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Screen lock

(also screen lock feature, lock screen)

Screen lock definition

Screen lock serves as a protective measure, commonly integrated within both operating systems and applications, necessitating users to confirm their identity before accessing a device or application. This functionality deters unauthorized access by mandating that a user provide a particular type of validation, such as a password, pin, pattern, or even biometric identifiers like a fingerprint or facial scan.

See also: two-factor authentication

Screen lock examples

  • Smartphones: Most smartphones come equipped with a screen lock feature, which requires a user to unlock their phone screen before accessing the device.
  • Computers: Operating systems like Windows, MacOS, and Linux also incorporate screen lock features to protect the user's data.

Pros and cons of screen locks


  • Security: Screen locks help protect a user's personal and sensitive data from unauthorized access.
  • Customizability: Users can typically choose from various types of screen locks, such as passwords, patterns, pins, or biometrics.


  • Inconvenience: Constantly having to input information can be a hassle for some users.
  • Forgotten credentials: Users may forget their screen lock credentials, which can cause issues and require a recovery process.

Using screen locks

  • It's important to use unique and complex credentials for a screen lock to ensure it provides adequate protection.
  • If a device or application offers it, consider using biometric screen locks because they provide a high level of security and convenience.