How to change the lock screen on your Windows computer by adding custom backgrounds and at-a-glance apps

By Dave Johnson

The lock screen on your Windows computer makes a first impression on you every day, so a little personalization can go a long way. Windows allows you to control the lock screen's background image as well as what kind of supplemental information greets you when you turn your PC on. 

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The lock screen can be customized to suit your taste.
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to change the lock screen on Windows

1. Click the Start button and then click "Settings."

2. Click "Personalization" and then in the navigation pane on the left, click "Lock screen."

3. Now you can set your lock screen settings. To choose the background image, click the dropdown menu under "Background." You can choose "Windows spotlight," "Picture," or "Slideshow." 

  • If you choose "Windows spotlight," Windows selects the image on the lock screen automatically from its own library of images. Each day when you open the lock screen, you can indicate whether you like that image or not, which helps Windows fine-tune its selection. 

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The lock screen settings page lets you configure the background image as well as the app information it displays.
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

  • If you choose "Picture" or "Slideshow," you can select images from your own photo collection. 

4. Windows also lets you add information to the lock screen for quick "at a glance" reference. You can choose from apps like a calendar, mail, weather, and more. 

  • You can select the apps you want to see information from on the lock screen, but remember that you may need to configure the selected apps before they display anything. For example, if you choose the Calendar, open the Calendar app in Windows and make sure you have added an account to the app so it has scheduling information to display. 

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You have a limited selection of apps to choose from for customizing the screen.
Dave Johnson/Business Insider

5. There's no save button – any changes you make take effect immediately. You can check the lock screen at any time without closing the lock screen Settings window. When you have finished setting up the lock screen, close the Settings window.

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