Pixel 7's fingerprint issues might be solved by this unusual workaround

The in-display fingerprint sensor of a Google Pixel 7
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Users on Reddit have started to discover ways of rectifying the Pixel 7's odd fingerprint sensor issues.
  • Some have found solace in using natural oil found on skin before scanning their finger while others suggest simply moisturizing.
  • It appears Google is looking to upgrade the Pixel 8 to an ultrasonic sensor over the currently found optical sensor.

Pixel devices have had a history with the fingerprint scanner not quite working as intended, and users hungry for a solution have discovered them in the most unusual places.

Last month, a Redditor on the Google Pixel subreddit mentioned that using some of the natural oil on their nose helped rectify the Pixel 7's odd fingerprint recognition issue (via Android Police). The user stated the problems typically stem from their fingers being dry after washing their hands or showering. However, since then, another thread recently appeared with one user stating the method above also worked for them.

The Pixel 7's fingerprint sensor not registering your phalanges is annoying enough, and this atypical solution is leaving users on Reddit wondering why it works. Google's Pixel 7 does use the same optical sensor technology present on previous Pixel devices for its fingerprint scanner. Considering the effect oil has on your skin (making it shiny), users have begun to speculate this reflective state lets the optical sensor see your fingerprint much easier as opposed to when it's completely dry.

Another user suggested moisturizing your fingers a little more if this is where we've landed in terms of solutions. After all, a little moisture goes a long way.

Regardless of what may or may not work, Google has been trying to fix its fingerprint scanner's problems through the recent wave of Android 14 betas. The Android 14 Beta 1.1 build brought in fixes for Pixel fingerprint sensors not working under certain conditions. The most recent Android 14 beta 2 build included a couple of fixes for the sensor, notably one where a Pixel wouldn't recognize your fingerprint after interacting with a notification on your lock screen.

Hopefully, Google can rectify its in-display fingerprint problems ahead of its expected launch of the Pixel 8 later this year. We've also learned that it looks like the upcoming series may opt for an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor over the current optical sensor. If Google does follow through, this would bring the Pixel devices' fingerprint sensor up to par with the likes of the Galaxy S23 series in terms of speed, security, and, hopefully, functionality.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.