Windows Hello :: Hello, Windows

by Volker Weber

None of my Windows PCs has hardware that supports Windows Hello. Fingerprint reader, IR camera or iris detection. Do you? How is it working for you?


I am using it on my Surface Pro 4 and it works quite reliable. I find it a convenient way to unlock the computer.

Abdelkader Boui, 2016-11-21 15:20

I have used fingerprint reader on my Lenovo T460s notebook and it halved the battery life. Problem known by Lenovo.
So, I gave up.

Horia Stanescu, 2016-11-21 15:39

Answering for Iris detection, mainly:
Iris detection on the Lumia 950XL is ok but you need to hold it awkwardly. A little better in the HP Elite X3.

Best is the fingerprint reader on the X3, it is as good as the one on my iPad Air 2.

Hubert Stettner, 2016-11-21 15:40

Have a fingerprint reader on my Lenovo T560. Works as expected. In one out of 10 cases I have to swipe a second time if the finger swipe is in an "unusual" angle. Maybe re-learning the fingers solves that but it's not bothering me too much.

Sven Semel, 2016-11-21 15:53

I have a fingerprint reader on my HP EliteBook.
It works quite well, in rare cases the fingerprint reader doesn't react at all after waking up the Laptop.

The IT switched the feature off for some weeeks, either it was a misconfiguration or the usual paranoia. Somehow it works now again, I didn't bother to ask for reasons.

Patrick Bohr, 2016-11-21 16:06

I use a SurfaceBook since its launch in spring 2016 (Germany). Windows Hello with the IR cam works fine (and fast!) almost all the time. Sometimes I seem to make awkward faces, so it does not recognize me.
Satisfied customer ;-)

Johannes Woltermann, 2016-11-21 16:21

I have an old ThinkPad T410 - which according to Lenovo isn't supported on Windows 10. The fingerprint reader works like a charm, without any additional drivers or software required. Only thing not working: I can't set the FP reader to switch on the laptop. I don't miss that at all, so I haven't bothered if I can get it to work.

What I'm missing: I can use the FP reader to sign into Windows (like I could before...) but I haven't come across any website or app that supports login with Windows Hello. Perhaps it's just me.... but I don't see much additional value.

Max Nierbauer, 2016-11-21 16:37

using it with the X1 Carbon and using fingerprint. Works like a charm, as long as your hands aren't sticking with food on them.

John Head, 2016-11-21 16:47

Surface Book at home and work face detection 99.5% of the time. Even works in really low light. Stupid quirk: if I take off my glasses or wear different glasses, it doesn't recognize me.

Amy Blumenfield, 2016-11-21 17:01

Are fingerprint readers classified as supporting Windows Hello, like cameras are? Or is any technology good? What happens if the reader is not certified? I assume it just uses its own library to log you in.

Volker Weber, 2016-11-21 17:09

In der c't gibt es einen längeren Artikel zu dem Thema ;)

Steffen Siebert, 2016-11-21 17:32

I have a fingerprint reader on my Lenovo X1. Usually it works like a charme. In 1 out 10 attempts to unlock the device I need to use the password / PIN, as my fingerprint isn't recognized properly.

René Fischer, 2016-11-21 18:32

Volker - yes, fingerprint readers are classified as supporting Windows Hello. If you go into settings, account, sign-in options, there is a Windows Hello section at the top. Under that it has camera and/or fingerprint options, based on what Windows has certified and detected.

John Head, 2016-11-21 18:51

Using it on my 2013 X1 and a Surface Pro 4. Professionally in a constant fight with customers/work counsils to not block Windows Hello and keep it enabled by default for end users. Mostly CSOs agree with me.

Markus Michalski, 2016-11-21 20:43

Using windows hello on my surface book. Works great. Recognises me with and without glasses ...

Peter de haas, 2016-11-21 20:43

Using Windows Hello IR (face recognition) on my personal Surface Pro 4. I'm so used to it already that at work I look at my computer and nothing happens... It even works for me at night without and lights on, and with or without wearing glasses.

Frank van Rijt, 2016-11-21 20:51

Was im Video untergeht: Dein Passwort behälst du normalerweise für dich, dein Gesicht trägst du aber ständig sichtbar herum.

