Touch ID is great but as all technology there’s always a chance it can throw some kind of effed-up error at some effed-up moment.
Especially on the Macs and specifically on the MacBook Pros with the Touch Bar, if you have one you may have gotten the following error and you made a Google search and somehow you ended up on this site. 🙂
The error shows “Fingerprint Limit reached.” and then goes on to say that you need to remove a fingerprint from your account on your MacBook Pro.
It’s especially weird if you’ve never inputted any fingerprints into your MacBook Pro or even if you’ve only implemented a couple when you know there’s only so much fingerprints you have on you. It gets even weirder, and this is true as some users have reported, that the message pops up even if there are no fingerprints to delete on any account.
So who’s fingerprints are these and WTF is going on?
The Real Reason Why It Happens …
Recently, an Apple employee came on Reddit to write on that this could all be a firmware-level issue (a software error).
The employee wrote to the best of their knowledge that the problem stems from the fact that Touch ID fingerprints on MacBook Pro models are stored in this thing called a “Storage Enclave”.
This “Storage Enclave” thing is stored and controlled by a different piece of hardware than the rest of what’s controlled on your MacBook Pro and it’s Apple’s T-series chip (the same chip that controls your Touch Bar).
Because this Secure Enclave is controlled by the T-series chip, there can be a loss of connection between your main MacBook’s operating system (macOS) and how many fingerprints that are actually stored in the Secure Enclave.
Think of it like placing two people in two different rooms, where one can’t know what the other is doing.
There’s a way to completely delete all these fingerprints that are stored in the Secure Enclave in your MacBook Pro. In this guide I’ll show you precisely how you can do that step-by-step so that you can regain your access to your MacBook Pro.
Fingerprint Limit Reached Error on MacBook Pro: 5 Steps
Step 1: Go ahead restart or turn on your Mac.
Step 2: Now while your Mac powers back on, hold down your Command + R keys until your see the Apple logo appear on your Mac’s screen.
Step 3: Got it? Great! When the logo does appear, release the keys. You Mac will now enter “Recovery Mode”.
Step 4: Next, do you see Utilities on your upper menu? Alright, select Utilities. Then select Terminal.
Step 5: Now once the Terminal opens, you can copy (Command + C) and paste (Command + V) the following command right into your terminal:
xartutil - erase-all
Step 6: Finally, hit Enter. Then just type yes into the Terminal.
You’re done! Now you can just click the little Apple icon in your upper top menu and just select Restart to restart your Mac and patch up the error.
You can now try to go back into your System Preferences and then your Touch ID to add fresh entries of your fingerprints. 🙂
Look, what if this doesn’t work?
If you’ve tried the above steps but your MacBook still doesn’t allow your fingerprint then it’s best to take the MacBook to your nearest Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have it checked up and find out why it’s acting like this. Most likely, there could be another issue at play so the Geniuses over at the Genius Bar can figure it out.
Also, if you really don’t mind using your password for the temporary basis, then you can help out by reporting the bug to Apple and hope that Apple fixes it.
The more of us report, the higher the chances that Apple acknowledges it.
Also don’t forget to be on the lookout for any future updates.
Share this guide with anyone who’s having a really bad day with their MacBook throwing an error saying their fingerprint suck.