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Security settings

You can help protect your device by updating your security settings.

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.

Device security settings

You can manage most of the security settings for your device by following these steps:

  1. Open your device's Settings app Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Security.

Learn more about each security setting:

  • Screen security
    Manage screen lock options. Learn how to set a screen lock.
  • Nexus Imprint
    If your device has a Nexus Imprint sensor, you can use your fingerprint to unlock your device and authorize purchases. Learn how to set up Nexus Imprint.
  • Encryption
    Encrypt the data on your phone or tablet. Learn how to encrypt your data.
  • SIM card lock
    Set up a PIN to lock your device's SIM card (may not be available on your device).
  • Passwords
    Make passwords visible as you type, which helps you to enter a password that is more complex and secure.
  • Smart Lock for Android
    Set up your device to automatically unlock when you have a trusted Bluetooth device or NFC connected, when you're at a trusted location, when you're carrying it with you, or when it recognizes your face. Learn how to use Smart Lock.
  • Device administration
    Manage device administrators, allow apps to be installed from sources other than the Play Store, and choose to verify apps from all sources. Learn how to protect your device from harmful apps.
  • Unknown sources
    Manage installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store.
  • Credential storage
    Manage, install, or clear certificates on your devices. Learn how to work with certificates.
  • Trust agents
    Manage trust agents for features like Smart Lock.
  • Screen pinning
    Turn on to keep your current screen in view on your device. Learn how to use screen pinning.
  • Apps with usage access
    Manage what apps have access to app-usage data on your device.

Tip: In case you ever lose your device, you can add information to your lock screen that would help someone return your device to you. Touch Settings Settings > SecurityLock screen message.

Android Device Manager

If you lose your Android device, Android Device Manager can help you find, lock, and erase it. Learn how to get started with Android Device Manager.

Device protection for Android 5.1 and higher

If your device is running Android 5.1 or higher and came with Android 5.0 preinstalled, you can set up your device to prevent other people from using it if it's been reset to factory settings without your permission. Learn how to make sure your device is protected.


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

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