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I like to use touch fingerprint ID when in lieu of a password (when buying apps etc...), but I don't want to have to use it to unlock my phone, nor do I want a passcode lock. Is there a way to enable touch ID without locking the phone?

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    If this is not a default option (please don't blame me, I have an iPhone 5) it will be much broader available in iOS 8. This was announced during the WWDC. – Rob Jun 8 '14 at 9:18
  • @Rob I am currently running iOS 8 and it is not. Refer to my answer as to why this is not possible. – Alex Jun 10 '14 at 22:11
  • I hear the pain of the OP. It's ridiculous that apple can't support this in 2017. I want it for my banking but not every time I want to use my phone! – Sridhar Sarnobat Jun 22 '17 at 23:15
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This is not exactly what the OP asked for, but it might partially solve the problem:
- Enrol a fingerprint and select a passcode,
- disable "iPhone Unlock",
- change "Require Passcode" to the maximum ("After 4 hours" in my case).

This will allow you to use Touch ID in Applications, but will require passcode for unlock only once in a long time.

  • Yeah that's the closest thing I found. Still very annoying – Sridhar Sarnobat Jun 22 '17 at 23:16
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This is not possible. You need to have a passcode to use it due to the way iOS encrypts passwords. Your iTunes store password would not be encrypted if you were not using a password, even with the Touch ID sensor.

  • Reference please! – Elist May 5 '16 at 8:24
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    @Elist support.apple.com/en-us/HT204587 – Alex May 5 '16 at 11:48
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    Thanks @Alex, you are right. Anyway, I have a solution that might work for the OP (at least it works on iOS 9): Enrol a fingerprint and select a passcode, disable "iPhone Unlock", and then change "Require Passcode" to the maximum ("After 4 hours" in my case). – Elist May 5 '16 at 13:28
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I think this is actually possible but I still seem to be finding out myself. I think you just have to turn off Touch ID for unlocking your iPhone, but leave the other 2 Touch ID settings on. These are the ones for Apple Pay--which I don't use--and for websites and apps. Please see elsewhere for the issue which I'm having.

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