed to date and should provide sufficient protection. However, even Victus protection is unlikely to appease the minds of Pixel 6 and 6 Pro owners, who spent a small fortune to acquire these devices. So if you’re going for a screen protector, make sure it’s compatible with your Pixel.
A damaged screen protector will also disrupt the performance of the optical fingerprint reader. Get a new one if your current screen protector has scratches or is not compatible with Pixel 6 or 6 Pro.
7. Erase fingerprints and reconfigure
If none of these options work for you, you need to start looking for alternatives. The first is to erase all saved fingerprints and try again. Go to biometrics and erase all the fingerprints you have saved so far. Then scan your prints as usual. Try to use the same finger for multiple scans. The accuracy of the scans is bound to be improved.
If you have a screen protector and are having difficulty operating the scanner, you can delete your scans and scan again – with the protector turned on. This should help the scanner create a more precise scan of your fingers, without the irregularities introduced by the screen protector.
8. Check for an update
The issues with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro’s fingerprint scanner are well known, which is why it could force Google’s hand to find a way to make it go away. If the scanner itself isn’t shoddy, Google might tinker with the software and improve its accuracy. Since the devices are still in their infancy, a few performance tuning updates are well planned.
Make sure to visit Update your phone’s software section to get the latest version right away.
9. Let it learn from you
Fingerprint scanners, even optical ones, tend to become accurate over time. The more you use it, the more it learns about your usage patterns and optimizes your experience. So if none of the above solutions work for you, it’s best to take a step back and let the scanner learn on its own. Software updates can also make your life easier over the years.
10. Contact Google
Do you think there is something wrong with your phone’s hardware? You should call the seller of your phone, or better yet, Google. Click on this link to access the Google support page.