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This chapter is from the book

Customizing the Lock Screen

The Lock screen is the screen that appears before you sign in to Windows 10 (or, if your PC has multiple user accounts, it’s the screen that appears before you select which account to sign in to). You have three ways to invoke the Lock screen:

  • Turn on or restart your PC.
  • Sign out of your user account (by clicking your user account tile and then clicking Sign Out).
  • Lock your PC (by clicking your user account tile and then clicking Lock, or by pressing Windows Logo+L).

In other words, the Lock screen comes up relatively often when you use Windows 10, so you might as well get the most out of it by customizing it to suit how you work. The next three sections take you through these customizations.

  • arrow.jpg To learn more about locking your computer, see “Locking Your Computer,” p. 716.

Customizing the Lock Screen Background

If you use the Lock screen frequently, you might prefer to view a background image that’s different from the default image. To choose a different Lock screen background, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings to display the Settings app. (You can also press Windows Logo+I.)
  2. Click Personalization. Windows 10 displays the Personalization window.
  3. Click the Lock Screen tab. The Settings app displays the Lock Screen settings, as shown in Figure 4.17.

    Figure 4.17

    Figure 4.17 Use the Lock Screen settings to customize the background image displayed on the Lock screen.

  4. In the Background list, select Picture.

  5. Either select one of the supplied images or select Browse and then use the Open dialog box to choose an image from your Pictures folder.

Controlling the Apps Displayed on the Lock Screen

As you’ll learn in Chapter 31, “Protecting Windows from Viruses and Spyware,” locking your computer is a useful safety feature because it prevents unauthorized users from accessing your files and your network. When you lock your PC, Windows 10 displays the Lock screen, which includes the current date, an icon that shows the current network status, and an icon that shows the current power state of your computer (that is, either plugged in or on battery). By default, Windows 10 also includes Lock screen icons for apps that have had recent notifications. For example, the Mail app shows the number of unread messages, and the Calendar app shows upcoming appointments. The Lock screen also shows any new notifications that appear for these apps.

If you lock your computer frequently, you can make the Lock screen even more useful by adding icons for other apps that support notifications. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings to display the Settings app. (You can also press Windows Logo+I.)
  2. Click Personalization. Windows 10 displays the Personalization window.
  3. Click the Lock Screen tab. The Settings app displays the Lock Screen window.
  4. Under Choose an App to Show Detailed Status, click the icon (or click + if no app is currently selected).
  5. Click the app for which you want to display detailed status updates (such as the name, location, and time of an upcoming event in the Calendar app).
  6. Under Choose Apps to Show Quick Status, click +. Settings opens the Choose an App window.
  7. Click the app you want to add to the Lock screen. Windows 10 puts the new settings into effect, and the apps appear in the Lock screen the next time you use it.

Disabling the Lock Screen

The Lock screen is one of those innovations that seem like a good idea when you first start using it but then quickly loses its luster the more you come across it. In the case of the Lock screen, the problem is that it forces you to take the extra step of dismissing it before you can sign in:

  • Regular PC—Press any key or click the screen.
  • Tablet PC—Swipe up.

If you’ve had to perform this extra task one too many times, and if you don’t find the Lock screen all that useful anyway, you can disable it. This means you don’t see the Lock screen when you start or lock your PC. Instead, Windows 10 takes you directly to the sign-in screen.

Follow these steps to disable the Lock screen:

  1. In the taskbar’s Search box (or the Run dialog box; press Windows Logo+R), type gpedit.msc and then press Enter. The Local Group Policy Editor appears.
  2. Open the Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Control Panel, Personalization branch. The Personalization policies appear.
  3. Double-click the Do Not Display the Lock Screen policy. The policy details appear.
  4. Click Enabled.
  5. Click OK. Windows 10 puts the new policy into effect.
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