Update 6 (January 9, 2024)

05:45 pm (IST): Fresh reports suggest that some users are still experiencing problems with the fingerprint sensor on their Pixel 6a. If you too are facing difficulties using it, then you can try enabling the screen protector mode. One user claims that doing so helped solve their problem. Interestingly, they don’t have a protector installed on their display.

Update 5 (October 31, 2023)

02:05 pm (IST): By glancing at the recent reports, it appears that Pixel 6a owners can utilize the fingerprint sensor like before after installing the stable Android 14 build. However, the sensor fails to function as smoothly as it should.

Update 4 (June 8, 2023)

05:26 pm (IST): The latest Android 14 beta 3 update reportedly broke fingerprint scanner for Pixel users. Hence, Pixel 6a owners might not be able to use fingerprint after installing beta 3.

Update 3 (September 14, 2022)

11:19 am (IST): Google has released September 2022 update for Pixel 6a units. And those still having issues with fingerprint scanner can install it and see if it fixes the problem.

Update 2 (September 9, 2022)

01:39 pm (IST): The upcoming September 2022 update for Pixel 6a includes improvements for fingerprint sensor response in certain conditions. So users who are still facing issues with fingerprint scanner can look forward to this update to see if the problem gets resolved.

Update 1 (August 25, 2022)

06:21 pm (IST): According to some users (1, 2, 3), erasing the previously added fingerprint and adding it back after Android 13 update has resolved this issue.

Original story follows:

Google launched the Pixel 6a as the latest addition to its A-series in July this year. It is a less expensive version of the 6 and 6 Pro forerunner with the same custom-made Tensor chipset.

Google introduced features that are both old and new to Pixel 6a. For instance, Pixel 6a’s fingerprint sensor is now embedded in the screen rather than on the back panel like on the 5a.

Speaking of which, some users have noticed that the fingerprint scanner is rather erratic and inconsistent after the recent Android 13 update.

Google Pixel 6a fingerprint scanner broken after Android 13 update

According to reports, some Pixel 6a users (1, 2, 3) are facing an issue where the fingerprint scanner appears to be broken or not working after the Android 13 update as it’s not detecting users’ fingerprints properly.


I’ve see some posts here and there about the fingerprint sensor, but mine seems way worse than what I’ve read. It takes between 4-10+ attempts before it actually works. Very rarely does it ever work on the first try. This is with Android 12 and 13 and increased sensitivity off and on. Is anyone else having similar issues? Has it gotten better over time?

Yeah, same here. The fingerprint reader on my 6 Pro works just fine after the Android 13 update, but my 6a’s fingerprint reader is basically useless since I updated to 13. I just unregistered the fingerprints and started unlocking the screen the old fashioned way.

In certain cases, some users claimed that the fingerprint scanner was inconsistent in Android 12 as well. And it only got worse after installing the update to Android 13.

A weakened or bugged fingerprint sensor functionality could have also be due to cheap tempered glasses as well, according to some.

But some individuals have confirmed that they’re using screen protectors recommended by Google themselves. So this shouldn’t be an issue.

Potential workaround

Luckily, we came across a workaround that can help fix the issue temporarily. It requires disabling touch sensitivity and turning it on again after adding fingerprints.


However, Google hasn’t officially commented on the issue yet. But we will keep a close check in case an official word is out.

Issues pertaining to the fingerprint sensor functionality on Google Pixels aren’t exactly new. Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro exhibited a similar fingerprint sensor issue. This led to users demanding the face unlock feature.

Not just that, some users reported an awful flaw where the fingerprint scanner unlocked Google Pixel 6a even with unregistered fingers.

These recurrent issues with the fingerprint scanners frustrate users especially when there’s no face unlock mechanism as an alternative option. This means users are stuc with unlocking their device using the buggy fingerprint scanner.

Considering these problems, we hope that the upcoming Pixel 7 series work towards curbing the major security flaw that is highly coonsistent with Pixel 6 series.

That said, check out our Google Pixel Android 13 bug tracker for more insights into other issues.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Riya Madaan
868 Posts

Weaving a little bit of life into the articles I write. No, not really! That's not really possible for a trash writer like me but I still try. Apart from it, I skate, meditate and medicate. Also keep myself away from troubles as I age.

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