Set screen lock on an Android device

You can set up a screen lock to help secure your Android phone or tablet. Each time you turn on your device or wake up the screen, you’ll be asked to unlock your device, usually with a PIN, pattern, or password. On some devices, you can unlock with your fingerprint.

Important: Some of these steps work only on Android 10 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Set or change a screen lock

Important: To ensure your automatic and manual backups are encrypted with your screen lock, use a PIN, pattern, or a password. Learn how to back up or restore data on your phone.

  1. Open your phone's Settings app.
  2. Tap Security.
    • If you don’t find “Security,” tap Security & locationand thenSecurity.
  3. To pick a kind of screen lock, tap Screen lock.
    • If you’ve already set a lock, you’ll need to enter your PIN, pattern, or password before you can pick a different lock.
  4. Tap the screen lock option you’d like to use. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. To change your screen lock's settings, next to "Screen lock," tap Settings Settings. Settings include automatic lock timing, Power button locking, and a lock screen message.

Screen lock options

No lock

  • None: Your phone stays unlocked. This gives no protection, but you can get to your Home screen quickly.
  • Swipe: Swipe your finger across your screen. This gives no protection, but you can get to your Home screen quickly.

Standard locks

  • Pattern: Draw a simple pattern with your finger.
  • PIN: Enter 4 or more numbers. Longer PINs tend to be more secure.
  • Password: Enter 4 or more letters or numbers. A strong password is the most secure screen lock option.

More locks

  • Stay unlocked: On Android 10 and above, you can let your device stay unlocked for longer in certain conditions, like when your device is at home.
  • Automatic unlock: On some older Android versions, you can use Smart Lock to automatically unlock your device in some situations, like when you’re at home or work. Learn how to turn on Smart Lock.

Tip: You can temporarily turn off Smart Lock by turning on lockdown. Learn how to use lockdown.

Related articles

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?