Da Gesichtserkennung noch lange nicht so gut funktioniert wie man vielleicht meint, ist sie momentan noch erstaunlich einfach auszutricksen. In diesem Beispiel reicht eine bedruckte Pappbrille, um sich ale jemand anders auszugeben:

Biometrische Authentifizierung macht in vielen Bereichen Sinn, gar keine Frage. Aber dieses Marketing-Video blendet mit Buzzwords. Nur weil asymmetrische Verschlüsselung verwendet wird, ist die Technik nicht gleichwertig mit anderen Verfahren, die asymmetrische Verschlüsselung verwenden.

Timo Stamm, 2016-11-22 10:06

Auf meinem Surface Pro 4 funktioniert die Anmeldung über Gesichtserkennung wirklich gut - und das auch bei richtig schlechten Lichtverhältnissen.

@Timo Wobei ist jetzt in dem Artikel keinen Bezug zur von MS verwendeten Technik sehe.

Martin Imbeck, 2016-11-22 11:02

The face recognition of Surface 4 pro is very good and I get used to it. It was what impressed me a lot at the begining and at my normal desktops I am missing it NOW. Damn you - technology!
It is like with touchscreens. During my work I touch sometimes a monitor to scroll, because we are used to. :/
Speaking of touchscreens: it also changed the position of my taskbar --> have it now not on the bottom or left but on the right side, because I am right handed. The technology changes us.

Lukas Gerlich, 2016-11-22 13:57

@Timo Microsoft Hello leverages Intel RealSense technology which makes a 3D IR scan of your face which cannot easily be fooled compared to 2D face-scanning as was used in your mentioned article.

See here a test with Windows Hello using identical twins:

Frank van Rijt, 2016-11-22 19:35

And here the explanation how it works:

Frank van Rijt, 2016-11-22 19:39

The video and Windows Hello are about two technologies, biometric login and Microsoft Passport.

With a biometric login it's important to remember the biometric data is only stored on the device. You can't just obtain someone's fingerprint and then use any PC with a FP reader to login into his account. You need to get access to the actual device and then spoof the fingerprint - that's very unlikely.

Microsoft Passport uses certificate based authentication. The certificate is encrypted on the device, in a hardware TPM if available, and requires a second factor authentication either a PIN or a biometric login. Again you need access to the actual device and then spoof the biometric login or PIN.

That's all very state of the art. I just don't know any service where I can login with that.

Max Nierbauer, 2016-11-22 20:32

I'm using Hello with my Surface Book for a couple of weeks now. Works perfect with and without glasses and in bad light. It's also pretty quick. Something I got used to in no time and really like it.

Bastian Lotsch, 2016-11-22 21:43

Using the hello camera on Surface Pro4 and Book. It's working creepily good even in full darkness. So good actually that I am wondering why I've bought the touch cover with fingerprint reader...

Unfortunately there are not that many "enterprise" options to upgrade your desktop.
Some older USB fingerprint readers do work with Windows Biometry Framework if you install other drivers e.g. from ACER laptops.

If you know a product that works out of the box and provides a lightning fast experience (like those smartphone sensors) I am all ears :)

Ralf ter Veer, 2016-11-23 16:05

I got a cheap china usb fingerprint reader for about 15 EUR just to give it a try. I use it as the main login on my home machine. I bought it more to see if it works than for anything else ;-) It works most of the time - sometimes I have to swipe the finger 2 or three times.
I also have a fingerprint reader on another machine build in. This one works flawlessly.

Martin Sckopke, 2016-11-27 10:02

I use the IR/Face on my 950XL.
I've gotten used to the "right" way to hold it.
The good thing is that it works perfectly in pitch dark and with sunglasses on.
It even handles unlocking when I'm wearing alpine/ski-goggles.

On my computers I use fingerprints (Thinkpad user since 1992). I've tried to convince IBM (and Lenovo) for many years to put a fingerprint-scanner on the outside of their laptops as an option. That way I wouldn't need a fingerprint scanner on my external keyboards when the Laptop is docked.

Dag Kvello, 2016-11-29 11:21

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