Lift the lid of your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air to turn it on, or press Touch ID. Every time you start up, restart, or log out, you need to type your password to log in to your user account. After setting up Touch ID, as long as you're logged in, you can use your fingerprint instead of typing when you're asked for your password.
MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
On MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar, the Touch ID button is on the right side of the Touch Bar at the top of the keyboard.
MacBook Pro 16" (2019)
MacBook Pro 15" (2017)
On MacBook Air models introduced in 2018 and later, the Touch ID button is on the right side of the function keys.
MacBook Air (2018)
How to set up Touch ID
Follow these steps to set up Touch ID:
- Make sure that your finger is clean and dry.
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
- Click Touch ID.
- Click the plus sign to add a fingerprint, then type your user account password when prompted. Follow the onscreen instructions that follow.
- Use the checkboxes to select the Touch ID features that you want to use on your Mac.
Tips for adding fingerprints:
- Place your finger on the Touch ID button — but don’t press. Hold it there until you're asked to lift your finger.
- Lift and rest your finger slowly, making small adjustments to the position of your finger each time.
You can also delete fingerprints:
- Hover the pointer over a fingerprint. A delete button appears.
- Click the delete button, then enter your password to remove the fingerprint.
Use Touch ID to unlock your Mac
After you set up Touch ID, you can use it to unlock your Mac. Wake up your Mac by opening the lid, pressing a key, or tapping the trackpad. Then place your finger lightly on Touch ID to log in.
You must type your password to log in after you start up, restart, or log out of your Mac. When you're logged in, you can quickly authenticate with Touch ID whenever you're asked for your password.
You can also use Touch ID to unlock these features on your Mac:
- Password-protected Notes
- The Passwords section in Safari preferences
- System Preferences
If you have FileVault turned on, you must type your password to unlock the Security & Privacy pane and the Users & Groups pane.
If multiple users set up Touch ID and log in to the same Mac, they can use Touch ID to switch accounts. Just press Touch ID, and your Mac switches to the logged-in user account associated with the fingerprint.
Make iTunes Store, App Store, and Apple Books Store purchases with Touch ID
Use Touch ID instead of your Apple ID password to make purchases on your Mac:
- Open the iTunes Store, App Store, or Apple Books Store.
- Click the buy button for something you want to purchase. A Touch ID prompt appears.
- Place your finger on Touch ID to complete the purchase.
You might be prompted to enter your password on your first purchase or if you've made changes to the fingerprints that you've enrolled in Touch ID.
Use Touch ID for Apple Pay
You can make easy, secure, and private purchases on websites using Apple Pay on your Mac. Apple Pay never stores your credit or debit card information and never shares it with the merchant.
Apple Pay is not available in all regions.
Set up Apple Pay
On Mac notebooks with Touch ID, you’re prompted to configure Apple Pay during setup. Follow the instructions that appear.
If you don’t choose to set up Apple Pay when you first start up, you can set it up later in the Wallet & Apple Pay section of System Preferences. You can also check your transaction history and manage your payment cards there. For example, you can add or delete cards and make updates to contact or shipping information.
You can add payment cards to only one user account on your Mac. If you set up Apple Pay in your main user account and then log in under another account, Touch ID and Apple Pay are unavailable. In this situation, you can use an eligible iPhone or Apple Watch to complete Apple Pay transactions that you begin in Safari on your Mac.
Make a purchase in Safari with Apple Pay
On websites that offer Apple Pay, click the Apple Pay button during checkout. When prompted, complete the payment by placing your finger lightly on Touch ID.
Turn on, restart, sleep, and shut down
Press Touch ID to turn on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air if it's open and turned off. If your Mac is closed and turned off, simply open it to turn it on.
Unlike with older Mac notebooks, holding down Touch ID on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air doesn't display a dialog with options to Sleep, Restart, or Shut Down. You can find these options in the Apple menu. If your Mac is unresponsive, you can hold down Touch ID for six seconds to force a shut down. Note that you'll lose any unsaved work if you do this.
Pressing Touch ID won’t put your Mac to sleep. Instead, choose Apple menu > Sleep. If your Mac has a Touch Bar, you can also add a Sleep button to the Control Strip:
- Click Finder.
- Select View > Customize Touch Bar.
- Touch the Control Strip region of the Touch Bar to switch to Control Strip customization.
- Use your pointer to drag items that you want, such as the Sleep button, from the main display down into the Touch Bar. You can also drag items left and right within the Touch Bar to rearrange them, or drag them up and out of the Touch Bar to remove them.
- Tap Done in the Touch Bar or click Done on the screen when you finish.
Learn more about Touch ID
You can use Touch ID to control accessibility features on your Mac:
- Triple-press Touch ID to display the Accessibility Options window.
- Hold the Command key and triple-press Touch ID to toggle VoiceOver on and off.
In some situations, you need to enter your password instead of using Touch ID:
- If you've just restarted your Mac
- If you've logged out of your user account
- If your fingerprint isn't recognized five times in a row
- If you haven't unlocked your Mac in more than 48 hours
- If you've just enrolled or deleted fingerprints
If you still need help unlocking your Mac with Touch ID, follow these tips. Try again after each one:
- Make sure that your fingers are clean and dry.
Moisture, lotions, sweat, oils, cuts, or dry skin might affect fingerprint recognition. Certain activities can also temporarily affect fingerprint recognition, including exercising, showering, swimming, or cooking.
- Your finger should cover Touch ID completely. While Touch ID is scanning, don't press down or move your finger.
- Try setting up a different fingerprint.