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Stupid Security Policy

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Vlad Soare, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Vlad Soare

    Vlad Soare Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter


    I've recently upgraded from a Galaxy S5 to an S7, and there's something that drives me crazy. I want to unlock the phone using my fingerprint. Always. I want the fingerprint to be active all the time, no matter what, I don't want to ever be required to enter a PIN. That's how the S5 worked. The S7, however, requires me to enter the PIN if the phone hasn't been unlocked for 24 hours. I hate that. Also, I hate it when the phone gets locked for 30 seconds after a few failed attempts and cannot be used at all anymore. It drives me mad.
    I didn't have these problems with my S5. They must have changed something in the security policy in later Android versions. I can't tell you how much it annoys me.

    Is there any way around that? Can the security policy be changed? I'm willing to root the phone, if that's what it takes. Are these rules stored in a file, which I could change or replace if the phone were rooted?

    Any other suggestions? Maybe an app that resets the counter from time to time, so that it never gets to 24 hours?
    Other ideas?

    Thank you.


    Member2047631 likes this.
  2. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    I doubt an app can do that, but if it could it would certainly require root. In fact I would be astounded (and shocked with Samsung) if there were a non-root workaround for this.

    All my rooted devices are older than this policy so I can't answer the other questions by poking around, though I would be amazed if there were a simple, editable (with root) file containing the policies. Certainly someone building an AOSP ROM from source could change them, though I have no reason to keep up with S7 ROMs so you'd have to check out XDA or somewhere like that to find out whether anybody has (you may be unusual in having such an aversion to this).

    As for the locking out after a few attempts, is this because you forget the PIN, or because the fingerprint isn't reliable? Either of those should be addressable (e.g. by retraining prints), even if the other feature is harder.
    Member2047631 likes this.
  3. girolez

    girolez Often Off Piste

    Found this on xda:

    "..If an app is used to lock the screen (e.g. Screen Off and Lock) the phone always requires pattern (or PIN or password) to unlock. Fingerprint recognition can be used only if the phone was locked by power button or time out. This is not a one-time event. It happens every time and won't go away until you stop using a screen locking app."

    Anything that uses device administrator permission to lock the screen disables the fingerprint unlock.
    Member2047631 and mydian like this.
  4. Vlad Soare

    Vlad Soare Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Indeed, that's another annoyance. :(

    Thanks, I will ask there, too. Even if the security policy weren't editable, maybe I could just replace the offending files with ones from a previous Android version. As I understand, these restrictions were introduced in Android 7.

    It's a combination of factors - the fingerprint reader not being 100% reliable, my being too hasty sometimes and not paying close attention to the correct placement of the finger, my finger being a bit sweaty sometimes, etc.
    I got around the first factor by registering my thumb three times. There's something strange here - I register my index finger once, and it works perfectly each and every time. My thumb, on the other hand, must be registered several times, and even then it's only about 80% reliable. This used to happen to my old S5 as well.
    Most of the time it's OK. And if it's not OK the first time, then it's almost certainly OK the second time. But sometimes it doesn't work the second time, either. Then I get irritated and try for the third time, but being irritated tends to make me move a bit too fast, so it fails for the third time. Then I must be very, very careful, because failing yet another time will lock my phone. :mad:
    I want to be able to try a hundred times if I so wish.
    Member2047631 likes this.
  5. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Just tested on my Pixel, and it locks the fingerprint after 5 failed attempts (I have never encountered that, so used an unregistered finger to find out). But you can enter the PIN rather than wait.

    Unless you've worn off the prints on your thumb the only reason I can imagine it might be less reliable is the size of it relative to the scanner (so inconsistent placement may result in it scanning a bit that wasn't trained on). My scanner being on the back means I've never used the thumb so can't really compare.
    mikedt likes this.
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Similar thing with my Oppo R9 Plus, five failed attempts at unlocking with a finger I haven't registered and it insists on a pattern or PIN.

    My fingerprint sensor is in the physical home button on the front, and found that always reliable when using my thumbs as well as the fingers I've registered, which is my index finger and thumb on each hand. I registered my digits when I first got the phone in Dec 2016, and haven't re-registered them since.
  7. Vlad Soare

    Vlad Soare Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    My S7 locks completely, it won't even allow me to enter the PIN anymore. :(
  8. Xavier Black

    Xavier Black Android Expert

    Have you ever performed a format reset on your S7?, isn't supposed to lock you out in the drastically way it does..like if you fail after the 5th attempt..then you would have to wait 30 seconds or something like that..why don't you do that to see if it smooths it out.

    Yes I get the same thing on my §5..sometimes the scanner isn't reliable..the good thing is it doesn't lock me out just until like the 15 attempt..lol
    Member2047631 likes this.
  9. Vlad Soare

    Vlad Soare Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Resetting won't help. It's a "feature" implemented intentionally.
    Indeed, I have to wait for thirty seconds. But thirty seconds feel like an eternity to me when I need to use the phone and can't. :mad:
  10. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    FWIW I've just changed to a Huawei Mate 10 with 8.0 Oreo, and unlike my previous Oppo with 6.x this phone after 5 failed attempts waits for 30 seconds then can try fingerprint ID again, but it will still accept a PIN or pattern to unlock immediately.
    #10 mikedt, Mar 25, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  11. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Same with my current phone, from a different manufacturer.

    So the conclusion is that Samsung, at least in the S7 running whatever version Vlad's phone is running, have implemented a more restrictive security policy than the Android norm. An s8 or s9 owner could confirm whether this is the same in more recent phones, but as this seems to be a deliberate tightening relative to the s5 I'll be surprised if it isn't.
  12. psionandy

    psionandy Extreme Android User

    On the subject of fingerprint unlocks, that work no matter what....

  13. Xavier Black

    Xavier Black Android Expert

    Just so you know, there's a way to unlock phones..by bypassing the security..if that helps..when you press your power button to bring if from sleep..if you say "ok Google"..then don't say anything..then the screen goes off then you awake it..then slide your fingers through the screen with out unlock code asked..your are inside the phone..
  14. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Unless you care about security and turn all that "trusted voice" stuff off, I assume?
  15. Xavier Black

    Xavier Black Android Expert

Samsung Galaxy S7

The Samsung Galaxy S7 was launched in 2016 and was one of two devices in the lineup. The device features a 5.1-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 12MP rear camera.

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