How to Change the Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

Posted on July 22, 2014 by Jeff James in Windows 8 with

Regardless of how much you use your Windows 8.1 computing device — whether it’s a tablet, laptop, or desktop — you’ll likely see a lot of the Windows 8.1 lock screen. It’s there when you log in, and it’s likely there when you’re waking the device up from sleep mode. Since we see the lock screen often, why not swap out the default lock screen image and put something a bit more personalized there? So let’s get started: Follow the steps below to change the Windows 8.1 lock screen image.

Note: The instructions listed here should be applicable to all versions of Windows 8.1, including the original Windows 8.1 and the more current Windows 8.1 Update.

Changing the Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

1. Login to Windows 8.1 and navigate to the Start screen.

2. The following outlines three quick ways to find your Windows 8.1 lock screen settings:

  • If you’re using touch hardware, swipe to the left from the right side of the screen, select search, and search for “lock screen.”
  • If you’re using a keyboard and mouse on non-touch hardware, go to the Windows 8 start screen and type “lock screen.”
  • You can also click on the search icon in the upper right corner of the screen and type in “lock screen” there as well.

Finding the Windows 8.1 lock screen settings

Finding the Windows 8.1 lock screen settings. (Image: Jeff James)

3. In the list of search results that appear on the right side of the screen, select on Lock screen settings.

4. Now you’ll be in the PC and devices screen. The menu option Lock screen will be highlighted by default on the left side of the screen, and you’ll see the currently selected lock screen image on the right side of the screen. Some available images are listed below the currently selected image, but you can select browse to look for additional images.

How to Change the Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

The Windows 8.1 PC and devices screen: Lock screen settings. (Image: Jeff James)

5. If you want to enable or disable an image slideshow that appears on your lock screen, there’s also an on/off slider for the functionality below the lock screen preview.

Windows 8.1 lock screen: slide show settings

Windows 8.1 lock screen: slide show settings. (Image: Jeff James)

Windows 8.1 Lock Screen Apps

One noteworthy feature of Windows 8/8.1 is the ability to choose special lock screen apps that run in the background and can show information on your lock screen, even when it is locked. I personally use this feature to select apps that display the current weather, date/time, my next calendar appointments, latest Skype messages, and Twitter account tweets.

1. To add a new app to your lock screen, click the plus sign to open the Choose an app menu.

Adding an app to the Windows 8.1 lock screen

Adding an app to the Windows 8.1 lock screen. (Image: Jeff James)

2. From the Choose an app menu select the app you want to add to your lock screen.

Windows 8.1 Lock Screen Camera

Another lock screen option that might be available depending on your hardware configuration is a camera option. I use an original Microsoft Surface Pro tablet on a daily basis, and the camera functionality can be inadvertently activated by swiping down on the screen. I don’t like having to mess with turning this off after an accidental screen swipe, so let’s disable it.

1. In the Camera section, move the slider from On to Off.

Turning off the Windows 8.1 lock screen camera functionality

Turning off the Windows 8.1 lock screen camera functionality. (Image: Jeff James)

Saving Changes to the Windows 8.1 Lock Screen

Your changes will be saved automatically when you exit.


So are there other Windows 8 tutorials you’d like to see us post on the Petri IT Knowledgebase? Please send me an email with your thoughts on what you’d like to see, or you can also contact me on Twitter or Google+. You can also catch up on my posts in the Petri IT Knowledgebase forums.

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