Troubleshoot problems with Windows Hello on Surface

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

If you're having trouble with the fingerprint reader on your Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID, go to How to pair Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID.

Make sure you set up Windows Hello on your device. For more info on how to do this, go to Learn how to set up Windows Hello.

Check for updates and restart your Surface

There may be hardware driver updates that are available or pending a restart. Updating your Surface 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.

Note: If you’ve set up multiple sign-in methods, like a password, a PIN, and Windows Hello, Windows will show those options at the sign-in screen. To check if Windows Hello works, you need to select that option. 

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 > Windows Hello Face, 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 not able to sign in using Fingerprint Power Button on Surface Laptop Go, here are a couple of things to try: (Some Surface Laptop Go models don’t have Fingerprint Power Button.) 

  • Make sure the LED light is on around the power button. That means the power button is ready to be used as a fingerprint reader.

  • Use the same finger you used when you originally set up Windows Hello Fingerprint.

  • Place your finger at a different angle, or try placing your finger on the power button a little longer.

  • Make sure your finger is clean and dry.

  • Sign in with your PIN, and then try one or both of the following:

    • Add another fingerprint. To do this, select Start  > Settings  > Accounts  > Sign-in options Windows Hello Fingerprint > Add another.

    • Remove your fingerprint, then set it up again. To remove your fingerprint, select Start  > Settings  > Accounts  > Sign-in options Windows Hello Fingerprint > Remove. After that, select Set up to set it up 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 > Windows Hello PIN, 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 for Windows 10.

Need more help?

Join the discussion
Ask the community
Get support
Contact Us

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Any additional feedback? (Optional)

Thank you for your feedback!