Your Samsung Galaxy phone's fingerprint reader will soon let you unlock your Windows 10 PC

If you're one of the millions using a compatible Samsung Galaxy phone, it looks like you'll soon be able to use it to unlock your Windows 10 PC. Samsung already allows this with its Galaxy TabPro S through the Samsung Flow (opens in new tab) app for Windows 10, but, as SamMobile reports, Samsung has now confirmed that the feature will support all Windows 10 PCs soon.

The confirmations came in response to a user review for the Android companion app (opens in new tab):

Sorry for your inconvenience. Samsung Flow is compatible with TapPro S now . But it will support all Windows 10 PCs from Windows 10 next major update (estimated early of April). Thank you.

We took a look at Samsung Flow early last year, noting its similarities to Windows Hello. That comes down to Windows 10's Companion Device Framework, which Samsung Flow is using in combination with Windows Hello APIs to make Flow work.

At the moment, Samsung Flow supports Galaxy phones from the S7 and S6 ranges, along with the Note 5, A7 and A5. If you own one of those phones (and presumably whatever Samsung plans to release in the coming months), it sounds like you'll be able to take advantage of Samsung Flow on any Windows 10 PC starting in April.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Another feature to android use. Well it still won't make me buy a Samsung device.
  • what a shame, should be a standart W10M feature but no, Android makes it first... Microsoft doesnt care
  • Why should they? You can add a cheap piece of hardware to your PC (if it doesn't have it already) to do the exact same thing, better.
  • How is it better?
  • For starters, I don't have to worry about my phone being involved in the process. If my phone is dead, not next to me, or not functioning properly, that's it, I can't use the service. Second, I have to unlock my phone in-order to unlock my PC. Sure my phone unlocks pretty fast, but it's still an extra step. Finally I have to rely on an external app to have this work. I'd rather just use built in Windows hello directly instead of adding another layer of failure into the mix.
  • I'd rather not be forced to spend extra money just to utilise a feature on my laptop. That being said my iris scanner has ceased to function on my 950 xl, although this would only be useful with a fingerprint scanner, not iris on phones.
  • Not only are you not being forced to use the feature, a Samsung phone costs a ton more than a fingerprint scanner. So that point is completely invalid.
  • I am amazed I actually have to explain this to you but ok, here goes. I don't expect anyone to actually buy a phone specifically for this feature, that would be moronic, but most people already have a smart phone, more and more smart phones are bring released with fingerprint readers, so if you already have the function on your phone it is a better choice to use it than spend more money on a separate device to do the same thing. That's my point. That's like saying you shouldn't use your phone for music, you should get a dedicated music player, don't use the camera on your phone, get a dedicated camera. The whole point of smart phones is that they are a connection to our connected lives, this helps to add to that. Sure as more and more laptops come out with Hello built into them this becomes a moot point, but it is still a very useful feature, especially for people running desktops. Hell, implement it into W10M and have a button on the lock screen, so you hit that, then hit your fingerprint/iris (though again, I think this is less useful with iris scanners on phones than fingerprint scanners) and you are into your pc. you can even do it from a different room.
  • All of what you said would have meaning, except for one major factor. It's for Samsung phones ONLY. So, yeah, buying a cheap sensor for fingerprints, or using the built in hardware (webcam) on your computer is still a better option. Stop trying to force more features down peoples throats that are completely unneeded. Also, unlocking your PC from another room (or in anyway not being in front of it) is completely stupid. If you ahve the need to lock your PC, you should never unlock it unless you're right there. It's just moronic to do otherwise.
  • Or I could have a housemate or family member who wants to use my PC and because Windows forces you to use a password it saves me walking into another room to unlock it for them? It's only on Samsung phones NOW (let's just ignore that Samsung has the highest market share and so there are more Samsung phones in the market making this actually quite viable for a lot of people), but the feature would be incredibly useful on Windows Phones for a lot of people. I'm not saying you have to use it, but I would love to. And I'm sure there are plenty of other people who would too. I personally think Continuum is a useless feature, that doesn't mean I want it removed from device so that no one can use it, that's just selfish. Oh, and you never said built in hardware initially, which obviously will be the smartest choice, I questioned whether buying a dedicated device for fingerprint/iris scanning was a better idea than utilising a device that already has the function in it.
  • Windows does NOT force you to use a password, it is very simple to turn off. Also yes, it's only available on Samsung phones now, and until there is evidence it will  work on others, one cannot assume otherwise, especially when Samsung is not well known for making their apps available AND fully functional outside their own phones. You're also ignoring that while Samsung has the highest market share not all of their phones support it. As for the rest of what you said, no one said anything about removing features, I said there's no reason to add even more.
  • Well, I look forward to hearing you complain about every new feature that's coming to Windows 10 Mobile then, claiming that they shouldn't be adding new features to the OS.
