One of the most noticeable changes in the latest Windows 10 update involved the lock screen. Now, instead of going to a boring “login” page when you need to type in your password, you’ll see your background image the whole time.
But that’s not the only change. Microsoft also introduced Cortana to the lock screen along with a number of other customization options – all accessible from normal Windows settings menus without installing anything new.
For example, you can now view information from certain apps on the lock screen. You can also chat with Cortana without logging in. If you haven’t already done so, you can also customize your login with your favorite image – or a stock image from Microsoft.
How do you access any of these customization options? Here’s a quick step by step guide:
Start Menu > Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen
Tap the Start menu and type in Lock Screen Settings and press Enter. Here’s the menu you’ll see:
As you can see, you can choose different types of background for your lock screen, including a “Windows spotlight” option, a picture from your computer or cloud account, or a slideshow of different pictures.
The spotlight option shows different images from Windows periodically. It also lets you vote on which images you like more. Windows will gradually learn which images you like or dislike and will figure out your preferences.
Picture lets you choose a picture from your computer, or from a pre-chosen selection of Microsoft pictures.
Meanwhile, Slideshow lets you choose multiple images that play in sequential order on your lock screen.
Next, you can customize tips and other information about Windows and Cortana on your lock screen. This option is enabled by default after you’ve installed the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It’s also only available if you’ve chosen to set your background image as a picture.
Finally, you can choose to display app-specific details on your lock screen, including from popular apps like Weather, Phone, Messaging, Calendar, Mail, and Xbox.
The next time your lock screen pops up, you’ll be able to see information from whatever apps you selected.
You can also choose whether you want to use different images for your lock screen and sign-in screen.
If you use Cortana and want to chat with her, then you can choose the option to use Cortana from the lock screen even without unlocking the device. This means you can say “Hey Cortana” and ask a question without ever needing to unlock the device.
Ultimately, the Windows 10 login screen has never looked better. Follow the customization options above to make it look its best.