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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions.

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Where can I download AusweisApp2?

You can download AusweisApp2 here. Depending on your operating system, select the appropriate download and install AusweisApp2 on your computer, smartphone or tablet.

What can I do if the update to a new version of AusweisApp2 does not work on my Windows PC?

If the automatic update functionality should not work on your Windows PC, then please go to the control panel of your device and uninstall the older version manually. After that, the already installed, current version can be called.

Why does AusweisApp2 not start on my MacBook?

You will find AusweisApp2 as an icon at the top in the menu bar and not, as is often the case, at the bottom in the dock bar. To be able to perform an authentication, you must first open the program. To do this, click on the icon in the menu bar and select "Open", this will bring the app to the foreground.

Which smartphones can be used to read the ID card?

You can find an overview of suitable smartphones here.

Why can't I find my smartphone in the list of suitable devices for using the eID function?

If your device cannot be found in our list, this may be due to one of the following reasons:

  • Your device unfortunately does not meet the requirements necessary to use the eID function, or there is some other technical incompatibility. Tip: You can easily find out whether your device meets all the requirements by using AusweisApp2. The feature "Check device and ID card", which you will find on the app's homepage, will guide you through the process.
  • Your smartphone model is new to the market and unfortunately we do not yet have sufficient information about its compatibility with the eID function.
  • You are using a smartphone model that has rarely been used with AusweisApp2 before and therefore we do not yet have sufficient information about its compatibility with the eID function.

What is NFC and how does reading out the ID card work?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication and is an international transmission standard for the wireless exchange of data over short distances (5-10 centimeters). NFC is based on RFID (radio frequency identification) technology, in which data is transmitted via electromagnetic induction. 

Your eID card also contains a so-called RFID chip. The eID card can therefore - after you have enabled the transmission by entering your PIN - be read out with your smartphone via electromagnetic waves.

How do I pair an NFC-enabled smartphone as a card reader?

If you want to use the eID function on a device that is not NFC-enabled, e.g. a laptop or tablet, you can pair an NFC-enabled smartphone as a card reader as follows:

  1. Connect both devices to the same WIFI
  2. Install AusweisApp2 on both devices
  3. If necessary, turn on NFC on your smartphone
  4. Start remote service and pairing in AusweisApp2 on your smartphone
  5. Go to settings in AusweisApp2 on your desktop and select "Smartphone as card reader" or on your tablet select "Remote card reader"
  6. Select your displayed smartphone and enter the pairing code
  7. If the pairing was successful, your smartphone will be displayed as "Available" in the desktop app and listed under "Paired devices" on the tablet

Detailed instructions on how to pair a smartphone as a card reader can be found here.

I can't find the NFC interface on my Android smartphone - what can I do?

  • Check our list of suitable smartphones to see whether your device generally supports the eID function.
  • Check the device settings to see whether NFC is enabled on your smartphone. Some devices deactivate the NFC interface after longer contact with the ID card as well. In this case, turn the screen off and on again or deactivate and reactivate NFC in the settings.
  • Remove the protective cover if necessary.
  • Find out (e.g., on the Internet) exactly where the NFC interface of your device is located. The ID card must be placed directly on the NFC interface and the position must be kept as stable as possible during the readout.
  • On most devices, the NFC interface is located on the back in the middle to upper area. To find out where the optimal position for reading out the ID card is, move the card slowly over the back of your device. If there is no response here after a few seconds, remove the ID again and then hold the card against the smartphone again.
  • If you want to use your smartphone as a card reader, check if the pairing was successful. How to successfully pair your devices is explained here.

I can't find the NFC interface on my iPhone - what can I do?

  • On iPhones, the NFC interface is located on the top edge on the back.
  • Our recommendation: Place your ID card on a flat surface and then hold your iPhone at an angle to the ID card so that the top edge of your iPhone rests on the ID card.
  • Remove the protective case if necessary for a better connection.
  • If you want to use your smartphone as a card reader, check if the pairing was successful. How to pair your devices successfully, we explain here.

Note: You need at least an iPhone 7 or newer and your smartphone has to have at least iOS 13 or higher installed. Unfortunately, you cannot use the eID function with iPhone SE and iPhone 6/ 6S (Plus), as Apple does not yet provide the required NFC technology for communication with smartcards such as the ID card here.

My smartphone does not recognize the ID card - what can I do?

  • Check our list of suitable smartphones to see whether your device supports the eID function in general.
  • Remove the protective cover if necessary.
  • Place the ID card directly on the NFC interface and keep the position as stable as possible during readout.
  • Find out (e.g., on the Internet) exactly where the NFC interface of your device is located. To find out where the optimal position for reading out the ID card is, move the card slowly over the back of your device. If there is no response here after a few seconds, remove the ID again and then hold the card against the smartphone again.
  • If you want to use your smartphone as a card reader, check if the pairing was successful. How to successfully pair your devices is explained here.

