The Pixel 6 mid-November patch could finally fix the fingerprint scanner

Pixel 6 Pro Fall Autumn
Pixel 6 Pro Fall Autumn (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro just got their second November update, this one coming mid-month on November 16.
  • Verizon provided a changelog that shows only one fix: the fingerprint scanner.
  • Google typically only updates Pixel phones at the beginning of the month.

Updated November 17 at 7:30am ET to include update specifics.

Owners of the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have already received one November update — bringing the phone up to date with the November 5, 2021 security patch — and now Google is sending out another update that appears to be addressing something else entirely.

According to a Verizon support page (opens in new tab), the Pixel 6 fingerprint scanner might finally be fixed. Simply put, it says:

The current software update improves the performance of your device's fingerprint sensor.

Google's own support page post confirms that the fingerprint scanner should now work better than before.

The mid-November update was originally spotted by 9to5Google and goes by the build number SD1A.210817.037. That number is a small bump from the current build number of .036 to .037 and fixes just one of the Pixel 6's many nagging little issues: the fingerprint scanner.

The fingerprint scanner on the Pixel 6 has been one of the biggest irritations for customers and reviewers, alike, who have complained about the lack of speed and accuracy. While under display fingerprint scanners have had issues in the past, the one Google used on the Pixel 6 felt more like those first-generation scanners than ones on phones like the Galaxy S21.

You should expect an over-the-air update to appear on your Pixel 6 sometime in the near future. This update is for all Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro variants, including the special Verizon models of both phones.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
  • Just checked for system update came in at 14.56MB. I'm on Verizon
  • My Pixel 6 PRO has cooled off a bit since updating.
  • It takes a while to install folks. Don't be fooled by 14 MB
  • Yep, a pretty long update for it's size.
  • Magic Eraser is back now ;)
  • FPS is noticeably far more consistent.
  • I agree works much better now unlocked pixel 6
  • Yup, the FPS is not up to speed. Please let all the ******** and moaning cease! This damn Pixel 6 is an amazing device! The Google assisted text is amazing. And I absolutely love the call blocking and the ability to screen the spam callers. It's just a feature that I cannot live without!
  • It fixed it for sure
  • Finally the UK gets call screen with this update!
  • I had 4 fingerprints and after a soft restart they disappeared. I tried to put a fingerprint in and it won't register after 10 attempts, ridiculous!!! Can't use it
  • At first it didn't install right away. Kept saying 'Download Paused', then every 5 mins or so I'd have to hit 'Unpause'. I finally just rebooted, then the download and install message displayed properly. My fingerprint scanner was/actually performing well since the last update. Hope this new update doesn't break it.
  • FP scanner has been working pretty well for me so hopefully the update does not mess it up but just improves it.
  • I never had any issues with the FPS
  • The balky fingerprint scanner was a minor issue compared to the fact that the new phones wouldn't work properly for those of use with hearing aids. No audio on podcasts or videos, Bluetooth dropoffs on phone calls, only one HA working most of the time (when they worked with the phone), etc. I downloaded the update, and still the HA problem persists.