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In order to guarantee the recognition rate, reduce the complexity of the iris recognition methods and improve efficiency as far as possible this article proposes an iris recognition method based on the optimized Gabor filters. The basic principle of the method is as follows: Firstly, it locates the iris and fits the contour of lower eyelid, then makes normalization to the iris image and gets 512 columns multiplying 64 rows rectangular iris image, ensures the effective iris area adaptively. Secondly, makes segmentation according to the parameters of Gabor filter and adopts optimized multi-directional Gabor filter to make filter for each sub-block in the effective iris area, gets edge response of different directions. Thirdly, makes binary codes to the iris image according to the edge response of different directions and figures the iris pattern by iris codes. Finally, sorts the different iris patterns by improved Hamming distance method and gives the recognition results.