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How to Lock Apps on Android in 4 Easy Steps 

Lock Apps on Android

How to Lock Apps on Android in 4 Easy Steps 

Does this sound familiar? You pass your phone over to someone, and before you know it, they’re scrolling through your apps and files. If you have been in such a situation, you might find an app lock to be a necessity rather than a luxury. High chances are you have a lock screen password for your device. While this is essential to keep your phone or tablet safe, you may still need a lock on certain apps, especially those with sensitive information. This can also help you minimize your addiction to an app that you have opened multiple times in the last fifteen minutes. 

Fortunately, adding this extra protection to the apps on your device is easy when you have the proper steps. Dive in as we discuss several methods that you can use to lock apps on your Android device. 

Method 1: Using the Built-in Feature

Some Android devices like Oppo Reno 7 or Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G have a built-in feature for smart app lock. Using this feature, you can limit access to an app using a password, pin, pattern, or fingerprint. 

The precise steps for activating this feature may differ for different brands and Android versions. However, the general steps for locking an app on your Android using the built-in feature are as follows. 

Step 1: Go to your phone’s settings 

Scroll through the apps on your phone and look for settings. You can also access settings at the notification panel by clicking the gear-like icon in the notification panel. 

Find the gear-like icon to access the Settings.
Find the gear-like icon to access the Settings.

Step 2: Go to Apps 

Look through the settings options until you get the Apps option. You can also look for this in the search settings bar. Tap that to open. 

Select the Apps option.
Select the Apps option.

Step 3: Locate the app lock option

Under Apps, click ‘App Lock’, which is the last option in the apps list.

You will see the App Lock option on the list.
You will see the App Lock option on the list.

Step 4: Set a password and Recovery information 

Enter a password or pattern that will be used to access the locked apps. Set a security question or give a recovery email that will be used in case you forgot the password. Hit ‘Done’ at the top right after entering the recovery information to proceed. 

Set a password and recovery information. When you finished adding the information, click the Done button.
When you finished adding the information, click the Done button.

Step 5: Lock the app 

Select the app you wish to protect with a lock by turning on the button next to the app name. Having done that, you will have password-protected your apps, and one will need to enter the password to access them. If you need to change or remove the password, go to settings, then privacy password. Enter your current password, and select either turn off the password or change the password. 

Select the apps that you want to be protected.
Select the apps that you want to be protected.

Method 2: Using Screen Pinning

Screen pinning is a method that you can use to lock an app in open view. When someone tries to close a pinned app, the device will go to the lock screen and ask for the password. This method is effective when giving your phone to someone, and you need to limit access to any other app. For instance, you want to give your kid your phone to play a game without accessing any other app. 

Here are the steps used to lock apps using screen pinning. 

Step 1: Go to security settings on your phone 

Tap the setting icon to open the device settings, and scroll through them until you reach security. This can also be biometrics and security, password and security, or lock screen and security, based on your phone model. 

Select the Passwords and Security option.
Select the Passwords and Security option.

Step 2: Go to screen pinning 

Under security, scroll down to ‘Screen pinning’ under the ‘Advanced’ section. Tap this to open more options. 

Go to screen pinning.
You will find the Screen pinning option under the Advanced Section.

Step 3: Turn on Screen pinning 

Toggle on the button to turn on screen pinning. Under that, turn on the button next to ‘Ask for the pin before unpinning.’ 

Toggle the button to turn on Screen Pinning.
Toggle the button to turn on Screen Pinning.

Step 4: Pin the screen 

Click the overview button next to your home button to open recent apps. Long press on the app that you wish to pin, then select pin or you can tap the icon above the app, then select pin this app. You get this message after the app is pinned.

With that app pinned, one cannot exit it. Even if you unpin the screen, the phone locks and you will need to use the unlock screen pattern or password to unlock it. 

If the app is pinned, one cannot exit it.
If the app is pinned, one cannot exit it.

