How to clean and maintain your Microsoft Fingerprint Reader device


When you try to register your fingerprint on a Microsoft Fingerprint Reader, you may receive the following error message:
Registration Failed


This behavior occurs because the Fingerprint Reader window is dirty. Depending on how much you use the Fingerprint Reader, you may have to clean the Fingerprint Reader window periodically.


To resolve this behavior, clean and maintain the Fingerprint Reader correctly.

Clean the Fingerprint Reader window

To clean the Fingerprint Reader window, apply the sticky side of a piece of adhesive cellophane tape on the window and then peel it away.

Under heavy usage, the coating on the Fingerprint Reader window may turn cloudy from the salt in perspiration. In this case, gently wipe the window with a cloth that is dampened with a mild ammonia-based glass cleaner. Do not use paper products to clean the window.

Register your finger print

To register your finger print, rub your thumb and finger together to create moisture or oil. This helps the Fingerprint Reader better read the fingerprint.

Create the same finger motion when you register and authenticate your fingerprint.

The "matching algorithm" that creates the recognition for your fingerprint is very sensitive to help protect your security. For security reasons, if there is no match between the consistency of your swipe and your original registration, you are denied access.

If you turn your finger slightly or differently from your original registration, the Fingerprint Reader window sensor does not recognize a match. Therefore, you cannot gain access to the computer.

We recommend that you swipe your finger across the Fingerprint Reader from top to bottom the first time that you register your finger print. When you authenticate your finger print by using the Fingerprint Reader, make sure that the tablet is in the same position that it was in when you first registered your finger print. Also, make sure that you swipe your fingerprint across the reader in a consistent manner.

Fingerprint Reader usage and maintenance warnings

Do not do the following when you clean or use the Fingerprint Reader:

  • Do not pour the glass cleaner directly on the Fingerprint Reader window.
  • Do not use alcohol-based cleaners.
  • Do not submerge the Fingerprint Reader in liquid.
  • Do not rub the window with an abrasive material, this includes paper.
  • Do not poke the Fingerprint Reader window coating with your fingernail or any other item, such as a pen.


This behavior is by design.