How to Customize Your Android’s Lock Screen

Android Lock Screen Feature Photo

The opportunity for customization has made Android phones more desirable. In fact, Android users can change everything from their app drawer to the notification panel (and more). In this tutorial, we take a look at the different ways you can customize your Android lock screen.

Change the Screen Lock Type

Before we get into setting up customizations on your lock screen, let’s look at the different types of screen locks you can use on your Android device. These screen locks help prevent others from accessing your phone without your permission, and it’s an important security feature you will want to have in place.

Most Android devices now offer four main types of screen locks: swipe, PIN, password, and pattern. Additionally, your Android phone may allow you to lock or unlock the screen with biometric screening – like fingerprint reading or facial recognition. However, even with these measures in place, you will still want to select between the four options just in case your biometrics aren’t working.

To change the screen lock type on your device:

  1. Access the settings menu.
  2. Scroll down and select “Security.”
Android Lock Screen Settings Security
  1. Choose “Screen Lock.”
Android Lock Screen Security Screenlock
  1. You will receive a prompt telling you to “choose a new screen lock” from a list of options.
Android Lock Screen Lock Options

If you aren’t sure which option makes the most sense for you, here’s a brief description of each:

  • Swipe – Simply swipe your finger across the screen to unlock. You won’t get much protection, but you can easily access your home screen or any apps.
  • Pattern – Draw a simple pattern on your screen to unlock it.
  • PIN – Create a PIN of four or more numbers and enter it each time you wish to unlock your screen.
  • Password – Create a combination of letters and numbers of at least four digits that are entered to unlock your screen.

Change the Lock Screen Wallpaper

It is not necessary to have the same wallpaper on your lock screen as you do on the home screen. You can set them as two different images.

To change the wallpaper only on the lock screen:

  1. Open the Settings menu.
  2. Scroll down and select “Wallpaper & style.”
Android Lock Screen Settings Wallpaper
  1. Choose “Change wallpaper.”
Android Lock Screen Change Wallpaper
  1. You will have the option to choose from your photos or several different categories of images. Select the image you want to use by clicking it.
Android Lock Screen Wallpaper Choices
  1. After you preview the image, select “Lock Screen.” Click the checkmark on the lower right to set the image as your lock screen wallpaper.
Android Lock Screen Set Wallpaper

Note: You can also access the Wallpaper & Style menu by pressing and holding any area of the home screen. Once you select “Wallpaper & style,” follow the remainder of the steps above.

Android Lock Screen Wallpaper Home

Setting a Lock Screen Message

Setting a wallpaper image isn’t the only customization option for the lock screen. You can also set a custom message on your lock screen and can make it something inspirational or set something more practical.

To set the message on the lock screen:

  1. Open the Settings menu and navigate to “Display.”
  2. Scroll down to the section titled “Lock display” and choose “Lock screen.”
Android Lock Screen Display Menu Lockscreen
  1. Choose “Add text on lock screen” from the menu options.
Android Lock Screen Lock Screen Menu Message
  1. When the “Add text on lock screen” pop-up appears, type the message you want to appear on the lock screen, then click “Save.”
Android Lock Screen Message Text

Once you lock your phone again, this customized message will appear at the bottom of your lock screen, as shown below.

Android Lock Screen Text Displayed

Change the Lock Screen Notifications

Most Android phones display push notifications on the lock screen by default. If you want to stop that from happening so that no one can view your messages or other notifications, you can disable it in settings.

To hide these notifications:

  1. Navigate to “Settings -> Display.”
  2. Click “Lock screen.”
Android Lock Screen Display Menu Lockscreen 1
  1. From the “Lock screen” menu, select “Privacy.”
Android Lock Screen Privacy
  1. Choose whether you want all notifications to show on the lock screen, only when your Android is unlocked, or none at all.
Android Lock Screen Notifications

Third-Party Apps for Lock Screen

If you want to play around with the appearance of your lock screen even more, there are many different lock screen apps available in the Google Play Store. These apps let you apply different themes, change your notification styles, and add more content to the screen, like widgets. Some even have the option to snap a picture of someone who tries to access your phone with incorrect input.

Some popular apps for the lock screen include:

  1. Solo Locker (DIY Locker) – This free app gives you many options to control your lock screen setup. It’s one of the most comprehensive lock screen apps available for Android, albeit a bit tricky to figure out at first.
  2. Lockscreen Widgets — For $1.99, this app allows you to add widgets to your lock screen like previous versions of Android did and walks you through the setup process.
  3. Always On AMOLED — Essentially, this app gives you the “always on” properties so that you don’t have to ever unlock your device to access notifications or important apps. The options are limited in the free version, but the paid version works well if you’re looking for more.
  4. KLCK Kustom Lock Screen Maker — As the name implies, this app allows you to fully customize your Android lock screen. It’s still in development but definitely worth testing if you like having complete control over customizations.

Note: As with any other app in the Google Play Store, most of the third-party apps for lock screens have mixed reviews, and some have not been updated in quite a while. Always look for the date of the most recent update and read some more recent reviews before downloading an app to your device.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I add widgets to my Android lock screen?

Unfortunately, the native version of Android no longer supports lock screen widgets. However, some third-party apps (like the ones listed above) provide this option.

2. Does Android let you set a screen saver?

Within Android settings, you have the option to set a screen saver with a clock, colors, or a picture slideshow using Google Photos. To set this, navigate to “Settings -> Display -> Screen Saver.” Choose the option you want and decide when you want it to start.

3. Does Android allow you to “tap to check” whether the lock screen is enabled?

Yes. You can enable or disable “tap to check” for the time and push notifications without unlocking your device. To turn this feature on and off, go to “Settings -> Display -> Lock Screen -> Tap to Check Phone.”

Image credit: Pexels

Megan Glosson
Megan Glosson

Megan Glosson is a freelance technology writer based in Nashville, TN. She has extensive experience working with everything from printers to smart home systems, and serves as the go-to “tech guru” for a small business that sells digital products. Megan has created thousands of articles for online publications and company blogs, including How-To Geek, Clean Email, and Review Geek. When she’s not writing, you will probably find Megan playing board games with her partner and two children or swimming in the pool. You can check out Megan’s entire portfolio on her website,

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