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Have to use pin to unlock

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by CharlesLewis, May 6, 2020.

  1. CharlesLewis

    CharlesLewis Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I have set my Moto Z to unlock with both face and location, but I still have to enter my pin several times a week.

    Does anyone know why this is occurring and how to eliminate it?

  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    "Several times a week" rather than continuously. That suggests either an intermittent problem or a deliberate feature.

    I don't use either of these methods, but for less secure unlock methods like fingerprints most android phones will ask you to use your PIN every now and then (my Pixel does once or twice a week) to confirm your identity. My laptop does this occasionally as well. Since face and location are both less secure than fingerprint I would not be at all surprised if the same applied here (in fact I'd think a lot less of Motorola they didn't do this).

    My phone doesn't support face unlock at all, but its support information on what it calls "smart lock", which is a term I've seen used for unlocking when at a particular location, connected to a particular network or on your body, says that if you don't use the phone for 4 hours it will require your PIN, so it could also be something like that going on here.

    If it is one of these things, they are there to supplement weak security options and I know of no way of disabling them - nor would I want to.
    puppykickr, mikedt, ocnbrze and 2 others like this.
  3. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    I used to know the actual number, but I've forgotten...but it's a security feature that occurs after X non-PIN unlockings. I think it's 25, but don't hold me to that! :)

    So for some people it can happen every day, for others a few times a week, and for others every month or two. It all depends on how much you use your device. My Moto Z² Force prompts me about twice a week.
    MrJavi, Hadron, tommo47 and 2 others like this.
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I have to pattern unlock about twice a week, usually I use fingerpost unlock. As for face unlock, that's pretty much useless around here at the moment with everyone wearing masks.
  5. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    As @Hadron and others have pointed out, having to use another unlock step on occasion is just a verification measure. Biometrics are not foolproof, and individually passwords, PINs, and patterns are far from being 100% secure.

    But just for your own peace of mind, go into your Settings menu and re-do all your chosen lock screen options from scratch. Then see if that makes any difference in the frequency of having to use your PIN. Or if it's just something that really bothers you, disable your lock screen entirely, keeping in mind that leaves your phone extremely vulnerable (...also, some apps such as financial services and multi-authentication services, require lock screen verification to work). With all the security and privacy issues we all have tied to our mobile devices, I consider a little extra validation on my part to be reassuring, not annoying.
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  6. tommo47

    tommo47 On Yer Bike, In Yer Chair
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  7. CharlesLewis

    CharlesLewis Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks to all. I'll just deal with it since it's a security feature.
    svim likes this.
  8. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    Sounds good! :)

    It also happens after rebooting, so keep that in mind, too.
    MrJavi likes this.
  9. Nathantu

    Nathantu Lurker

    My phone often has such a problem, but it doesn't matter much, I think it will increase the security of the phone.
  10. Jon Crosby

    Jon Crosby Lurker

    Mine requires pin after boot every time. It seems to me that Fingerprint recognition on my device deteriorates. Perhaps that makes no sense, but I delete and then reset my fingerprints occasionally, and the problem goes away for a while.
    mikedt likes this.
  11. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    AFAICT that's normal. PIN or pattern unlock is required for power-on or after a restart. After that the phone should behave normally, with fingerprint and/or face unlock, etc.

    As for a possible deteriorating fingerprint reader, my Huawei Mate 10 is still recognising the fingerprints instantly that I registered when I bought the phone in Feb 2018, for unlocking and mobile payment authorisations. I've also tested it, like if I try and use a finger I didn't register, the phone doesn't recognise it. I initially registered thumbs and first fingers on each hand.

    I did try face unlock, but never found it reliable, and now that I have to wear a mask every time I go outside, forget it!! :D
    #11 mikedt, May 8, 2020
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
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  12. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Maybe it's the fingerprint that deteriorates? In my experience working with superglue can do that ;).
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  13. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
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    That's normal; see this reply.
    You're right--it makes no sense! :) That's because that's not what's happening. See this reply explaining what is actually happening. You're wasting your time and effort resetting your fingerprints, as that's not the problem.
  14. Jon Crosby

    Jon Crosby Lurker


    I did always assume it to be a security feature during startup, because a (toast?) message reads, 'enter pin to unlock fingerprint recognition'. But the times it doesn't work during normal operation, i get 'failed to recognize Fingerprint'. It gives me 4 or 5 failures then says 'too many attempts, enter pin to unlock fingerprint recognition'.

    That's what leads me to believe that the failure is not a feature, but a malfunction. I do check that the reader and my fingers are not just dirty.
  15. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    "Slightly damp" will also stop a fingerprint reader from working.
  16. Milo Willamson

    Milo Willamson Android Expert

    My fingerprint reader sometimes does not work though, and it is away from liquids all the time too. Maybe it just needs a great cleaning.
  17. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    Oh! But you didn't mention that before. :eek:

    I've never had that happen, but I'm quite sure you're right that it's not a feature. :)

    Milo and I have the same phone, and he has all sorts of issues I've never seen.

    Perhaps your fingerprint reader is dirty, or you're touching it with damp hands, or soon after using hand lotion or sanitizer, etc. It could also be a hardware failure, of course, or due to your phone's age. :thinking:
    ocnbrze likes this.

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