I got an error message saying "Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone" after restarting my iPhone since a software update to iOS 14. How can I fix it? Please help!

Touch ID is very important for iPhone users who are using the models before iPhone X, including the popular iPhone 5S/6/6S/6S Plus/7/8. You can make use of the Touch ID to unlock your iOS device, make payment, confirmation and so on. If you are unable to activate touch id on this iPhone, do not panic, it is very easy to activate touch id on iPhone. When you face any issue with your touch ID, including the "Unable to activate Touch ID" error message issue, you can make use of the below-discussed methods to retrieve control of your touch ID.

iPhone touch ID

Part 1. How to Fix "Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone"

If you cannot activate touch ID on your iPhone 5S/6/6S/6S Plus/7/8, you cannot miss this part which offers the best 3 ways for you.

via iMyFone Fixppo via iTunes Restore via Hard Reboot
Success Rate 100% 70% 50%
Difficulty Easy Complex Easy
Required Time Short Long Short
Data Loss after Fixing No Yes No
What Issues Can Be Fixed All system/software issues Some software issues A few software issues

1.1 The Most Advanced Solution to Fix "Unable to Activate Touch ID" (No Data Loss)

If you never replace your touch sensor, this problem mustn't be caused by hardware problems. Therefore it must be some software errors that cause your touch ID not be activated. In this case, an iOS repair tool is your best option. Here we recommend iMyFone Fixppo which is an outstanding tool in fixing iOS problems.

  • It applies its exclusive technology to fix your iOS and make up any errors with a 100% success rate.
  • No data loss will be caused when you are using it to fix your iOS problems.
  • A user-friendly interface and positive results make it the best iOS repair tool in the market.
  • All iOS versions are supported, including iOS 14.

Windows version    Mac version

Here you can follow the steps below to reinstall the iOS system completely to solve this Touch ID issue.

Step 1: Open the iMyFone Fixppo and choose 'Standard Mode'. Connect your iPhone to the computer and click the "Next" button.

choose Standard Mode

Step 2: You need to download the firmware. The program will all firmware versions for your device. You just need to select the appropriate option in the dropdown list and press the 'Download' button.

download firmware under Standard Mode

Step 3: It just needs a short time to download firmware for your iPhone. When the firmware is ready, Fixppo will automatically start the fixing process after you click the "Start" button. Your touch ID issue will be fixed and you will be able to activate touch ID again. That's just a matter of a few minutes.

finished fixing your device

iMyFone Fixppo is a reliable tool to unlock your touch id with easy and straight steps. Utilize this tool in an optimum manner to fix unexpected system problems. Just download the free trial version to experience its unique features.

1.2 Factory Restore Your iPhone with iTunes (All Data Erased)

You will be able to fix the 'Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone' error by restoring it to the factory settings. You can achieve this task either by using the Setting App or restoring the iPhone with the help of iTunes.

Step 1: You should connect the iPhone with the computer and open iTunes.

Step 2: Enter the password and trust the computer if you are asked to do that.

Step 3: In the iTunes screen, choose your device from the displayed items.

Step 4: Finally click the 'Restore iPhone' button. Click the 'Restore' button again on the confirmation screen.

Step 5: Soon after this process, your device will be restored to its factory settings automatically.

restore iphone with itunes

1.3 Hard Reboot Your Device

If you still face the touch ID issue and get the 'Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone' error message, try out this method to unlock your touch ID. Go through the steps below to unlock the touch ID.

For iPhone 6/6 Plus/6s/6s Plus/SE/5s

Step 1: Hold the sleep/wake button and home button together. You will see the power off the message on the screen. Keep holding the buttons even when the screen goes black.

Step 2: After a few seconds, you will be able to see the Apple logo on the screen. Now you can release the buttons.

reboot iphone

For iPhone 7/7 Plus

Step 1: If you are using iPhone 7, hold the sleep/wake button and the Volume Down button.

Step 2: When the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.


For iPhone 8/8 Plus

Press the Volume Up button and then the Volume Down button. Keep holding the Side button until you see the Apple logo.

force restart iPhone 8

The steps above will automatically reboot the system and the touch ID issues may disappear when your iPhone restarts.

Part 2. How to Prevent "Unable to activate Touch ID on this iPhone"

There are also some tips on how to prevent this problem before all things get worse. You can follow the methods below in your daily life.

2.1 Reset All Setting

If you are not able to activate your touch ID, it could also be caused by the changes in your settings. The settings on your device might be modified without you knowing that. Therefore recommend resetting your settings to fix the problem. You can open the Setting app, and click General => Reset => Reset All Settings. Then enter your password to confirm that.

reset all settings

2.2 Delete and Then Reset Touch ID

If you get "Unable to activate Touch ID" error message on your iPhone, here is another solution to fix the problem that Touch ID cannot be activated. You have to reset your touch ID account to overcome this situation.

Step 1: Select the Settings icon on the Home page.

Step 2: You have to choose the Touch ID & Passcode option from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Navigate to the Touch ID preference screen in order to reset your touch ID. You need to enter the passcode to proceed.

Step 4: Now you can see your fingerprints. Swipe to delete the fingerprints.

Step 5: Immediately after this action, you will be prompted to enter the password.

Step 6: Type in your password and confirm the deletion process.

Step 7: Using the above steps you will be able to reset your touch ID account without hassle. After that, you can refer the steps in the above part to activate a new touch ID.

delete reset touch id

2.3 Activate Touch ID from Settings on iPhone

If you get this error "Unable to activate touch ID" after an iOS update or a restore, you can have a look at how to activate touch ID using the Settings on iPhone (iOS 14 included). The steps given below are very simple and you do not require any special skills to carry out the task. Follow the guidelines one by one without skipping any and you will end up with successful results.

Step 1: Click the 'Settings' icon and navigate to the 'Touch ID and Passcode'.

Step 2: Enter the password when you are asked to do that.

Step 3: On the next screen you will be allowed to add a new fingerprint by clicking Add a Fingerprint.

Step 4: Now you can add a new fingerprint by placing the finger at the given area. Make sure to clean and dry your finger before carrying out this process. Ensure to place your finger in two or three directions to avoid unnecessary issues in the future.

Step 5: Restart your device and your new fingerprint will be activated.

activate iphone touch id


You can easily follow the above-discussed steps without much difficulty. Enabling the touch ID is just making a few clicks without getting panic. If you want an all-in-one method, the iMyFone Fixppo is highly recommended and it has already been trusted by many professional media sites.

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Windows version    Mac version