Delete Unknown Fingerprints from Your iPad (or iPhone)

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

A good way to maintain a secure device is to ensure no one can access it but you. Having a passcode that you keep to yourself is a great way to keep a device private, but a device that uses Touch ID may end up with a few extra fingerprints from unknown persons. But you might not have known that you can actually test which fingerprints are yours and which fingers they belong to! Here's how to determine unknown fingerprints and delete them.

Why You'll Love This Tip:

  • Figure out which fingerprints are yours and which fingers they belong to.
  • Delete unknown or extra fingerprints from your device to keep it secure.

How to Delete Unknown Fingerprints

System Requirements

An Apple device with Touch ID capabilities is required to perform this tip. Devices with Touch ID include the iPhone 7, 7+, 8, 8+, SE (2nd & 3rd gen), and iPad Pro (2nd gen or later), iPad Air (3rd gen or later), and the iPad Mini (5th gen or later). This tip was performed on a 5th-generation iPad Air running iPadOS 17.3. Learn how to update to the latest iOS.

After checking which fingerprints are yours and which fingers they belong to, I suggest editing the name on each fingerprint as you save it. This will ensure that no one has added fingerprints to your Touch ID and keep track of the fingerprints you have added. If you like learning tips about using your iPhone, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day!

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  1. On your iPad or iPhone, open Settings.

    find unknown finger prints
  2. Tap Touch ID & Passcode.

    delete unknown finger prints
  3. You will need to enter the passcode of your device to access Touch ID settings.

    unknown finger prints
  4. To identify your primary fingerprint, place the finger you usually use to unlock your device on the Touch ID pad. The corresponding fingerprint will turn gray.

    unknown fingerprints on ipad
  5. Tap the fingerprint you want to delete.

    unknown fingerprints delete
  6. Tap Delete Fingerprint.

    delete fingerprints on ipad
  7. If you want to label your fingerprints to keep better track of them going forward, tap the unnamed fingerprint.

    delete finger prints on ipad
  8. Rename the fingerprint to something that will help you stay organized. I like to be very specific. 

    delete fingerprint touch id
  9. When you're done, tap the back button.

    delete touch id fingerprint

And that's how you delete unknown fingerprints and keep track of your own. Hopefully, this will make your device feel safe and secure!

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Author Details

Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and a poet and author. With 10-plus years of experience working with Apple devices, she specializes in all-things iPad and is a Notes App expert, having worked on both the 2023 iPad Guide and the Notes App Guide. You can usually find her writing in the Daily Tip newsletter as one of our senior Tip writers. Rachel received her Master’s degree in English Literature in 2021 and her most recent work appears in the Winter ’21 edition of New Note Poetry. When she’s not obsessing about Apple products, you can find her voraciously reading fantasy books with her cat in Asheville, North Carolina.