Devices such as the Microsoft Surface Pro will allow you to use Biometric technology such as Facial recognition and Fingerprint readers to login to your Windows 10 computer. Windows Hello and facial recognition can suddenly stop working with a message that states that “This Option is Currently Unavailable”. The cause can range from a particular Windows update to an incorrectly configured Group policy. In this article, I have compiled a list of possible solutions for you to try to resolve the issue. In my case, it was simply a misconfigured Group policy setting.
Clear the NGC folder
Clearing all the contents of the NGC folder from your computer can fix the problem for you. Follow these steps to delete the NGC folder on your computer and then you can create a PIN on your system.
- Open Control Panel.
- In Control Panel open ‘File Explorer Options’.
- In the View tab under Advanced Settings, select Show hidden files and uncheck ‘Hide protected operating system files’.
- Open File Explorer and browse to this path:
- Right click
Ngcfolder and choose Properties.
- Navigate to Security tab and click on Advanced button.
- Locate the Owner section at the top and click Change link.
- In the ‘From this location’ field, make sure it is the name of the computer. Click the Locations button to change if it is not.
- In the ‘Enter the object name to select’ field enter Administrators. Click on ‘Check Names’. It should auto fill the full path for the Administrators group. Now click OK.
- Check ‘Replace owner on subcontainers and objects’ and click Apply and OK.
- Some folders cannot be deleted regardless of the owner. So, what I found works better is to simply rename the Ngc folder to something else, like Old_Ngc.
- Once the folder is renamed, create a new folder named Ngc.
- Close all of the windows and reboot.
- Once the system is rebooted, the sign-in options should now allow you create your facial profile and ‘Add’ a new PIN.
Reinstalling camera drivers
Try reinstalling the drivers to your camera to attempt to resolve the issue.
1. Open Device manager by typing device manager in the Cortana/Search field lower left hand corner
2. Expand System Devices and find the Microsoft IR Camera Front and uninstall by right clicking/pressing and holding (but don’t delete the driver when prompted). Then do the same for Surface Camera Windows Hello
3. Restart your Surface twice.
Reset WinBio Database
Sometimes to deal with biometric problems, all it is required is a reset. Fundamentally, it is just the deletion of existing files and then re-register biometric (facial or fingerprint). Doing so will reset all the biometric entries like face scan, iris scan, and fingerprint. Just stop the Biometric service, delete all the existing files from the system drive, and the service followed by re-registering the entries. Follow the below instructions and deploy the workaround –
- Right-click on Start icon and choose Run. Once you open Run dialog box, insert services.msc and click OK.
- On the Services console, scroll and right-click Windows Biometric Service. Choose Stop to put an end to the service.
- Next, create a backup of the biometric data files. To do so, first, open File Explorer and navigate to the below location –
- Copy the items of WinBioDatabase and save them to a separate folder in a safe location. Name that new folder as WinBioBackup.
- After creating the backup, delete the files from the original folder.
- Now, head back to the Services manager again, right-click on Windows Biometric Service, and select Restart.
- Once the above steps are done, fire up Settings => Accounts => Sign -in options => and go through the registration procedure again to re-register the biometric.
- If the device has multiple users, each of them has to re-register.
Verify Group policy settings
There is a possibility that the installation of Creators Update has altered certain Biometric settings in Group Policy. It is advised to check and edit the settings of Windows Hello and make sure everything is perfect.
Ensure the following GPO settings are deployed.
Computer>Administrative Templates>System>Logon>Turn on convenience PIN sign-in = Enabled
Computer>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Hello for Business>Use Biometrics = Enabled
Computer>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Hello for Business>Use Windows Hello for Business = Not configured
Computer>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Biometrics>Aloow the use of biometrics = Enabled
Computer>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Biometrics>Facial Features>Configure enhanced anti-spoofing option = Disabled
Turn Off Fast Startup
Fast Startup is one of the common reasons for various issues including the Windows Hello Fingerprint Option Currently Unavailable. The computer fails to perform a complete shutdown when this feature is turned on. You can turn this off through group policy –
Computer Configuration>Policies>Administrative Templates>System>Shutdown>Require use of fast startup = Disabled