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Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor might stop working if you replace the screen

Published Feb 18th, 2022 6:11PM EST
Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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If you own a Pixel 6 and need to repair the screen, you should know in advance that the fingerprint sensor might stop working after the screen is replaced. It’s unclear how widespread the issue is, but from the looks of it, it’s a software problem that Google hasn’t gotten around to fixing. And, sadly for the Pixel 6 series, Google has had to fix plenty of problems since launching the phone last October.


The Pixel 6 is definitely one of the highlights of 2021 when it comes to high-end smartphones. It’s a true Google flagship that retails for as low as $599. It comes with a bold new design, a welcome camera hardware upgrade, and Google’s first custom System-on-Chip (SoC). Also, it’s the first Pixel to feature a fingerprint sensor under the display. That’s actually why the sensor functionality and the screen replacement procedure are connected.

Sadly, the Pixel 6 phones have been plagued by all sorts of issues that Google has had to address. The fingerprint sensor was unreliable at first. Then the phone encountered charging problems and random signal loss.

Google fixed some of these Pixel 6 issues, but others popped up in their place, like the magic eraser problems or the Wi-Fi connectivity issues.

But while all of that was happening, some Pixel 6 owners discovered that the fingerprint sensor would stop working after a screen replacement.

Pixel 6 screen repairs and the fingerprint sensor

Rossmann Repair Group owner Louis Rossmann addressed the Pixel 6 display repair issue in a video. He looked at the various complaints from Pixel 6 owners who have had to replace their phone’s display.

The repair activist cited numerous posts from threads where Pixel 6 owners complained about running into a specific software issue that makes it impossible to operate the Pixel 6 fingerprint sensor after a screen replacement.

Google has a tool that repair shops can use to calibrate the fingerprint sensor during a screen replacement. But it looks like many have run into issues using it. The calibration tool is failing, and Google has yet to come up with a fix. Pixel 6 owners encountered the issue all the way back in November, but there are still reports of problems with the fingerprint sensor after repairs.

Google is apparently aware of the problem, and a fix might be in the works. Until then, you should take extra care of your Pixel 6. Damaging the screen might lead to losing access to the fingerprint sensor, at least until Google manages to fix the issues with the calibration software.

Rossmann’s video goes through some of these Pixel 6 repair experiences, so check it out in full below:

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.