The Windows 8.1 Lock Screen - dummies

The Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

The lock screen in Windows 8 is a static screen, but in Windows 8.1, you can choose to have the lock screen display useful information or even a slide show. The lock screen changes in Windows 8.1 to look like the lock screen in Windows Phone 8.

The lock screen is a security feature designed to prevent malware such as logon scripts from taking control of your PC.

The figure shows most of the initial lock screen settings you’ll see if you have the Slide Show option turned off. There is also a setting to enable you to use a web cam for things like Skype calls when your PC is locked. To see the Camera setting, you need to scroll down.


Changing the Windows 8.1 lock screen background

You can use two different methods to control the background of the lock screen:

  • Select an image from the list of backgrounds shown.

  • Click Browse and choose a photo stored on your PC.

Alternatively, you can use the Slide Show options to have the lock screen display your digital photos as a slide show.


If you enable the lock screen slide show, the Show the Lock Screen after My PC is Inactive For setting takes precedent over the settings you may make in the Power & Sleep options.

If you choose to use the lock screen slide show option, you need to select a set of one or more folders that contain a total of two or more digital images. If you want the lock screen to display a single image, use the Browse button in the Background Options section of the lock screen settings.

Choosing Windows 8.1 lock screen apps

In addition to displaying images, the lock screen can show information similar to what appears on live tiles on the Start screen. You might, for example, want to have your lock screen remind you of important appointments, tell you when you have new e-mail messages, or display weather alerts.


You can choose one app to display detailed statuses and you can choose one app to show alarms.