How to Customize the Lock Screen on Your Windows Phone 8 Smartphone

Personally, I am very fond of the Windows Phone 8 lock screen. It's beautiful as well as informative and other platforms don't offer something quite like this. There are lots of configuration options available and you can truly make it very personal. In this tutorial I will cover all the available configuration options and share what you can do with them, so that you can make your phone's lock screen, your own.

Where to Find the Lock Screen Settings in Windows Phone 8

All the settings related to the lock screen are found in one configuration window. On your Windows Phone 8 device, go to Settings and then tap lock screen.

The Lock screen window looks similar to the screenshot below.

Let's take each of the available settings one by one.

How to Change the Background of the Lock Screen

The first thing you can set is the background for the lock screen. One of the cool things about Windows Phone 8 is that you can set as a background all kinds of things, not only photos.

Tap the Background list and the Choose Background window is shown, displaying the options available.

As you can see, you can set a photo as the background as well as apps that are compatible with this feature of Windows Phone 8. For example, I love using the Bing or the Weather Flow apps as the background for my phone's lock screen.

The Bing app gives you a daily wallpaper that looks great. I love the variety of the backgrounds and their quality. Weather Flow is able to use the Bing daily wallpaper and add to it a beautiful summary with today's weather forecast.

You can also set other apps to change your lock screen background, from social networking apps like Facebook or LinkedIn to music apps like Shazam.

Some apps, like Weather Flow may add a button named open app, beneath the Background drop-down list.

If you tap on it, it takes you to the app you just set as the background for the lock screen so that you can customize in detail how it changes the background.

How to Show Artist Information While Playing Music

Next, there is a switch which says: "Show artist when playing music".

When turned on, it does what it says: it shows artist information and art for the songs that are playing on your smartphone.

Below you can see the lock screen with this setting enabled, while I was listening to a song from the german band Rammstein.

How to Set the Notifications Shown on the Lock Screen

In the notifications section you can set what kind of notifications are shown on the Windows Phone lock screen.

First, you can choose the app for which Windows Phone 8 will display detailed status information. Tap the appropriate drop-down list and pick your app.

Then, there are five small slots for apps you can add that display quick status information. The slots that are configured have an icon displayed. Those that are not, display a + sign.

Tap the slots you want to configure and you are asked to choose an app. Select the app you want. Repeat the procedure until you have added all the apps you want in the order you want them displayed.

One thing to remember is that, in the list of apps, you will also find the email accounts you added on your phone, using the name you gave them. Basically you can add up to five email accounts if you want to.

How to Set When the Screen Times Out in Windows Phone 8

Next, you can set after how much time the screen times out. This setting is very important because being aggressive with the time you set can save you a bit of battery. Afterall, the screen is the part of your smartphone consuming the most energy.

Tap the appropriate drop-down list and select the time you desire.

I recommend using a timeout of 30 seconds or 1 minute, for added security and energy savings. Why security? Well... read the following section.

How to Set a Lock Screen Password for Added Security

Sure, you have the PIN that provides some security to your smartphone. But you can also add a different lock screen password. By default, the Password switch is set to Off.

Switch it to On and you will be asked to create a password for your lock screen. Type it twice, in the appropriate fields and tap done.

Now, each time you open the lock screen and you want to access your smartphone, you need to type the password first. You will welcome this security feature when someones tries to access what's on your phone without your permission.

Experiment! Make Your Lock Screen Beautiful & Informative

Don't hesitate to experiment with all these settings until you find the right mix. Below you can see how my lock screen looked when I wrote this article.

As you can see, it is beautiful and it shows the data that's interesting to me alone. Your lock screen will look different and customized to show what's interesting to you.