Lock screen appears when you start or restart Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 device, or lock it by opening Start, clicking your user name and selecting Lock from the menu (keyboard shortcut for this is Windows Key+L).
Lock screen covers the whole screen and displays current date and time, network and power status, plus notifications of Microsoft-provided Modern UI/Metro apps by default. To move on to user sign-in screen (aka Welcome screen), click or tap anywhere on the Lock screen, or press a key on the keyboard.
Each user can personalize his/her Lock screen, but Windows displays the Lock screen of the user who was signed in last. The same applies to computer restarts.
Personalizing Lock screen in Windows 8, 8.1 and 10
In Windows 8 and 8.1, use keyboard shortcut Windows Key+I to open Settings charm, or move the mouse pointer to the bottom right edge of the screen and click Settings.
Click Change PC settings in the bottom part of the bar.
Touchscreen users should first swipe in from the right edge of the screen and touch Settings.
In all Windows 10 versions, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key+I to open Settings app, or open Start menu and click Settings.
Alternatively in Windows 10 Anniversary Update and later, open Run dialog with keyboard shortcut Windows Key+R or via the Quick Links menu (Windows Key+X), type ms-settings:lockscreen and click OK.
In Windows 8, PC settings Modern UI/Metro app opens in the Personalize tab. On the right, Lock screen tab is already active.
In Windows 8.1, click PC & devices tab on the left and then Lock screen tab opens.
In Windows 10's Settings app, click or tap Personalization and open the Lock screen tab from the left.
To change the background photo of your account's Lock screen, either click any of the displayed photos or use the Browse button to use your own.
In Windows 10, make sure that the Background combo box is set to Picture.
In Windows 8 and 8.1, browsing opens your Pictures library by default. Again, you can click any available photo and then click Choose picture or Choose Image (in Windows 8.1) to set it as your Lock screen background.
In Windows 10, a common Open dialog appears instead.
If you want to select a picture from another location in Windows 8 and 8.1, click the down arrow part of Files or Libraries combo box and open any listed folder (you can also take a picture using your webcam or even use photos stored on your OneDrive account).
In Windows 10, there is also the Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen switch available. Turn this on to see exactly these.
If you do not want to use just one background photo for Lock screen, or if you want to use your device as a digital photo frame, you can activate slide shows.
Slideshow interval is fixed at 15 seconds.
In Windows 8.1, set the Play a slide show on the lock screen slider to On. This reveals other options.
In Windows 10, choose Slideshow from the Background dropdown.
Windows 8.1 lists all Lock screen slide show options at once.
Windows 10 hides most options behind the Advanced slideshow settings link. The Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen option does exactly what it says.
- By default, Use pictures from (Windows 8.1) or Choose albums for your slideshow is set to use OneDrive's Pictures folder and your device's Pictures library. If you want to, you can click or touch Add a folder to specify additional photo locations. You can also choose other OneDrive folders for the slide show. Please note that caching files from OneDrive can take up to an hour and it requires a working Internet connection.
- The Include Camera Roll folders from this PC and OneDrive slider enables the displaying of snapshots that were taken with the webcam of your tablet or PC, or with the camera of your smartphone that has OneDrive installed and photo syncing enabled. This option might require a working Internet connection unless your OneDrive Camera Roll folder is set to be available offline.
- Enable the Only use the pictures that will fit best on my screen option (Windows 8.1) or Only use pictures that fit my screen option if you want to see photos and snapshots that match your device's display ratio.
- It is recommended to leave the Play a slide show when using battery power to Off in order to extend battery life.
- If When my PC is inactive, show the lock screen instead of turning off the screen slider is set to On, Lock screen and slideshow appear. If you disable this option, you might not see the slideshow at all.
- The Turn off screen after slide show has played for is set to Don't turn off by default, but you can also set it to 30 minutes, 1 hour or 3 hours in order to extend battery life.
If you want to remove a library or a folder from the slide show list, click or touch its name and choose Remove.
Windows 10 allows using breathtaking images from Bing for Lock screen background. These images are changed daily.
This option requires a working Internet connection for caching the images. Cache size is managed automatically, so you do not need to worry about losing loads of disk space.
All images are in Full HD (1920x1080) resolution, so they can look a bit muddy on 4K displays.
Enable this option by choosing Windows spotlight from the Background combo box.
Please note that the Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen switch is not available while Windows spotlight is turned on.
As noted before, Lock screen can display quick status notifications from Windows Store (aka Modern UI or Metro) apps: count of unread e-mails, upcoming appointments and alarms, etc. Let's see an example of this:
By default, notifications of Calendar, Mail, Messaging and Weather apps are displayed. Calendar displays a more detailed view as shown above (to the right of current time).
Some people find the notifications and status updates to be a privacy threat, so they might want to customize or remove these apps from their Lock screens.
To add an application's quick status to Lock screen, click any available tile with the + sign in the longer row and choose the app you need. Please note that you can choose only these Windows Store apps that are capable of revealing their status and notifications.
You cannot add the same app twice or more.
To remove an app from the Lock screen in Windows 8 and 8.1, click its tile and select Don't show quick status here. You can delete all apps if you want to.
In Windows 10, choose None to remove an app.
Please note that if you remove the app that also displays detailed status and notifications (Calendar in this example) in Windows 8 and 8.1, it will also be deleted from the Choose an app to display detailed status section.
To manage the single app that shows detailed information, click its tile or plus sign in the Choose an app to display detailed status section.
Next, either click or tap a listed app or the Don't show detailed status on the lock screen command.
Windows 8.1 allows setting single and repeating alarms, so now you can show these on the Lock screen, too. Just set Alarms app in the Choose an app to show alarms section.
In Windows 10, you can add the Alarms & Clock app to quick or detailed status.
Alarms appear as Toasts and you can snooze or dismiss them.
Windows 8.1 users also have the ability to use the camera without signing in. For this to work, set the Use camera from the lock screen slider to On.
To turn on your webcam from the Lock screen, swipe or drag the lock screen down.
In Windows 8 and 8.1, you can close the PC settings app using keyboard shortcut Alt+F4 or by moving the mouse pointer to the top of the screen where its pointer turns into a hand and dragging the screen all the way down.