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Touch ID sensor not working following fan replacement

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Greetings everyone!  I am seeking the knowledge of someone very familiar with the internals of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (15”). Last week, a crackling sound began to emanate from the left side of the MacBook. I ultimately took it to the Genius Bar, and I picked it back up this week after one of the fans was replaced. Unfortunately, once getting it back, a new problem became evident. Specifically, the Touch ID sensor is not responsive. I went through the following steps to try to troubleshoot:

1)Shut Down/Restart

2)Deleted a saved fingerprint, tried to add a new one (nothing happens when I LSU a finger on the sensor). 

3) Reset the SMC and NVRAM. After rebooting, still not working. 

4) Backed up, then did a clean re-install of the OS.  When prompted to set up Touch ID for the first time, it is still not sensing the finger.


Having gone through these steps, it sounds like I have no choice but to return to the Genius Bar (80 miles away).  This situation has caused to wonder what exactly could have happened during the fan replacement that led to the Touch ID failure.  I am certain the sensor was working prior to the Mac being serviced, so it is most likely this new problem was a consequence of the fan replacement.  Does anyone know if the pathway to replacing the left fan requires acessing, removing, or otherwise manipulating the Touch Bar or Touch ID sensor?  Everything else on the Touch Bar is working just as well as it did since I’ve had the Mac.

Thanks for reading and in advance for any insight you may have. 



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if you do not want to drive, use the "send me a box" repair using the "chat" as found on support.apple.com

I used this for the last repair of the now otherwise unrepairable MacBook. it took 15 minutes. and the box showed up the next day. and two days after that the Mac was back in perfect working condition. NO DRIVING!

make sure your ADDRESS for your appleID is correct. you should also have the repair TAG from the last ready, although your Mac will be in there already. 


as for how this got borked? it happens. anytime you touch 'lectronics there is a possibility for frying a part because of static. although this is really RARE in a repair center. so either a rookie tech did the repair or whomever did it was in a hurry deciding to cut a procedure for convenience to them. experience does this. 

what could have happened?

  • sweat ball fell on that particular part. corrosion eventually took over. it does not take much.
  • static took out the tiny capacitor or resistor that controls that sensor.
  • the cable is not hooked up or is damaged.
  • some other damage

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Thank you for your detailed reply.  I was somewhat reluctant to go with the box option, not knowing how long that might take, but after your comment, I went ahead and asked for a box to be sent.  Although I've been buying Apple products since 1999, this is actually the first year I've ever had to deal with service or the Genius Bar.  My Macs have always lasted longer than I ever expected without issues (I have mid-2007 iMac on my desk that still works, although quite slowly, and the only thing that ever failed on it was the hard drive five years in).  Unfortunately, I've had a run of bad luck with Apple devices this year...the two MacBook issues and also a Series 3 Apple Watch that had a face spontaneously separate from the body while apparently charging overnight (Genius Bar experience was good with this issue; they took and shipped me a brand-new replacement in two days). 

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