customize windows 10 lock screen

Are you irritated at that boring first screen that stares at you when you turn on or wake your Windows 10 packaged PC? The lock screen, as it is called might look unnecessary but with a few simple tweaks surprisingly could become one of the many visually appealing and functional screens of your pc.

Let’s take a quick peek into a few ways you can customize or personalize your lock screen:

  • Use your own background
  • Add certain apps to display their status
  • Add Cortana to the lock screen
  • Remove Ads displayed by default
  • Change your sign-in screen background
  • Turn on/off Notification

1. Use Your Own Background

By default, Windows display a new image every day on your lock screen. When customizing the lock screen background, you have three options to pick from: Windows Spotlight, Picture, and Slideshow. The Windows Spotlight is the default option for the Windows and it displays different high-resolution pictures from the internet from time to time.

The Spotlight option allows you to wake up to a new photo occasionally but there is a catch; since it works with the internet, you won't be able to disable ads from your lock screen. While the picture option allows you to choose one of the available default photos or browse through your picture folders for your favorite photo as your background.

Also, the Slideshow option lets you choose a folder that contains a group of photos to cycle through as your background.

To tweak your background, go to Start Menu > Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen > Background.

windows lockscreen background setting

Start Menu > Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen > Background > Windows Spotlight/Slideshow

lockscreen background slideshow
Lockscreen background - slideshow and spotlight

2. Add Certain Apps to Display Their Status

Located right below the background option, there lies this option that helps you improve the functionality of the lock screen. You can have your lock screen display status report of up to eight applications; one to display the detailed report and the others display fewer details. For example, a quick report of a calendar shows the appointments you have that day while a detailed report shows information about each of these appointments.

lockscreen apps
Lock screen apps

Apps available for this option include calendar, messaging platforms, alarms and clock, games and a few others. They might also vary depending on the apps installed on your device.

choose lockscreen apps
Choose lock screen app
lock screen with app
Lock screen with app-enabled

3. Add Cortana to the Lock Screen

This is also another interesting function the lock screen can be customized to perform. Rather than grasping the boring look of your lock screen each time you come across it, you can add Cortana to the screen. This allows her to perform some basic tasks like setting an alarm, looking up information on appointments while the device remains locked.

To get Cortana working on your lock screen, your background option must be set to either the ‘picture’ or ‘slideshow’. To add Cortana, go to Start Menu > Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen > Cortana Lock Screen Settings and toggle on Use Cortona when my device is locked. Also, select the 'Let Cortana access my … when my device is locked'.

Use cortana
Use cortana

4. Remove Ads displayed by Default

Windows 10 lock screens display ads by default; ads for apps or movies available for download from the store. As we all know ads can be annoying or helpful at times but these ads can only be disabled if you select the ‘Picture’ or ‘Slideshow’ background option. To disable, toggle off  'Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen' option on the lock screen page.

lockscreen ads
Remove lock screen ads

5. Change your sign-in screen background

To this tweak, there are basically two options to choose from: retain your lock screen background photo or choose a different solid color.

Either way, you get to ‘do your thing’. To use a solid color toggle off  'Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen' in Lock screen page, then go to Colors to select a preferred color or mark the ‘Automatically pick an accent color from my background’ box to allow Windows pick a fitting color to your background photo.

But would you like to retain your lock screen background; toggle on Show lock screen background picture on the sign-in screen.

change sign in background
Change the sign in background

6. Turn on/off Notifications

Finally, you can turn on or off lock screen notification depending on how much privacy you’ll want. But remember that your notification would be visible to all persons with visual access to your screen when this option is turned on.
To turn on or off notifications, go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Show notifications on lock screen, and then toggle it off.

toggle notification
Turn on/off Notifications


With these few ways, you can make your Windows 10 lock screen more engaging and interesting to use. Do well to visit us again to learn more about Windows 10.