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How to change the LG G4's lock screen app shortcuts

Like many Android phones, the LG G4 lets you pin favorite applications to your lock screen for easy access — just drag outwards from these icons to launch right into one of five frequently-used apps. Out of the box you'll find some of LG's own apps occupying this hot seat, so what if you want to change them?

It's pretty simple, but there are a couple of caveats attached.

Changing lock screen shortcuts the normal way

Provided you have no lock screen security set (e.g. lock screen PIN or pattern), changing your lock screen shortcuts is pretty easy.

  • Under the default tabbed Settings view, go to Display > Home & Lock > Lock Screen ...
  • ... Or in the list view, go to Device > Lock Screen

In the next menu, head to Settings > Shortcuts, and tap an icon to change it to a different app, or disable it entirely. You can also drag and drop icons to re-order them. When you're done, tap "Save" — simple.

Note: If you have any kind of lock screen security enabled, you won't be able to use lock screen shortcuts. In fact, the "Shortcuts" menu item under the Lock Screen menu won't even show if your lock screen security is set to anything besides "Swipe."

That's why things get a bit complicated if you're using Android's built-in Smart Lock feature to unlock automatically.

Lock screen apps

Changing lock screen shortcuts with Smart Lock enabled

Smart Lock can save you time by unlocking automatically in the presence of a trusted Bluetooth device, or location, or any number of other criteria. But the G4's lock screen shortcut options can get a bit confused when Smart Lock is in use.

If your G4 is unlocked using Smart Lock, you'll still see lock screen shortcuts as normal. However because you've got a PIN or pattern lock set as well, the "Shortcuts" menu item is hidden. A quick work-around for this problem involves temporarily disabling your PIN or pattern, changing your shortcuts, then re-enabling it.

  1. In the "Lock Screen" settings menu, set your screen lock type to "Swipe." (You'll need to enter your PIN or pattern again to confirm this.)
  2. Go back to the Lock Screen menu and enter the "Shortcuts" menu item that will have just appeared.
  3. Change your lock screen shortcuts in the menu as described above, and save them.
  4. Go back to the "Select screen lock" menu and set up your PIN or pattern once again. You'll be asked to confirm your notification privacy settings as well.

For Smart Lock users, it's a somewhat fiddly way to go about changing one simple setting — that said, it is unlikely you'll be changing your lock screen shortcuts all that often.

Stay tuned for more LG G4 help, tips and tricks as the device's launch date approaches.

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

16 Comments
  • Great now when is this phone coming out?! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can pre order this phone tomorrow, can't wait Posted via Android Central App
  • Hoping to atleast be able to win the test drive sweepstakes to check it out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Get in line lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • I love the term Smart Lock....... It tells you right in the name, STUPID PEOPLE GO AWAY. **Definition of STUPID PEOPLE....
    People who want others to build and operate new devices to make their lives easier. (lazy)
    People that are not willing to learn new things, ideas, or ways of thinking. Galaxy Note 4 {Sprint Lollipop}
    Galaxy S III {FreedomPop 4.3}
    LG G2 {Sprint 4.4.2}
  • My definition of a stupid person: Someone who is still on Sprint...
  • Maybe sprint is all he has in his area? Posted on my Moto X that is prob being charged as we speak...
  • Or that it rivals anything in the area for less money Posted via the Android Central App
  • My definition of a stupid person- DukeBoxer. Posted via the Android Central App
  • @DukeBoxer
    You probably have had bad service with Sprint.
    Are you smart enough to acknowledge that your service is different from mine? You may not be able to afford the high end devices that I have. Or you might not live in a city where all the carriers, including MVNO's, have LTE. My city does.... It maybe it is just your unwillingness to have an open mind. (Don't be a "STUPID PEOPLE"). Rooted LG G2 Rooted GSIII
    Stock Galaxy Note 4
    (The Sprint Lover)
  • This was driving me nuts on my G3, and couldn't find the answer to this anywhere, so I'm really glad to see this! This is clearly a bug - if you have smart lock enabled, the shortcut menu should still be visible. LG, this needs fixing :-)
  • Great, last week I bought this phone, it is really simple
  • Thank you IMMENSELY, Alex; I must have wasted a half-hour trying to figure out how to do this. Never would have guessed that Smart Lock would have hidden the Shortcuts menu.
  • how can we reset the galaxy samsung s5. she does not have a gmail account. don't remember secondary password. her swipe does not recognize her thumb print. now she is locked out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I still can't change my shortcuts as I can't select swipe (phone is encrypted). Any other work around as I want to swap the lock screen shortcuts. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Brilliant, useful information! This is exactly what I needed to know while still setting up my new LG Tribute 5 and it worked just as described! Thanks SO much!