Changing Lock Screen Apps

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 18, 2021)

Users of Windows-based devices such as phones and tablets are probably very familiar with the Lock Screen. It provides your first glimpse at the device, appearing after it has gone to "sleep" and you touch a button to bring it back to life. The Lock Screen appears at this first awakening but disappears quietly after you indicate you want to log into your system. The Lock Screen is no longer only for device users; it also appears for Windows installations on full-fledged PC systems.

By default, the Lock Screen displays the time and date over a background of your choosing. However, you can specify additional information to be displayed on the Lock Screen, which can be valuable to get a quick glimpse of whatever you want without the need to really log in. The way you add information is to pick apps which then display status information on the Lock Screen. There are two types of status updates that can be displayed:

  • Quick Status. You can specify up to seven apps that can display a small amount of information. This is great for things such as e-mail or messaging apps which can show you how many e-mails or messages you've got waiting for you.
  • Detailed. You can specify a single app that can display more detailed information. This works well for apps such as stock tickers or even a Twitter stream.

To specify which apps you want to appear on your Lock Screen, follow these steps:

  1. Type "Lock Screen Settings" (without the quotes) in the search box to the left of the Taskbar and press Enter. You can also accomplish this step by navigating to Settings | Personalization | Lock Screen. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Settings screen.

  3. Click a plus sign under the Choose One App to Show Detailed Status on the Lock Screen heading to add one detailed app.
  4. Click a plus symbol under the Choose Which Apps Show Quick Status on the Lock Screen heading to choose an app to add to the Lock Screen.
  5. To remove or change an app, click that app's icon and then select either "None" or click on another app depending on whether you are removing or changing an app.

Remember that not all your apps can be added to the Lock Screen. Only apps that are written to provide either basic or detailed status information can be added.

 This tip (12747) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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