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I just got my new MacBook Pro and the fingerprint is available only after sleep but not when starting the laptop. Is that the normal behavior?

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Yes this is normal behaviour.
Like on an iOS device, Touch ID is unavailable immediately after a restart.

Note that you must type your password to log in after you start up, restart, or log out

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

Use Touch ID on MacBook Pro

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  • Do you have any clue as to what the reasoning of this is? My Android device has a fingerprint sensor, but always requires manual pin entry after start up. I've always wondered why. I figured that if the finger print whitelist is stored on the sensor chip itself, then there's potential to swap out the sensor, with one that has the attacker's prints enrolled. In that case, couldn't there just be some sort of pairing between the main board and sensor? (e.g. the sensor must authenticate itself with the mainboard via some handshake process) – Alexander Sep 4 '17 at 18:02
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    @Alexander Security – jkd Sep 4 '17 at 18:43
  • @Alexander When in doubt assume Security :p – Thomas Ward Sep 4 '17 at 20:12
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    @ThomasWard Well obviously, but it wasn't clear how it helped improved security. In the case of iPhones with secure enclaves, I now learned the answer is: the pin decrypts the encrypted enrolled fingerprint data in the secure enclave. I suspect a similar thing is happening in my android device – Alexander Sep 4 '17 at 20:13
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    @Alexander Among other things, in the United States a court can require you to provide your fingerprint to unlock but generally can't force you to enter your password. – chrylis -cautiouslyoptimistic- Sep 4 '17 at 22:38

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