Why can't I use the eID function with my smartphone even though it is equipped with NFC?

Unfortunately, not every readout process via NFC is the same. The eID function, for example, cannot be technically compared with contactless payment via Google Pay or Apple Pay. That is because when making a payment, the checkout terminal with its strong NFC antenna only reads a small amount of data from the smartphone's NFC chip.

In the case of the eID function, on the other hand, NFC communication takes place over a longer period of time. The amount of data transmitted here is larger and is encrypted. The power supply to the ID card is provided solely by the smartphone's NFC antenna. Therefore, there is a possibility that the power of the NFC chip built into the smartphone does not have sufficient strength. This is because many manufacturers reduce the field strength of the NFC chip to improve battery life, for example. Unfortunately, this leads to communication with the eID becoming unstable or not working at all.

It is also necessary that both the NFC chip and the smartphone's operating system support extended length communication. Only then can the required data and certificates be transmitted successfully. The current generation of commercially available NFC chips in Europe already supports extended length by default. However, the version of the Android operating system used is often a stumbling block. This is because some manufacturers reduce the amount of data that can be transmitted, thus preventing AusweisApp2 from performing the necessary security protocols and encryption.

Which USB card readers are supported by AusweisApp2?

An overview of compatible USB card readers can be found here.

My USB card reader does not get recognized - what can I do?

The drivers of your USB card reader may no longer be up to date. Please check the version of the driver you are using and install a newer version if necessary. You may have to restart your system afterwards.

General note: As manufacturer of the software AusweisApp2 we unfortunately have no influence on software updates of third party suppliers.

Which operating systems and browsers are supported by AusweisApp2?

AusweisApp2 supports the operating systems Android 7.0 or higher, iOS 13.0 or higher, macOS 10.15, 11.0, 12.0 and Windows 10 and 11.

It can basically be used with all commercially available browsers. As part of quality assurance, the most commonly used browsers are tested. Please note: On mobile systems, especially on iOS, your preferred browser should be set as the default browser, otherwise you may experience misbehavior.

Why are Linux and Windows 10 mobile not supported by AusweisApp2?

During the development of AusweisApp2, the focus was on the most widely used operating systems. The rule underlying the development states that the distribution of an operating system must reach at least 5% market share - this development is of course continuously monitored. Linux and Windows 10 mobile unfortunately do not currently reach the required market share.

However, the open source status of the software makes it possible to use and further develop the source code accordingly. You can find the source code on GitHub.

Why does AusweisApp2 not work on my iPad?

First of all, unfortunately iPads do not have a (suitable) NFC interface, therefore you cannot use your iPad for direct readout. However, it is possible to use a smartphone (Android or iOS) as a card reader with an iPad.

However, please note the following when doing so: With iOS 13, Apple has changed the Safari browser on iPads so that it calls up all web pages in "desktop mode" by default. This causes AusweisApp2 to no longer open correctly on iPads. Safari then displays the following error message: "Page cannot be opened because Safari could not establish a connection to the server.".

This has a technical background. For a conventional desktop system (Windows or Mac), the link to call AusweisApp2 is http: //127.0.0.1:24727/eID-Client..., but on mobile systems it is eid: //127.0.0.1:24727/eID-Client... . iOS devices can only handle a call in the form of "eid://". However, since Safari is acting as a desktop browser in the above case, AusweisApp2 is incorrectly called using a "http://" link. 

As a workaround, you can manually change the "http://" to "eid://" in the Safari address bar at http: //127.0.0.1:24727/eID-Client... and reload the page to continue the identification process in AusweisApp2.

You can also permanently disable the call as a dekstop browser in the iPad settings. To do this, go to "Settings" on your iPad and then select "Safari". In the "Settings for websites" section (scroll down a bit), you can manually deactivate the "Request desktop website on" switch.

Which screen readers are supported by AusweisApp2?

AusweisApp2 supports the mentioned screen readers on the following operating systems: 

  • for the operating system Windows: NVDA
  • for the operating systems Mac OS X / macOS / iOS: VoiceOver
  • for the operating system Android: Talkback

What do I have to consider when using virus scanners or a firewall?

If you have a firewall or virus scanner in use that differs from the default settings, it is possible that AusweisApp2 will be blocked. In order to be able to use AusweisApp2 despite the settings you have made, you have the option of entering an additional exception for the app. If you need assistance with this, please contact our support.

What does AusweisApp2 need to create firewall rules for?

Basically, firewall rules define which data traffic is allowed through a firewall. The installer of AusweisApp2 offers the option to register the required firewall rules in the Windows firewall for all offered functions of AusweisApp2.

  • For establishing a connection with the servers of the service providers.
  • For using a smartphone as a card reader in the local network.

