How to customize the look of the Lock Screen in Windows

The first thing you'll see when you try to use your Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 device is the Lock Screen. When Windows boots, it loads and then it shows you the Lock Screen ; when it goes to sleep, it wakes up and displays the Lock Screen ; leave your computer unused for a while, and when you come back, it'll be waiting for you on the Lock Screen. Since you'll see this screen a lot, having a boring stock wallpaper on it is no fun at all so, in this article, we'll show you how to change the wallpaper of your Lock Screen and how to choose what apps get to display updates on it.

NOTE: If you are using Windows 10, skip to the second page of this tutorial. The first page is for Windows 8.1 users.

How to change the Lock Screen wallpaper in Windows 8.1

Before you can start customizing, you'll need to open PC Settings. There are a number of ways you can do that. Check out this article for more information: Introducing Windows 8.1: Six Ways To Access PC Settings.

On the PC Settings screen, click or tap PC and devices.

Now you are in the Lock Screen settings screen.

Your current Lock Screen wallpaper will be shown at the top of the screen, while a few stock wallpaper options and your last used wallpaper will be shown as small tiles below. Click or tap one of the small tiles to select a wallpaper, or press Browse to get to pick one out of your entire photo collection.

Browse through your image collection to find a wallpaper you like, and select the desired wallpaper. Next, click or tap the Choose Image button.

Now, in the Lock screen preview section you'll see the new picture you selected.

If you pay attention, you'll see that Windows 8.1 has the option through which you can use a slideshow of your images on the Lock Screen. Below the Browse button, you'll see a switch that enables this option. If you want your Lock Screen to play a slideshow, turn it On.

This action reveals a menu through which you can customize your slideshow. Here, you can select the folders that contain the pictures you want to add to the slideshow, you can select to turn off the screen after a while and also you can use photos from your OneDrive. Set each option in the way that works best for you and see what you get .

How to select which apps display updates on your Lock Screen in Windows 8.1

While your Lock Screen will be greatly improved by your new wallpaper, it can be a whole lot more useful if you add some Windows 8.1 app notifications. Adding apps to your Lock Screen gives you access to bits of information at a glance, without even unlocking your device. For example, the Mail app will show you if you have any new emails and the Calendar app will let you know if you have any upcoming events scheduled in your agenda.

In order to select apps, follow the steps described above, but in the Lock Screen window scroll down below the wallpaper section until you see a section called Lock screen apps.

Click or tap a tile on the first line of the Lock screen apps section to open a list of apps that are capable of leaving notifications on your Lock screen. Unless you've been downloading apps from the Windows Store , you'll likely only see the four default apps: Calendar , Mail , Alarms and Weather. Click or tap an app to select it and add it to your Lock Screen.

While the previously selected apps show only a small amount of data, you can also select a single app for which to display a detailed status. Click or tap the tile on the second row, labeled Choose an app to display detailed status.

Now that you've configured what apps you want to see on your Lock Screen , you'll need to make a quick check of your Notifications settings to ensure that everything will work properly.

On the PC Settings screen, click or tap Search and apps.

Next, in the left side menu choose Notifications.

On the right side panel you'll see a section called “ Show app notification on the lock screen”. Make sure that the corresponding switch is turned On.

Now lock your device to see your newly customized Windows 8.1 Lock Screen.

On the next page of this guide you will learn how to customize the Lock Screen in Windows 10.