Set up a screen lock on your Galaxy phone

A lock icon displayed on a Note20

Since your phone holds all your important information, make sure to protect it and keep things private. A great way to increase the security on your phone is setting up a screen lock. You can use a few different screen lock types, such as fingerprint identification, face recognition, or a pattern password. This way, no one else will be able to access your device. 

Note: The Iris Scan and Intelligent Scan features are only available on S8, S8+, S9, S9+, Note8, and Note9.

Set up a basic phone lock screen

To ensure your phone's security, you can set up a phone lock to use a password, PIN, or Pattern. That way, even if someone gets their hands on your phone, they won't be able to access it.

From Settings, swipe to and tap Lock screen. Then, tap Screen lock type and select your desired type of lock. Follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.

Here are the basic Screen lock types:

A list of Screen lock types on a Galaxy phone
  • Swipe: Swipe the screen to unlock it.

  • Pattern: Create a pattern that you draw on the screen to unlock.

  • PIN: Select a PIN to unlock the screen.

  • Password: Create a password for unlocking the screen.

  • None: No screen lock.

Set up Biometric security phone lock

Note: The Iris Scan and Intelligent Scan features are only available on S8/S8+, S9/S9+, Note8, and Note9.

You can also set up Biometric security so you can unlock your phone with your face, your fingerprints, or even your eyes!

  1. From Settings, swipe to and tap Biometrics and security.

  2. Then, select your desired type of phone lock, such as fingerprints, and then follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.

    Biometrics and security screen


    Here is a basic rundown of the available biometric options:

    • Fingerprints: Use fingerprint recognition to unlock the screen.

    • Face recognition: Use facial recognition to unlock your phone.

    • Iris: Use iris recognition to unlock the screen. Only available on select phones.

    • Intelligent Scan: Use face and iris recognition together for better accuracy and security. Only available on select phones.

  3. Once you've set up a biometric security feature, make sure that you have it set on your Lock screen. For example, you need to have Fingerprint unlock activated if you want to unlock your phone with your fingerprints.

  4. From the Biometrics and security page, just tap your desired biometric feature, and make sure the appropriate switch (i.e. Fingerprint unlock, Face unlock) is turned on.

Secure phone lock settings

For extra protection, you can set up secure lock settings, such as an automatic screen lock when your phone is idle. However, these settings won't show up until after you've already made a Lock screen.

From Settings, tap Lock screen, and then tap Secure lock settings. Enter your current lock screen credentials. Then, turn your desired Secure lock settings on or off by tapping the switch.

  • Make pattern visible: Choose whether or not the pattern appears on the screen when you draw it. This option will only appear if you have a pattern set as your Lock screen.

A list of Secure lock settings on a Galaxy phone
  • Auto lock when screen turns off: Set a time limit for when your phone will lock, such as 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes.

  • Lock instantly with Side key: Set your phone to lock instantly when you press the Side key.

  • Auto factory reset: After 15 incorrect attempts to unlock your phone, it will be reset to factory default settings, and all data will be erased, including files and downloaded apps.

  • Lock network and security: Keep network and security-related functions locked while your phone is locked, making it easier to locate and protect if it’s lost or stolen.

  • Show Lockdown option: Display a Power button option that turns off Smart Lock, biometrics unlock, and notifications on the Lock screen.

Troubleshoot a locked phone

If you’re having trouble unlocking your phone using a biometric security option or a PIN, password, or pattern, you can try remotely unlocking your phone using the Find My Mobile feature or another method.

To use one of these methods, please review our guide for unlocking a phone or tablet.

Find My Mobile website with a Sign in option highlighted
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