How to Set up a Fingerprint Sensor

By Allan Hu

Set up a fingerprint scanner.
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Fingerprint readers are input devices used to improve computer security. Many fingerprint sensors work as passwords for user accounts. Unlike normal text-based passwords, fingerprints cannot be guessed or "cracked" by traditional means. For a fingerprint reader to work, its associated software must be installed and configured on the host system.

Plug your fingerprint scanner into your machine. Most fingerprint scanners connect via Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports. If the connection is successful, your computer will display a message saying that a device has been recognized.

Install fingerprint reader software. The software generally comes on a CD with the reader. You need administrative access to install the program on your computer.

Register a fingerprint with the software by pressing your finger against the scanner. This print is used as a password for applications and user accounts. Depending on your scanner model, you may need to do some additional configuration. For example, you may need to create a master password for resetting fingerprint log-ins.

Test the fingerprint scanner. Try logging in to an application such as a user account with your new fingerprint. If the log-in fails, check your user manual for troubleshooting tips.