Method 3: Using 3rd-Party Apps

Some third-party apps are designed to lock Android apps. Installing third-party apps shouldn’t be your first choice, but it can help if other methods have failed. Some third-party app developers can share or sell your information with telemarketers. 

Either way, there are some trustworthy apps like Norton App Lock and Smart AppLock, among others. Here are the steps for using Smart App Lock.

Step 1: Download the app

Open the Google Play Store app and search ‘Smart AppLock.’ Hit install to have the app on your phone. 

Find the correct app and install it on your mobile.
Find the correct app and install it on your mobile.

Step 2: Activate the app 

Open the app and select Start to continue the rest of the options. Click enable on the next screen to continue. 

In the app, click Start and then Enable.
In the app, click Start and then Enable.

Step 3: Lock the intended app(s)

Select the apps that you intend to lock by tapping them. The blue tick next to the app icon shows that the app has been selected. Click enable at the bottom after you have selected all the apps to lock. 

Select the apps to lock.
Select the apps to lock.

Step 4: Set the unlock pattern 

Set the pattern you wish to use to unlock this app. Ensure it differs from the one used to unlock the phone or tablet. You may need to enter the pattern twice for confirmation. Click ‘Done’ after entering the pattern to continue. 

Set the unlock pattern to unlock the app.
Set the unlock pattern to unlock the app.

Step 5: Enable Usage access to the app 

The app prompts you to permit usage access and opens this in settings. Turn on the button next to ‘Permit usage access.’ This allows Smart AppLock to track other apps, your carrier, and other settings in the phone to enable proper functioning. 

Find the Usage Access option.
Find the Usage Access option.

Step 6: Set a security question

Go back to the app and click “Set” above the apps you intend to lock to allow you to set a security question. It helps you open the app in case you forget the pattern. This step is optional; the app will still work without the security question. 

With this, you will have locked the apps you selected, and you can only open them using the pattern you entered. To unlock an app, open the locking app, tap the icon you wish to unlock, then select ‘Don’t lock this app.’ 

It is important to set a security question.
It is important to set a security question.

Here is a step-by-step video for further reference:

Method 4: Using a Launcher

The phone’s launcher is the software that controls user interface activities. It controls the keyboard, lock screen, and home screen, among other activities. Some launchers, such as Apex Launcher, have the locking app feature. Install such a launcher from Google Play Store and enjoy the benefits of having the launcher without having to install another app-locking application. 

Conclusion 

There are many reasons to lock your apps, from keeping sensitive information private to reducing the usage of apps. Similarly, as seen above, there are many ways to protect these apps that could lead you into a mess if they end up in the wrong hands. If you still feel insecure even with the apps locked, consider hiding the app for extra security. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the most necessary apps to lock on my phone?

It is necessary to lock apps that contain sensitive information. These include social media apps, password-generating or storage apps, and banking apps.

Do I have to lock my apps if I have an overall phone lock?

It is crucial to lock your apps even if you have a phone lock. The app lock adds extra protection, especially if there are people who know how to unlock your phone. Locking apps can also improve your productivity by keeping you off apps on which you spend too much unproductive time. Additionally, ensure that the password for unlocking apps is unique from the one used for unlocking the phone. 

What can I do if I forget the password to an app?

If you forget the password to your phone, answer the security question you set when setting up the password. You can also get a  another password through an email if you had provided one when setting up the password. If you use a third-party app to lock apps, you can unlock it by uninstalling the app locking app. 

Which is the best way to lock apps?

The best way to lock apps is by using the in-built app lock feature. If this doesn’t work on your Android, use reliable third-party apps. 

What does it mean to hide apps on Android?

The best way to lock apps is by using the in-built app lock feature. If this doesn’t work on your Android, use reliable third-party apps. 

What does it mean to hide apps on Android?

Hiding apps on Android means removing the app from the apps list, although it is still installed on the phone. It is a method used to boost app security. This option is available on some Android devices, but you may have to download third-party apps on others.

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