Can I use a fingerprint reader with Windows?

Yes, you can use a fingerprint reader instead of a password to log on to this version of Windows.

A fingerprint reader is a device that uses your fingerprint to identify you. It works by taking an image of your fingerprint, and then saving a copy of it. When you need to identify yourself, such as when logging on to a website or to Windows, the fingerprint reader scans your fingerprint and compares it to the saved version.

You can use a laptop with a built-in fingerprint reader, or you can buy a standalone fingerprint reader and install it on your computer. For more information about installing and using a fingerprint reader, check the information that came with your computer or fingerprint reader.

Illustration of a laptop with a built-in fingerprint reader and a standalone fingerprint reader
Laptop with built-in fingerprint reader (left) and standalone fingerprint reader (right)

To see if your computer has a fingerprint reader

  • Open Biometric Devices by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type biometrics, and then click Biometric Devices.

If you have a fingerprint reader, but it isn't listed in Biometric Devices, you probably need to install a driver for it that works with this version of Windows. If you upgraded from a previous version of Windows or have an older fingerprint reader, your fingerprint reader might continue to work with Windows, but it won't be listed in Biometric Devices. In that case, you can try updating the driver. If you're using fingerprint management software and you want to uninstall it to update it to a newer version, make sure you know your Windows password. You'll have to restart your computer and log on again after uninstalling the fingerprint management software.

If you have more than one fingerprint reader or you're replacing an existing one with a new one, you might need to scan and save (often referred to as enroll) your fingerprints before you can use the fingerprint reader with Windows. This is because some fingerprint readers save fingerprints in different formats and they can't be shared with other fingerprint readers. To enroll your fingerprints with a fingerprint reader, in Biometric Devices, click Use your fingerprints with Windows.