How To Use & Configure The Glance Screen On Windows Phone Lumias

The Glance screen is a feature that has been available for a while on almost every Nokia Lumia and Microsoft Lumia smartphone. It was first introduced by Nokia to its Lumia lineup running Windows Phone 8, back in the summer of 2013. Essentially, Glance lets you set your Lumia to display various information on its screen, even when the smartphone is in standby. This is a pretty neat feature, as it allows you to quickly get a glimpse of essential information like the time or your notifications, without having to turn on your smartphone and without wasting any significant battery power, as the screen is not using any backlight to display this information. Read on to find how to enable Glance and how to set it on your Lumia smartphone:

Where Do You Find The Glance Screen On A Lumia Smartphone?

In order to enable and set the various options it offers, you'll first need to open the actual Glance Screen app. To do that, open the Settings screen on your Lumia smartphone. You'll find its entry in the Apps list, or you can use the All settings button from the Notifications screen.

Then scroll down to find the Glance Screen app and tap its name.

How To Enable And Use The Glance Screen On Your Lumia Smartphone

Now we have access to the Glance Screen app and to all its settings. To begin, enable it by tapping on the Glance screen field.

Notice that you have 4 options available:

  • off: disables Glance Screen.
  • peek: will keep Glance Screen turned on for about 30 seconds. If you choose this mode, your smartphone will display things on your screen only when it detects movement with its proximity sensor. For example, when you hover your hand over the smartphone or when you take your smartphone out of your pocket or purse.
  • interval: Glance Screen will be kept on for about 15 minutes after you lock your Lumia smartphone.
  • always on: your smartphone will always show the Glance Screen, whenever it is in standby mode.

NOTE: Obviously, the most power consuming option is to select the "always on" setting. Our recommendation is to set Glance Screen to "peek", as it provides both the information you need in a easy and elegant manner and uses the least battery power.

Once you've enabled Glance Screen on your Lumia smartphone, you can select the type of content it will display.

At the time we wrote this article, Glance Screen was able to display these types of information:

  • Date: shows the current time and date.
  • Detailed status notification: shows detailed status from an app of your choosing.
  • Quick status notification: displays quick statuses for the apps you selected.
  • Background app: displays information from apps that can work with Glance Screen, like the MSN Weather.

As you can see from the screenshot above, all the information displayed by Glance Screen can be easily enabled or disabled with a tap on the appropriate switch.

Note that the notifications and Background app content are all information gathered by Glance Screen from your Lock Screen settings. You can find more information on how to customize the lock screen content for your Lumia smartphone here: How to Customize the Lock Screen on Your Windows Phone 8 Smartphone.

Now that you have set every major aspect of the Glance Screen, lock your Lumia smartphone. Your screen should look similar to this:

Getting back to the Glance Screen settings, we have one more section to go through, called Exceptions. It offers two options: "Always show glance screen when charging" and "Night mode".

The first option - "Always show glance screen when charging" - is self explanatory: if you connect your smartphone to a charger, you can set Glance Screen to be always on. However, keep in mind that you get this exception only if you didn't already set Glance Screen to be "always on".

The second exception is "Night mode" and it lets you configure how the Glance Screen will work during night hours. Tap it and you can select if the information displayed by Glance Screen will be dimmed at night and whether it will use the usual gray whitish color or a red, green or blue color. The final option here is to "hide glance screen", which obviously will disable Glance Screen at night.

Finally, after setting the Night mode, you can select the start and end time, during which this mode will be activated.

This is what you might get from Glance Screen during night hours:


The Glance Screen is a feature that is loved by many Lumia users. It is a convenient and elegant way of getting quick information that matters to you, without having to unlock your Lumia smartphone. Do you use the Glance Screen? Share your feedback about this feature using the comments form below.