Monday, 03 July 2017 23:49

Unlock Windows 10 Creators Update with Samsung S6, S7, S8 fingerprint reader

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If you’ve got a Samsung Galaxy S6 or better, a Note 5, an A5, A7 or even any other modern Samsung phone with a fingerprint reader, you can use your fingerprint to unlock a Windows 10 PC.

iPhone users have been able to use an app called “Knock to Unlock” their Macs since 2014, and from the moment that app came out, I was an extremely enthusiastic user.

Of course, as soon as Apple allowed you to automatically unlock your Mac with an Apple Watch, I didn’t need Knock to Unlock anymore, but until that day, I always rocked Knock to Unlock.

I do remember checking whether there was something similar for Android phone and Windows PCs, and there were alternatives to both Knock to Unlock for the Mac, and ways for Windows and Android users to emulate the same functionality.

You can find info on those at HowtoGeek here and Redmond Pie here

Those articles are from 2014, but if you’re keen, you can see whether they still work in 2017 – I’m sure there would have been updates.

Also, owners of any MacBook Pro with Touch Bar have a built-in Touch ID fingerprint reader on their Macs.

In addition, plenty of Windows PCs have had fingerprint readers for years, and various higher-end models still do today, but there’s probably many more Samsung Galaxy owners using Windows PCs without fingerprint readers that could greatly enjoy using this capability.

All of that said, Samsung has now made it possible to just use your fingerprint scanner to unlock your Windows 10 PC, but as usual, there are some minor caveats, with the main one being that you’ll need the latest Windows 10 Creators Update for the system to work – so please make sure your Windows 10 is definitely updated first to avoid disappointment.

You then need the latest Samsung Flow at the Google Play store, the app that manages the magic in the background between both phone and PC.

The app’s description explains that, “Samsung Flow is a software product that enables a seamless, secure, connected experience across your devices. You can authenticate your Tablet/PC with your smartphone, share content between devices, and sync notifications from your smartphone to your Tablet/PC. You can also turn on the smartphone's mobile hotspot to keep your Tablet/PC connected.”

The description continues, stating that the following devices support Samsung Flow:

1. Windows Tablet/PC: Windows 10 OS Creators update or newer
(Galaxy TabPro S, Galaxy Book, PC)

2. Android Tablet: Android Nougat OS or newer
(Galaxy Tab S3, etc.)

3. Android Phone: Android Marshmallow OS or newer
(Galaxy S8, S8+, S7, S7 Edge, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, A5, A7, etc) – the Google Play store page for Samsung Flow will let you know if your Samsung phone is compatible, or not.

You’ll also need the Samsung Flow app for your Windows 10 computer, which you can download from the Windows App Store, with Samsung offering a Flow set-up guide here

There’s also the warning that, if you presumably already have Samsung Flow on your Windows 10 PC, that you’ll need to update it to latest version by going to “Windows Store > Menu > Downloads and Updates to update the app".

So, if you have a compatible Samsung phone, the latest Windows 10 app, and want to simplify your login process to the next level, you now know how to go with the flow!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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