Set screen lock on an Android device

You can help secure your Android phone or tablet by setting a screen lock. 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 or automatically unlock in trusted conditions.

Note: Some of these steps work only on Android 9 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Set or change a screen lock

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 device's Settings app Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & location. (If you don't see 'Security & location', tap Security.)
    • To choose a type of screen lock, tap Screen lock.
      1. If you’ve already set a lock, you’ll need to enter your PIN, pattern or password before you can choose a different lock.
      2. Tap the screen lock option that you’d like to use. Follow the on-screen instructions.
    • 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 device 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

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

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