(Credit: Lance Whitney)

Microsoft OneDrive users on Android can now secure their online files with more than just a passcode.

With the latest update to version 5.14, the OneDrive Android app offers fingerprint recognition as a way to lock and unlock access to your files. Previously, the Android app allowed you to secure your OneDrive storage only through a passcode. The update brings the Android version of OneDrive on par with the iOS version, which already supported fingerprint recognition.

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OneDrive allows you to store and sync your photos, documents, and other important files in the cloud. But on the mobile app, your files could be at risk if the wrong person gains access to your phone or tablet. Defending the OneDrive app through a passcode is helpful as long as you create a strong and memorable PIN. If not, a fingerprint scanner can be a more secure and certainly easier method of protecting your data.

Of course, you need a device that houses a fingerprint scanner. Most popular or high-end Android phones support fingerprint recognition, such as the Samsung Galaxy S9, the Google Pixel 2 XL, the LG V30, the HTC U11, and the OnePlus 6. On the iOS side, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is built into the iPhone 5s or later, the iPad 5th generation or later, the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and the iPad mini 3 or later. The OneDrive iOS app also supports the iPhone X's Face ID.

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To use your fingerprint to secure your online files on either Android or iOS, open the OneDrive app. Tap on the Me icon in the lower right corner. Tap on the entry for Settings. At the Settings screen, tap on the entry for Passcode. If you don't yet have a passcode for OneDrive, turn on the switch to Require code and create a passcode. The app then asks if you want to enable fingerprint. Touch the fingerprint sensor with the finger you want to register.

Now, each time you open the OneDrive app, you'll be prompted to unlock it with your fingerprint. And you can still use your passcode as a backup method.

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  1. Microsoft OneDrive now supports fingerprint recognition as a way to lock and unlock the app.
  2. The Android version of OneDrive has caught up with the iOS version, which has already supported fingerprint authentication.
(Credit: Lance Whitney)

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Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."