If the firewall rules are not registered, the user will be prompted once with a dialog of the Windows firewall to allow the outgoing data connections when AusweisApp2 establishes a connection to a service provider. The "Smartphone as card reader" function can only be used if the automatic firewall rules were created during installation.

What is the eID function?

With the eID function, the electronic residence permit and the eID card for EU citizens, you can prove your identity in the digital space securely and unambiguously. You can also use the eID function at (citizen) terminals or on site, for example when signing a mobile phone contract at a branch. More information can be found here.

Where can I use the eID function?

You can make use of various services that use the eID function, for example, at public authorities, insurance companies, or banks. You can find an overview of services in the list of providers.

At this point, we would like to explicitly point out that AusweisApp2 is only responsible for the software for using the eID function and not for the range of services. If you have any questions about a specific service, please contact the provider directly.

What is the five-digit transport PIN?

You will receive the five-digit transport PIN by mail after you have applied for a new ID card, residence permit or eID card. It is a five-digit sequence of numbers that you must change to a six-digit PIN of your own choice before using the eID function for the first time. You can do this in AusweisApp2 under "Change my (Transport) PIN".

What is the six-digit PIN?

The six-digit PIN is a sequence of numbers that you assign yourself and that protects your data from misuse. That is because you have to enter the six-digit PIN every time you want to identify yourself digitally with your ID card.

The first time you assign a six-digit PIN is when you convert your transport PIN. After that, you can change your PIN at any time in AusweisApp2.

I have forgotten my PIN/ my transport PIN is wrong - what can I do?

In this case, you have two options:

  1. You can request a new PIN via the following online service: https://www.pin-ruecksetzbrief-bestellen.de/en. You request the new PIN conveniently online and accept your PIN reset letter as a “POSTIDENT” delivery in person or pick it up at the post office within seven working days.
  2. You set a new PIN for your ID card at the public administration office responsible for you. You can find out the opening hours, contact persons and responsibilities of offices and authorities in your place of residence by calling the public authority hotline 115 or on the Internet: http://www.behoerdenfinder.de

How do I change my transport PIN and what does the timeout error mean?

You can change the transport PIN either at the public administration office when you pick up your ID card or directly in AusweisApp2:

  1. In AusweisApp2, select the menu item "Change my (Transport) PIN" and then select "Five-digit Transport PIN".
  2. If you use AusweisApp2 directly on your smartphone, place your ID card on the NFC interface of your smartphone. If you use AusweisApp2 on a laptop, you must connect a smartphone as a card reader or connect a USB card reader before changing the PIN.
  3. Enter the transport PIN from your PIN letter. 
  4. Now enter a new 6-digit PIN. Choose a number combination that is not easy to guess, i.e. neither "123456", nor your date of birth or other combinations printed on the ID card. 
  5. Confirm the new PIN by entering it again.

If you are to use AusweisApp2 on a laptop and have connected a card reader with display, enter the transport PIN and then your new PIN twice without being explicitly prompted (enter transport PIN -> OK, enter new PIN -> OK, enter new PIN-> OK).

Please note that the time in which the PIN change must be completed is only one minute. If you exceed this time limit, the error message "Timeout" will be displayed. In this case, restart the process.

What is the CAN and what do I need it for?

You only need the CAN (Card Access Number) if you have already entered the PIN incorrectly twice. The CAN is required at this point to prevent a third incorrect entry and thus the blocking of your ID card without your consent.

The CAN is a six-digit number printed on the front of your ID card. It is located at the bottom right, next to the validity date.

I can't find my PUK - what can I do?

The PUK is a 10-digit number that you can find in your PIN letter. With this number you can unblock your PIN. This is because if you enter your PIN incorrectly three times, it will be blocked.

If you no longer have your PIN letter, there are two possibilities:

  1. You can request a new PIN via the following online service: https://www.pin-ruecksetzbrief-bestellen.de/en. You request the new PIN conveniently online and receive it by “personal registered mail“.
  2. You can contact your local public administration office. You can find out about the opening hours, contact persons and responsibilities of the offices and authorities in your area by calling the public authority hotline 115 or on the Internet: http://www.behoerdenfinder.de

What do I need to keep in mind with AusweisApp2 when I get a new smartphone?

Since your data is read directly from the ID card each time and not stored on your smartphone, you only need to install AusweisApp2 on your new smartphone and can continue to use it as usual.

If you have been using your smartphone as a card reader on a computer or tablet, you will have to re-pair the new smartphone with your device once. 

If you have already used the eID function on your old smartphone and set a six-digit ID card PIN of your own choosing, this will remain valid. The five-digit transport PIN, which you will find in your PIN letter, is only used once to activate the online ID function.

Why do I get an error message in the browser?

Possible reason: AusweisApp2 has not been started

If you receive error messages on your PC or laptop such as "The website is not available" or "Connection failed", please start AusweisApp2 and call the service again.

