How to Set up a Fingerprint Sensor

By Allan Hu

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.