Troubleshoot problems with Windows Hello on Surface

Applies to: Surface DevicesSurface

Having trouble signing in to your Surface with Windows Hello? Try the following solutions.

Before you begin

Check for updates and restart your Surface

There may be hardware driver updates that are available or pending a restart. Completing this process might fix issues you're having with Windows Hello. To check for updates, select Start  > Settings  > Update & security  > Windows Update > Check for updates. Install any updates that you need. After you've installed the necessary updates, select Start  > Power  > Restart (or Update and restart).

Now try signing in using Windows Hello again. When your Surface recognizes your face or fingerprint, it will sign you in to Windows automatically.

Windows Hello doesn’t recognize me, or I get an error message when I try to sign in

If your face or fingerprint didn’t scan properly, or if you’re using the wrong finger to sign in, you’ll get an error message when you try to sign in through Windows Hello. If that happens, sign in with a PIN or password instead, and then set up Windows Hello again.

If you get one of the following error messages when you try to sign in to Windows Hello, try the corresponding troubleshooting steps:

  • Couldn’t recognize you. Please sign in with your PIN.

    This error message can occur if you wear glasses and did not set up face recognition to recognize you both with and without your glasses. This might also occur if the device has been moved and the lighting conditions are dramatically different in the new location.

    To improve recognition, select Start  > Settings  > Accounts > Sign-in options, and then select Improve recognition.

If the fingerprint reader on your Surface Pro Type Cover isn’t working, detach it and then reattach it to your Surface Pro, and try using it again.

If you're also unable to sign in with your PIN, you may need to reset it. To do this, sign in with your password. Then select Start  > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and select I forgot my PIN.

Restore or reset your PC. If Windows Hello was working before, a recently installed app, driver, or update might be causing the problem. To resolve this, try a Fresh Start. To learn more, see Restore or reset Surface.