Possible reason: Default browser

After a successful authentication process, your browser may display an error message (e.g., "Page not found" or "Error") when redirecting from AusweisApp2 to the service provider's website. To avoid such an error, please use the browser that you have set up as the default browser in your system for the entire process.

Possible reason: Incognito mode in the browser

The same error message (e.g., "Page not found" or "Error") occurs when you access a service provider's website using incognito mode (also called "private mode" in some browsers). When redirecting to AusweisApp2, you will inevitably leave the incognito mode. When redirecting back to the browser after a successful authentication, the service provider may then no longer be able to assign the transaction due to the way incognito mode works, as the security-relevant cookies are no longer available.

To troubleshoot, simply visit your service provider's website directly in the default browser at the start of the process and do not use incognito mode. On Android devices and devices with iOS 14.0 and higher, you can set the default browser yourself; the default is usually Safari/Chrome or the manufacturer's browser. On iOS 13, the default browser is set to Safari by the manufacturer.

Why does my Android smartphone report "No supported app for this NFC tag" or "Perform action with..." when placing the ID card?

This or a similar message is displayed on Android devices by the NFC background service when the ID card (or another NFC-enabled card) is applied to the smartphone while AusweisApp2 is not in the foreground. To avoid this message, do not place the ID card on (the back of) your smartphone until AusweisApp2 prompts you to do so.

What does "Ready to Scan" mean and why does the process keep failing?

Apple uses the term "scanning" to describe the process of readout via NFC. "Scanning an ID card" thus describes the process during which AusweisApp2 communicates with the ID card in order to check whether the eID function is activated and to read out the data - after it has been authorized by entering your PIN. To do this, the ID card must be held directly against the iPhone for some time, thus establishing a connection via NFC.

During the authentication process, AusweisApp2 "scans" the ID card a total of two times. During the first scan, AusweisApp2 checks the status of the ID card, e.g. whether the eID function is activated. This already works at a greater distance and a short connection time between iPhone and ID card is sufficient. During the second scan, the actual readout of the data from the ID card chip takes place. This process requires a somewhat longer, stable connection, since a larger amount of data is transmitted, which is encrypted in the ID card for security reasons. The second scan therefore requires the ID card to be placed stably and, if necessary, also closer to the iPhone and both - iPhone and ID card - to be held still for a while.

Why can't I connect a card reader to a smartphone/ tablet via micro USB?

This has a technical background: AusweisApp2 addresses card readers via the so-called smartcard library "PC/SC". This library is available, for example, with the Windows and Mac operating systems, but with mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS, PC/SC is not available by default or can only be used to a very limited extent. Therefore, USB card readers cannot be used with mobile devices.

Why does AusweisApp2 prompt me to place my ID card even though no card reader is connected yet?

If you are prompted to place your ID card on your card reader even though you have not yet connected one, this could be because you are using a laptop with a built-in card reader. If this integrated card reader is not able to read out your ID card, we recommend using your smartphone as a card reader or using a separate USB card reader.

Why can't I find every service from the provider list in the AusweisApp2 on my smartphone?

This has a technical background: The website of a provider calls up AusweisApp2 via a link, which is "http: //127.0.0.1:24727/eID-Client" for desktop systems and "eid: //127.0.0.1:24727/eID-Client" for mobile systems.

If the link for mobile systems is not implemented correctly by a provider, then you will receive the error message "127.0.0.1 / No connection to server..." on your smartphone. In this case, please inform the provider directly about this problem.

As a workaround, you can manually change the "http://" to "eid://" in the address bar of your mobile browser at "http: //127.0.0.1:24727/eID-Client" and reload the page to continue the identification process in AusweisApp2.

We already pointed out this issue to the providers we know, but unfortunately we have no influence on the timing of the implementation of the correct mobile link.

How do I uninstall AusweisApp2 without leaving any residue?

On Windows:

Uninstall AusweisApp2 via Start Menu>Programs>Uninstall. This will remove all files and the desktop icon of AusweisApp2 from your computer. For residue-free removal, you will need to delete a few entries manually:

Registry entries:

  • Delete the entire folder Governikus GmbH & Co. KG
  • Under HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run delete the entry AusweisApp2.

NoScript setting in Firefox browser:

  • Delete created system rule

 

On macOS:

Delete AusweisApp2 from the Applications folder. This will remove all files and the desktop icon of AusweisApp2 from your computer. For residue-free removal, you need to delete a few entries manually:

  • Delete the file "com.governikus-gmbh-co-kg.AusweisApp2.plist". You can find it in one of the following folders: "$HOME/Library/Preferences/" or "/Library/Preferences/".
  • Open the "Login Objects" tab under "System Settings" -> "Users & Groups" -> "Current User". Delete the "AusweisApp2" entry from the list.
  • NoScript setting in Firefox browser: Delete created system rule