  • Yup, ran out of valid points so you'll just make a hyperbolic comment about what I said and take it out of context. I guess you're done having intelligent thoughts on the matter.
  • If I continue discussing it we are just going to both be making the same arguments over and over again, I'm choosing the higher ground by stepping out of a pointless argument that is based purely on personal opinion and isn't going to change the thought process of the other party. That and I am starting work now so I won't be able to respond anyway.
  • I think you're missing the point, this isn't a "W10 feature", it's a Samsung feature for its galaxy users, I have a couple of old PC with no camera nevertheless a fingerprint reader or Iris scanner so this feature on my phone is kinda of cool, we'll have to wait and see how it's implemented ;)
  • Microsoft should copy this feature
  • So as probably the only person here who has actually used this I don't think it's that great. Keep in mind, it works on the Tab Pro s because it doesn't have built in Windows Hello e.g. iris or fingerprint. Which do you think is more convenient? Using your phone's FP reader or just using the one on the PC? As far as Microsoft copying it it's their Windows 10's Companion Device Framework program that ALLOWS this to work at all.
  • If your laptop or pc has no iris or fingerprint scanner, you can use the phone's scanner and it would be nice. Of course if your pc has a scanner already is way better, but if not, it can be nice. What do you think?
  • I think I'd rather buy a fingerprint scanner. They are very cheap, and it will always be there. I don't always have my phone with me, or nearby.
  • If I relied on the Iris scanner on my 950 XL to log in to my PC I'd never get any work done
  • I must say mine is pretty consistent now except in really bright sunlight.
  • Unlocking PC via phone and vice versa isn't so effective, that's just an another gimmick to demo that this is possible not plausible.
  • Daniel your reply is sorta why Microsoft has no mobile share... no ability to see thru the eyes of others. What PCs have fingerprint readers? None of my XP8900 or 8700s do. Surface 3 keybard nope, Surface pro3 keyboard nope, etc. Oh i forgot my Thinkpad T460 has fingerprint!  Does surface book have fingerprint for those that don't want the camera enabled? Nope.
  • So Macbooks and Chromebooks have it ready on all their variants?
  • No, which is exactly the guys point it isn't a common feature on laptops.
  • It's becoming more & more common. Windows Hello biometrics are in nearly every higher end device, be it fingerprint scanner, facial recognition or iris scanner. I have the fingerprint scanner keyboard on my Surface.
  • Actually the keyboard for my SP3 has a fingerprint reader built in. $169 at Microsoft store they have plenty.
  • That's a surface pro 4 keyboard.
  • that's actually the SP4 type cover with fingerprint reader :) works very well, have it too on my SP3 :)
  • Windows hello isn't just used via a fingerprint sensor, the webcam can be used as well which is on an increasing number of laptops.   EDIT: and not wanting to have your camera active is your own problem for being unnecessarily parinoid.
  • Yes right now it's not a standard thing, but since windows hello is new-ish I think I think the idea is devices going forward will have either a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition as a standard feature
  • imho it would make sense Daniel...
    Since last update we have dynamic lock which is working really well... Why not also have dynamic unlock when you return with that same Phone? Would make a nice feature I think...
  • If a laptop doesn't have Windows Hello. By the time you reach for your phone and wait for the signal between the devices, couldn't one enter a four digit pin, or even password just as fast? It's a cool feature, but also seems to be addressing a problem nobody had
  • So I would have to unlock my phone in order to unlock my PC? How is this time saving?
  • Yeah, it's not really that useful compared to native Windows Hello. One usage case is you can unlock your PC for friends/family/co-workers without typing in your password or being right in front of them. Other than that? Meh. When I was being briefed on it last year all I thought was "Why didn't you just build a FP reader into the Tab Pro S?"
  • Wasn't this coming to Microsoft Authenticator?
  • That would make sense only for web based accounts, not a good option for local ones.
  • It was an article somewhere that MS authenticator was going to support bluetooth pc login.
  • Exactly, there was something in the works to unlock through bluetooth, back when the Band 2 was still alive.
  • Yes
  • This is actually quite a useful features if you need to unlock your W10 pc/laptop remotely.
  • Which is never a good idea.
  • Unless you want to unlock the pc for a family member or a friend without stopping the movie you're watching in the living room ;)
  • Which again is a poor idea. If you determined that your PC needs to be secure to where friends and family dont have access, why are you giving them access while you're away?
  • Impressive.
  • Impressive.
  • I have a Galaxy S6 but don't use the fingerprint reader. The idea of having notifications from my phone on the pc using Flow is very interesting though
  • To me this sounds like Microsoft Windows Hello/Goodbye support will make it possible via bluetooth. I dont think samsugn flow would work rather that any bluethooth capable phone will be able to use this.
  • 1) I don't want to own a Samsung phone, ever. 2) I don't want Samsung to have anything to do with my Windows PC, much less unlock it. 3) Did they beat Microsoft at this gimmick? That's sad.
  • Why isn't this on J7 Prime? Doesn't it have all the same capabilities?
  • Chromebooks have this natively. It is nice, especially with Androids trusted devices feature. The Chromebook automatically unlocks as long as your phone is nearby and unlocked.