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How to Make the iPhone's Touch ID Work With Gloves

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Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo
Image: Alex Cranz/Gizmodo

It’s cold and with what feels like an eternity of wintery weather ahead of us, it’s most definitely glove-wearing season.

The problem with wearing gloves, of course, is that it can make scrolling through your phone screen a total pain in the ass. Fortunately, capacitive touch friendly gloves exist for this very reason. With capacitive covers on the tips of your fingers, you can happily scroll through your phone, text, and play games of Cookie Jam (do not judge me!), no matter how blisteringly cold the weather might be.


But what about Touch ID, Apple’s system for unlocking your phone with your fingerprint? If you’re like me, you unlock your iPhone roughly 500 times a day, irrespective of weather you’re outside. And while it’s true that you could just forgo to the goodness of Touch ID (or whatever fingerprint sensor your smartphone happens to use), and unlock your phone with a passcode when you’re gloved, you don’t have to.

A fun trick I discovered a while back that has continued to work with numerous pairs of gloves I’ve owned is to simply train my iPhone to learn the fingerprint of my glove hand. The capacitive material has its own ridges and bumps that, believe it or not, will work with the iPhone’s Touch ID training system.


To pair Touch ID wth your gloves, simply open the iPhone’s Settings app and go to Touch ID & Passcode. Then tap on the “Add a Fingerprint” button. Then, follow the prompts and lift your (gloved) finger on the home button. Do this until you’ve successfully paired the phone with your fingertip.

Now, no matter how cold it is, you can still unlock your phone with your finger.

Training Touch ID to Work With Gloves

There are some caveats. Although this method works just fine with my gloves (I get mine from a brand called Echo), some gloves might not work as well. If you’re very particular about your Touch ID/fingerprint scenario, try in the store before buying. Also, this isn’t the most secure solution, because theoretically, anyone who stole my phone could also just steal my gloves to also gain access. So proceed with caution.

Still, training our gloves to use Touch ID is the sort of cold weather tech tip that will make these final winter months more bearable.