How to Create an Unlock Pattern on Your Android Phone

By Dan Gookin

Perhaps the most popular, and certainly the most unconventional, screen lock, is the pattern lock. On your Android phone, the pattern must be traced on the touchscreen. To create an unlock pattern, follow these steps:

  1. Summon the Choose Screen Lock screen.

  2. Choose Pattern.

    If you haven’t yet set a pattern, you may see the tutorial describing the process; tap the Next button to skip merrily through the dreary directions.

  3. Trace an unlock pattern.

    You can trace over the dots in any order, but you can trace over a dot only once. The pattern must cover at least four dots.

  4. Tap the Continue button.

  5. Redraw the pattern.

  6. Tap the Confirm button.

    You may be required to type a PIN or password as a backup to the pattern lock. If so, follow the onscreen directions to set that lock as well.

    Set the unlock pattern.

    Set the unlock pattern.

To ensure that the pattern appears on the Lock screen, place a check mark by the Make Pattern Visible option. For even more security, you can disable this option, but you must remember how — and where — the pattern goes.

Also: Clean the touchscreen! Smudge marks can betray your pattern.