Changing Lock Screen Apps

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 23, 2017)

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:

  • Basic. 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. Display the Charms bar at the right side of your screen. (Do this by swiping right-to-left or moving the mouse to the very upper-right or lower-right of the screen. You can also accomplish this step by pressing Win+C.)
  2. Click Settings. Windows displays the Settings bar at the right side of the screen.
  3. Choose the Change PC Settings option. Windows displays the PC Settings screen.
  4. Choose Personalize at the left side of the screen.
  5. Choose Lock Screen at the right side of the screen. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The PC Settings screen.

  1. Click a plus symbol under the Lock Screen Apps heading to choose an app to add to the Lock Screen.
  2. To remove an app, click that app's icon and then select either "Don't Show Quick Status Here" or "Don't Show Detailed Status on the Lock Screen," depending on whether you are changing basic or detailed apps.

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 8.

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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