Update 1: 4 new sections were appended.
- How to use Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner?
- My fingerprint is not recognized by Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner, what can I do?
- How to change or reset alternative password for Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner ?
- Fingerprint is not accepted by Galaxy S5, and I forgot the alternative password for Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner, what can I do?
Galaxy S5 finger scanner is not a surprise to anyone in tech world.
Actually, as early as in 2011, Motorola already equipped Atrix 4G with a fingerprint scanner. Of course, it was not found in subsequent models due to lack of acceptance from consumers.
So, what does make Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner unique?
As that in most other smartphones, finger scanner in Galaxy S5 can unlock your phone instantly by overriding other security settings, for example, pattern lock, PIN or passcode lock.
This is not new. Atrix 4G could already do this in 2011.
But Galaxy S5 finger scanner goes one step further by integrating with Samsung services and even third-party services (e.g., PayPal).
This is a big deal, and it makes Galaxy S5 finger scanner very unique. Remember, Apple’s Touch ID is only integrated with Apple’s own stores (e.g., iTunes store, App store and iBooks store). There is no third-party support at all.
Because Galaxy S5 finger scanner is integrated with Samsung account, you can use your fingerprint instead of entering your Samsung account password when purchasing contents with Samsung services (Samsung Hub).
You may be not impressed, because there are still very limited contents from Samsung Hub. Samsung account is not as useful as an Apple ID.
Galaxy S5 finger scanner is also fully integrated with PayPal, one of the most popular online payment systems. Now you can make faster and more secure payments via PayPal with the swipe of your finger.
This PayPal third-party support of Galaxy S5 finger scanner makes your online order very easy and secure.
Another unique feature of Galaxy S5 finger scanner is unlocking the private mode. You can keep some documents, videos and photos in private mode so that only your fingerprint can unlock them.
This will surely add some security to some of your private files.
Will Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner cause privacy issues?
Whenever fingerprint info is collected, we intuitively may concern about the privacy linked to such biometric identity info.
Samsung makes it clear that all fingerprint info is only saved locally. So the security of your fingerprint info depends on the security of the device, Galaxy S5. The privacy is under your hands, not Samsung’s.
As Samsung probably does not make copies of your fingerprint info, the privacy concern on Galaxy S5 finger scanner is not as big as that for iPhone 5s.
Very likely, Samsung does not save the fingerprint images as well. As Apple did, Samsung probably saves some sort of mathematical representation of your fingerprint in your Galaxy S5. This is different from your fingerprint image.
As such encryptions are one-way, very unlikely, your fingerprint image can be reverse-engineered.
How many fingers can I register for Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner?
Galaxy S5 finger scanner allows you to register up to 3 fingerprints.
Does Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner make you safer?
Finger scanner adds one additional layer to protect some private data on your S5, and makes it a bit easier to access you phone in a secured way.
Using fingerprint for online purchase is very likely safer than typing password, especially when you are using a public WiFi.
So far, there are no proven methods to crack the fingerprint info (reverse engineering fingerprint info to fingerprint images). In the worst scenario, if it is cracked or stolen, you can simply de-register your fingerprint info with PayPal or other third-parties.
In short, Galaxy S5 finger scanner will very likely give you more protection and convenience.
How to use Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner?
To use Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner, you need:
- setup an alternative password.
- register up to 3 fingerprints.
Whenever fingerprint is required, you can use this alternative password instead of your fingerprints if:
- you don’t want to use fingerprints.
- your fingerprints are not accepted by your S5 for whatever reason.
There is no easy way to reset this Galaxy S5 fingerprint alternative password. So, remember and write this password.
From Settings screen, tap Finger scanner.
If you are using the finger scanner first time, you need register at least one (up to 3) fingerprints before you can use the corresponding features:
- Fingerprint lock. Unlock your S5 screen with your fingerprint.
- Verify Samsung account.
- Pay with PayPal.
When registering your fingerprints, you need follow the on-screen instructions.
You need swipe your finger down from the location highlighted on the screen to the home button. It will ask you try several times to take a correct fingerprint. Please make sure your finger is dry.
Before saving your fingerprint info into Galaxy S5, fingerprint manager will ask you to set up an alternative password. This alternative password can be used whenever the fingerprint is asked.
The password must be alphanumeric (a combination of alphabetic and numeric characters). If your password does not meet the requirement, you will be asked to give a new one.
Write down your alternative password and put it in a safe place.
Once one or more fingerprint is registered through Fingerprint manager, you are ready to use the 3 main features of Galaxy S5 finger scanner.
My fingerprint is not recognized by Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner, what can I do?
If your fingerprint is not recognized, you may try:
- to ensure you are using the finger registered already. You can register up to 3 fingerprints only. The other 7 cannot be recognized by Galaxy S5 Finger scanner at all.
- to ensure that your fingers, the screen and the home button are clean and dry.
- to ensure that the Home button is not scratched or damaged by metal objects.
- to swipe your finger at a moderate speed to allow the device to recognize it, not too slowly, not too quickly.
You can always use the finger scanner alternative password when you can use fingerprints.
How to change or reset alternative password for Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner ?
The fingerprint alternative password cannot be reset through your Google account or Samsung account. The alternative password is saved locally in Galaxy S5, together with the fingerprints.
You can change the alternative password in Settings–Finger scanner–Change alternative password.
If you forget the alternative password, you can clear this password by de-registering all fingerprints. In other words, the alternative password will be cleared when there is no registered fingerprint info.
This is the only official way to reset the alternative password.
To de-register a fingerprint, you can enter fingerprint manager, tap the menu key (3 vertical dots), tap Deregister, then tap one of the fingerprint to remove/de-register it.
Alternatively, you can tap and hold any of the fingerprint until it is selected as shown below. Then tap the delete (dustbin) icon to de-register it.
Once all fingerprints are de-registered (removed), the alternative password will be removed automatically. So, you can register your fingerprints and setup a new alternative password again.
Fingerprint is not accepted by Galaxy S5, and I forgot the alternative password for Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner, what can I do?
In the worst scenario, your fingerprint is not accepted, and you forget the alternative password, there is NO way to reset the alternative password unless you perform a factory data reset.
If your phone screen is locked with fingerprint, and you cannot unlock it now, you can use Android device manager from your PC to unlock your S5 with your Google account. Google put a nice guide here.
Please note, Android device manager can unlock yoru phone, but it does NOT reset your finger scanner alternative password.
Samsung provides similar functions to unlock the phone or wipe the phone with your Samsung account here.
Do you have any questions with Galaxy S5 Finger Scanner?
Please let us know them in the comment box below.
To know more about Galaxy S5, please check our Samsung Galaxy S5 features explained page.
More how-to guides , tips and tricks for using Samsung Galaxy S5 are available at Samsung Galaxy S5 how-to guides page.