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Set screen lock

You can secure your 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. You can also set Smart Lock options so that your device automatically unlocks when it's connected to your watch or recognizes your face. Learn how to use Smart Lock.

Note: Some of this information may not apply to all devices because Android isn't exactly the same on every device. These instructions are for devices with Android 6.0 and up. See what version of Android you have.

Set up or change a screen lock

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Scroll down and touch Security.
  3. Touch Screen lock. If you’ve already set a lock, you’ll need to enter the pattern, PIN, or password before you can choose a different lock.
  4. Touch the screen lock you’d like to use and follow the instructions.

Screen lock options

You can choose from the following screen locks:

Select this option if you don’t want a lock screen. It provides no protection, but lets you get to the Home screen or Google Now quickly.
Slide your finger across the screen to unlock your device. It provides no protection, but lets you get to the Home screen or Google Now quickly.
Nexus Imprint

If your device has a Nexus Imprint sensor, you can use your fingerprint to unlock your device. Learn more about Nexus Imprint.


Pattern lets you draw a simple pattern with your finger to unlock the device.


PIN requires four or more numbers. Longer PINs tend to be more secure.


Password requires four or more letters or numbers. This is the most secure option, as long as you create a strong password.

Set trusted devices and face matching

You can use the Smart Lock settings to keep your device unlocked when it's connected to your Bluetooth watch or recognizes your face. Learn how you can unlock your screen through connected devices you trust or face-matching.


Amy is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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