Google Pixel 6 screen repairs are breaking the fingerprint sensor

Google Pixel 6 held in hand with thumb reaching for fingerprint scanner
A Google Pixel 6 (Image credit: TechRadar / John McCann)

If you get your phone repaired then you expect it to, well, be repaired. But in the case of some Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro owners, that’s not exactly happening, as screen repairs are reportedly breaking the fingerprint sensor.

The issue was highlighted by Louis Rossmann (a repair shop owner) on YouTube, who referenced various threads about the issue across the internet, so it seems to be something a lot of users are suffering from.

The issue is that when a Pixel 6 screen is repaired, a calibration tool for the fingerprint sensor needs to be run, but in some cases it will fail, stating that it “couldn’t find the unique calibration software for this device”.

When this happens the fingerprint scanner can’t be used, and there doesn’t appear to be a reliable way to resolve the issue. Worse, it reportedly occurs even with Google-endorsed repair providers.

In an iFixit thread, someone claiming to be a Google Certified Technician suggested that part of the problem might be running the tool through Windows computers, with them having found some success on a Chromebook. But it’s not clear whether that would work for everyone – and of course many stores and users won’t have access to a Chromebook anyway.

It’s unclear how many people this problem is actually affecting either, with some repairs seeming to be successful, but it doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Google appears to be looking into this via its IssueTracker, but there aren’t any updates. So for now we’d suggest being extra careful with your Pixel so its screen won’t need to be repaired.

Analysis: the latest of many Pixel 6 problems

The Google Pixel 6 range has faced an almost comical number of issues at this point, so much so that we made a whole guide dedicated to Pixel 6 problems.

From a lack of signal, to a green tint on the screen, an unreliable fingerprint scanner, broken Wi-Fi Calling, ghost calls to contacts, slow charging, and the fingerprint sensor breaking when the battery runs flat, the Pixel 6 range has faced a myriad of issues.

Just a couple of weeks ago another problem was added to the list, with the Magic Eraser function causing the phone's Photos app to crash. Though Google was quick to fix that one.

A software update in January also fixed a number of bugs, so Google is clearly working on these problems, it’s just a shame there were so many of them to begin with. Hopefully this latest fingerprint sensor issue is high on Google’s priority list to fix, as that sounds extremely frustrating for those affected.

Via GSMArena

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.