Applies to

Surface Studio, Surface Book, Surface Book with Performance Base, Surface Pro 4.

Operating system:

Troubleshoot problems with Windows Hello on Surface

Having trouble signing in to Surface Book or Surface Pro 4 with Windows Hello? Try these solutions to fix the problem.


Windows Hello is a more personal way to sign in to your Surface with just a look or a touch. The front-facing camera on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book recognizes your face and iris, allowing you to sign in to Windows 10 without having to touch the screen or keyboard. Or, if you have a Surface Pro 4 and a Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID (sold separately), you can use the fingerprint reader on that Cover to sign in with a press of your finger.

If you’re having problems signing in with Windows Hello, the solution could be as simple as restarting your Surface or installing the latest updates. Try the solutions below to fix the problem.

Before you begin

Restart your Surface

Restarting your Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book might fix issues you're having with Windows Hello.

  • Go to Start Windows logo, and select Power > Restart.

Make sure Windows Hello has been set up correctly

Before trying the solutions below, make sure Windows Hello has been set up correctly on your Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 2: Under Windows Hello, locate the infrared (IR) camera or fingerprint setup option.
Step 3:

Select Set Up > Get Started.
You may be asked to set up your account with a PIN. If so, follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions to scan your face using the IR camera built into your Surface or to scan your finger using the fingerprint reader on Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID until Windows notifies you that the setup process is complete.
Step 5: Select Finish.

Now, sign in to your Surface using Windows Hello.

Step 1:

From the lock screen, place your face six to eight inches away from the front of your Surface, or place your finger on the Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID fingerprint reader.
Make sure to use the same finger you used to register your fingerprint.
If you are using facial recognition, Windows will state that it is searching for you.

Step 2:

When your Surface recognizes your face or fingerprint, it will sign you in to Windows automatically. If you don’t sign in to Windows, you may see one of the following:

  • An error message stating that you aren’t connected to the Internet.
  • An error message stating that Windows Hello is unable to recognize your face or fingerprint.
  • No error message or response when attempting to log in using facial or fingerprint recognition.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, go to the troubleshooting sections below.

Note
If you’ve set up multiple sign-in methods, such as a password, a PIN, or facial recognition, Windows will offer different sign-in methods at the sign-in screen. For facial recognition to work, that sign-in option must be selected.

Windows Hello recognizes your face or fingerprint but your Surface is offline

If your Surface isn’t connected to the Internet, Windows Hello won’t work. Here’s how to fix this issue:

Step 1: Sign in to your Surface using a different method, such as a PIN or password.
Step 2:

Select Wireless network Wireless network icon in the lower-right corner of the screen.
A list of available networks appears.

Step 3:

Choose a wireless network and select Connect.
If prompted, enter your network security key (network password) and select Next.
If you need help, see How to find your wireless network password.

Step 4: If prompted, choose whether you want to share with other computers and devices on the network. Select No if you’re connecting to a network in a public place like a café.
Tip

You can also connect to a wireless network from the Windows lock screen—just select Wireless network Wireless network icon in the lower-right corner of the screen.

Windows Hello doesn’t recognize your face or fingerprint and there is an error message

If your face or fingerprint didn’t scan properly during setup or if you’re using the wrong finger to sign in, your Surface will display an error message when you try to sign in using Windows Hello. Sign in using a different method, such as a PIN or password, and set up Windows Hello again. Here’s how:

Step 1: Go to Start Windows logo, and select Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
Step 2: Under Windows Hello, locate the IR camera or fingerprint setup option.
Step 3: Select Remove to remove the scan of your face or fingerprint.
Step 4:

To create a new scan, select Set Up > Get Started.
You may be asked to set up your account with a PIN. If so, follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 5: Follow the on-screen instructions to scan your face using the IR camera on your Surface or to scan your finger using the fingerprint reader on Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID.
Step 6: Select Finish.

Windows Hello doesn’t recognize your face or fingerprint and there isn’t an error message

If nothing happens when you try to sign in using Windows Hello and no error message appears, you may be having a hardware issue.

How to fix hardware issues

  • Download the Hardware and devices troubleshooter. In the File Download dialog box, select Open and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • If the fingerprint reader isn’t working, detach and reattach your Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID from your Surface Pro 4 and try using the fingerprint reader again.
  • If reattaching your Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID doesn’t solve the problem, try typing or using the touchpad. If neither the keyboard nor the touchpad on your Cover works, see Troubleshoot your Surface Cover.

If the IR camera or the fingerprint reader still isn’t working:

Step 1: Sign in to your Surface using a different method (such as a PIN or password).
Step 2: Remove the scan of your face or fingerprint and set up a new scan, following the steps above in Windows Hello doesn’t recognize your face or fingerprint, and there is an error message.
Step 3: Sign in using Windows Hello.

If you still can’t sign in using Windows Hello, you may be having a software issue.

How to fix software issues

If the IR camera on your Surface or the fingerprint reader on your Surface Pro 4 Type Cover with Fingerprint ID still isn’t working, contact us.


Get help in person

Answer Desk

Schedule a free one-on-one appointment with an Answer Desk expert at a Microsoft Store near you.
Find a store

Contact Us

Answer Desk

Make an in-store appointment. Find a store >

Talk to a live agent

Get help in person

Answer Desk

Schedule a free one-on-one appointment with an Answer Desk expert at a Microsoft Store near you.
Find a store