Lock Screen Settings on Your Android Tablet

By Dan Gookin

The Lock screen is different from the Home screen on your Android tablet, although the two locations share similar traits. As with the Home screen, you can customize the Lock screen. You can change the background, add app launcher shortcuts, and perform all sorts of tricks.

Lock screen features might not be available for all Android tablets.

Setting the Lock screen background

For most Android tablets, the Lock screen wallpaper is the same as the Home screen wallpaper. A few tablets, however, let you set separate Lock screen wallpaper.

To determine whether your tablet provides for separate Lock screen wallpaper, follow the same steps as you would for changing the wallpaper on the Home screen. If you see a prompt to set the Lock screen wallpaper, choose it. Then select a wallpaper for the Lock screen that’s different from the Home screen.

Adding Lock screen shortcuts

Some Android tablets feature the Camera icon in the lower right corner of the screen. Swipe that icon to unlock the tablet and run the Camera app. It’s a quick way to take a picture.

Samsung tablets allow for up to five launcher icons to appear on the Lock screen, but only when the Swipe screen lock is selected. You can use these Lock screen launchers to both unlock the tablet and immediately start the app: Simply swipe the app launcher icon on the Lock screen.

To configure Lock screen shortcuts on some Samsung tablets, heed these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Device tab, and then choose Lock Screen from the left side of the screen.

  3. On the right side of the screen, locate the Shortcuts item and slide its master control to the On position.

    If you don’t see this item, your tablet lacks this feature.

  4. Tap the Shortcuts item.

    You see the icons that will appear on the Lock screen.

You can add or remove Lock screen launchers: Tap the Add icon to choose another app. A maximum of five Lock screen shortcuts can be selected. Long-press an app icon and drag it to the Delete icon to remove it from the Lock screen launcher list.

Displaying Lock screen notifications

The Lock screen can list the tablet’s notifications, just as they appear on the notifications drawer. You can determine whether all notifications appear or just highlights (for added security), or you can deactivate the feature.

To control Lock screen notifications, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Sound & Notification item.

  3. Choose When Device Is Locked.

  4. Select a Lock screen notification level.

    Three options are shown:

    • Show All Notification content.

    • Hide Sensitive Notification Content.

    • Don’t Show Notifications at All.

  5. Choose a notification level.

The Hide Sensitive Notification Content item simply displays notices, not message previews. And, of course, the Don’t Show Notifications at All setting suppresses Lock screen notifications.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S can also display Lock screen notifications in the form of information cards. To activate the Lock screen cards, follow these directions:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Device tab, and choose Lock Screen from the left side of the window.

  3. Choose Lock Screen Card.

  4. Place a green check mark by the cards you want to appear on the Lock screen.

    To disable this feature, uncheck all the items.

You can simply admire the Lock screen notifications, or to use them, double-tap. The app that generated the notification (or card) is started, and you can see more details.