Make Validity Fingerprint Sensor (5011) Work on Windows 8.1 [How to]

Validity Fingerprint Sensor 5011 that came with my Dell Vostro V131, stopped working after I switched to Windows 8.1. I actually never quite used it that much (even in Windows 7 that came pre-installed), and as a result, was only aware this issue very recently. But I do put my laptop to sleep quite often, and since having to re-type the password every time I turn it ON is quite a burden, I decided to find a way to make it work in Windows 8.1.

Now Dell on their website does provide us with a driver for ‘Windows 8…’ however, while trying to install, it gave me an error (basically saying that it does not support Windows 8/8.1) and quit. Luckily though, this fingerprint sensor is somewhat popular and various other manufacturers also include it in some of their products. As a result, I found a driver for it through Lenovo’s website, that supports Windows 8.1 (32/64 bit).

So I decided to write a ‘how to ‘ article, hoping that someone having the same issue would find it quite liberating 🙂 . The installation is very simple & easy, and I have (as usual), written it down, step by step.

VFS 5011 working on Windows 8.1 unlock screen

Before we begin, let us make sure that Windows 8.1 has not actually recognized the Validity fingerprint sensor (5011), just to make sure. Because I have read some claiming that Windows 8.1 being able to recognize it, after an update. To verify that, press the ‘Windows key’ + ‘r’, this will open up the ‘Run’ dialog-box, and then enter the below command, which in turn will open-up the ‘Device Manager’:

mmc devmgmt.msc

If under ‘Biometric devices’ it says ‘Synaptic FP Sensor (WBF) (PID=0011) as shown below, then you can jump to ‘Step 2…’ directly. If it displays something else (a generic term like ‘fingerprint sensor’) or does not even have a ‘Biometric devices’ section, then please start off with Step 1 for properly installing & configuring it.

VFS 5011' correctly being displayed on device manager in Windows 8.1

Step 1: Go to this official Lenovo driver download page and obtain the driver. Once the download finishes, double-click on the setup and it will guide you through the installation (you might have to restart the PC at the end).

Step 2: Windows 8.1 includes built-in support (GUI) for configuring & enabling a fingerprint sensor at login screen. Although the one that came with the Dell’s official Validity sensor for Windows 7 had pretty nifty features, since our objective is to make the sensor available at login only, the Windows tool is more than enough.

To launch this GUI, press the ‘Windows key’ again, and type in the below term:

set up fingerprint

Then select and launch ‘set up fingerprint sign-in’ as shown below.

Opening the built-in fingerprint sensor configuration metro utility in Windows 8.1

Step 3: Once you are inside the metro application, look under ‘Fingerprint’ and click the ‘Add’ button. It will guide you through the process, which is extremely simple & easy. You can add multiple fingerprints using it as well.

Adding a new fingerprint through 'VFS 5011' in Windows 8.1

That is pretty much it!. Now lock your screen (or put the computer to sleep or reboot it…) and then try to un-lock it through the fingerprint sensor, if you did everything as described above, it will un-lock the screen. So far I have not encountered any issues. Good luck.

26 thoughts on “Make Validity Fingerprint Sensor (5011) Work on Windows 8.1 [How to]”

  1. Hi.. i am facing a kinda similar problem,, i have tried every thing so far. Here’s what happened, i updated from win8 x64 to 8.1 x64, after installing all drivers and apps from Hp site (pavilion m6 1070ee) i tried to set up the fingerprint access as soon as i click on “choose finger” an error pops up “it looks like you are having some trouble, do you want to try again? ” i reinstalled the driver, updated the simple touch, removed the software and re installed it again… nothing!

    any advice!?

    thank you!

    • Hi Hussein,

      Assuming that you have the validity 5011 hardware, you can try uninstalling the driver first and then reinstalling it.

      First open the ‘Device manager’ and then select the fingerprint sensor, right-click on it and choose ‘Uninstall’. From the next dialog-box, make sure to check the ‘Delete the driver software for this device’ option and then click ‘OK’. Once Windows finishes removing the driver, reboot the PC and after you log-in to the desktop next time, then try reinstalling the ‘Lenovo’ driver and again reboot the PC. This might fix your situation… good luck.

      P.S: Not sure what ‘simple touch’ is, but you can try the built-in utility in Windows 8.1 for adding a fingerprint for login.

  2. hi
    i have sony vaio svs15116gab
    my fingerprint sensor has stopped working after i ran windows update
    also the button to (sign in by scanning your fingerprint does not response when i click it)
    my driver is Authen Tec inc.AES1660
    can you help me this this problem please

  3. hey im having an isse with my fingerprint sensor in the devices its called “validity sensors (WBF) (PID=0018)”
    my computer was windows 8 but i changed it to 8.1 and now windows 10 i tried the lenovo driver for 5011 but it didnt do anything can you help me fix it or find a way to fix it

    • Hi Josh,

      I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll be able to help you out here because I don’t have this hardware to test anything out, plus, I no longer user Windows, I’ve switched to ‘Linux’… Sorry about that.

      But, as a tip, try to find a laptop from another manufacture that has this fingerprint reader hardware and try that driver. That’s how I got my issue resolved as I pointed out in this article. Good luck.

  4. thank you sooo much,

    this is really helpfull.my laptop dell vostro 3560 fingerprint software stop working named persona this method help me to resolve my problem,…

  5. You rock! I lost my fingerprint reader for my HP Probook 4540s after upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Everything else I’ve read to try failed but I got the driver from the Lenovo site (updated since this post) and BAM it works! Not only that, but my fingerprint reader now works with LastPass when it never did before! 😀

  6. Works on dell vostro v131 windows 10 64bit (upgraded from W7pro) and after uninstalling dell fingerprint software (DigitalPersona) and reboot twice on total.
    Thank you

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