How do I enable voice commands on my Lock screen?

Voice commands allow users to control their devices hands-free using just their voice. On the lock screen specifically, voice assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Bixby, and Alexa can be enabled to provide quick access to certain features and information [1]. Without having to unlock the device, users can ask questions, set reminders, place calls, play music, and more.

Major voice assistants that can provide lock screen access include [2]:

  • Google Assistant (Android devices)
  • Siri (Apple iOS devices)
  • Alexa (Amazon devices, some Android)
  • Bixby (Samsung devices)

Benefits of using voice commands on the lock screen include convenience, hands-free access, time savings, and accessibility for visually impaired users or situations where the user cannot directly engage with the device.

Pre-requisites for Enabling Voice Commands

Before you can start using voice commands on your lock screen, there are a few prerequisites that need to be in place:

The first requirement is that your device needs to support voice assistants. Most modern smartphones like iPhones and Android devices have built-in support for voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. Older devices may not have the required hardware and software capabilities.

You’ll also need to have the voice assistant app installed and set up on your device. On an iPhone, Siri comes pre-installed. On Android devices, you’ll need to install the Google app and set up Google Assistant by training your voice model.

Finally, you need to grant microphone access permissions to the voice assistant app. This allows the app to listen to your voice commands when the phone is locked. On iPhone, enable Siri access from lock screen in Settings. For Android, grant permissions in Google Assistant settings. (1)

Once these prerequisites are met, you’ll be able to start using voice commands from your lock screen to get quick access to information and perform tasks through your voice assistant.

Enabling Lock Screen Access

The setting for granting lock screen access differs across voice assistants. Here are the steps to enable lock screen access for the major voice assistants:

Google Assistant

To enable Google Assistant on the lock screen on Android:

  1. Open the Google app and tap “More” then “Settings”.
  2. Tap “Google Assistant”.
  3. Tap “Assistant” then “Assistant devices”.
  4. Select your phone.
  5. Toggle “Lock screen personal results” to on.

Google Assistant lock screen settings

This will allow Google Assistant access to your calendar, reminders, and other personalized information on the lock screen. You can customize which personal results are shown.


To enable Siri on the lock screen on iOS:

  1. Go to Settings > Siri & Search.
  2. Toggle “Allow Siri When Locked” to on.

Siri lock screen settings

This allows full access to Siri without unlocking your device first. You can disable access to certain Siri functions like messaging if desired.


To enable Alexa on the lock screen on Android:

  1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
  2. Tap “More” then “Settings”.
  3. Tap “Lock Screen”.
  4. Toggle “Alexa on Lock Screen” to on.

Alexa lock screen settings

This allows Alexa to respond with voice and provide visual cards while your phone is locked. You can customize available features and information.

Using Voice Commands on Lock Screen

You can use a variety of voice commands directly from your lock screen without having to unlock your phone first. Here are some examples of common voice commands you can use:

Calling someone:

“Hey Google, call Mom”

“Hey Google, call John Smith mobile”

Setting alarms and timers:

“Hey Google, set an alarm for 7am tomorrow”

“Hey Google, set a timer for 10 minutes”

Asking questions:

“Hey Google, what’s the weather today?”

“Hey Google, how far away is the nearest gas station?”

Controlling smart home devices:

“Hey Google, turn on the living room lights”

“Hey Google, raise the temperature by 3 degrees”

You can say “Hey Google” followed by a wide variety of commands to accomplish tasks without having to unlock your phone first. Just enable voice match in your Google Assistant settings for a personalized experience.

Accessing Personal Information on Lock Screen

When using voice assistants like Google Assistant on your device’s lock screen, there is the potential for sensitive personal information to be accessed even when the device is locked. However, there are privacy settings available to limit how much personal information can be accessed this way.

For Google Assistant, you can adjust the privacy settings by saying “Hey Google, open Assistant settings” and going to the “Lock screen” tab. There is a setting called “Personal results” that can be turned on or off. With Personal results off, Google Assistant will not provide personalized information or access your private data when using voice commands from the lock screen.[1]

Similarly, for Siri on iOS devices there is a setting under Siri & Search called “Allow Siri When Locked” that controls personal information access from the lock screen. Turning this off prevents Siri from accessing contacts, messages, email, and other private data when the device is locked.[2]

For other voice assistants like Alexa and Bixby, check their privacy settings to see if there are options to limit personal results on the lock screen. Adjusting these settings can help prevent unwanted information access in public situations while still allowing basic voice commands.

Overall, being aware of these settings and customizing them for your comfort level is important to maintain privacy with voice assistants. Only enable personal results on the lock screen if you truly require hands-free access to your private data in locked situations.

Troubleshooting Issues

Here are some common troubleshooting tips if you are having issues using voice commands on your lock screen:

If Google Assistant is not detecting your voice or not responding to commands, first check that you have enabled access on the lock screen under your Assistant settings [1]. Make sure that voice match is enabled and that “Hey Google” detection is turned on.

You may need to retrain the voice model so Assistant recognizes your voice – you can do this under Voice Match settings. Say “Hey Google, retrain voice model” to redo the learning process.

Check that the phone microphone has proper access and is not blocked or obstructed. Issues with the mic can prevent voice commands from working.

Make sure your Android OS and Google app are fully updated. Older versions may have bugs or lack full lock screen support.

As a last resort, you can try restarting your phone or removing and re-adding your account in Assistant to reset things.

If voice commands still do not work, check with your device manufacturer for other troubleshooting tips.

Best Practices for Security

When using voice commands on your lock screen, it’s important to take steps to secure your device and minimize risks:

Set a strong passphrase for unlocking your screen instead of relying solely on biometrics like face or fingerprint unlock. This provides an extra layer of security if someone tries to access your phone.

Make sure your phone’s operating system and apps are up to date with the latest security patches. Outdated software can have vulnerabilities that allow unauthorized access.

Review which apps have permission to access your microphone, camera, location and other sensitive data. Disable access for any unnecessary apps.

Frequently clear your voice assistant history and disable options to store voice recordings. Stored data could contain sensitive commands or information.

Consider disabling voice unlock entirely if your phone contains extremely confidential data. Voice commands are less secure than passcodes or biometrics.

Beware of voice spoofing attacks where criminals mimic your voice. Set up voice match options if available to prevent mimicry.

Avoid voice commands for sensitive transactions like banking or shopping. Use app passwords or biometrics for additional security.

Be aware of your surroundings when using voice commands in public places. Others may overhear private information.

While convenient, voice commands do pose risks. Following security best practices helps minimize unauthorized access to your phone.

Alternative Options

If using voice commands on the lock screen is not ideal for you, there are some alternative hands-free options to lock your Android device:

Many wireless headphones and earbuds like AirPods or Galaxy Buds have options to lock your phone when you remove them from your ears. This uses proximity sensors to detect when the earbuds are out and automatically lock the device without pressing any buttons. You can enable this in your headphone app settings typically.

Other Android devices may have a setting to lock the screen by tapping the screen twice or double tapping the status bar. This can allow a hands-free screen lock by just tapping on the screen with your finger.

Some manufacturers like LG and Xiaomi have a Smart Lock feature that can detect trusted locations like home or a Bluetooth device to automatically lock the screen without pressing the power button.

There are also third-party apps like Gravity Screen that use your device’s proximity sensor to lock the screen when placed in a pocket or facedown. These provide alternative hands-free ways to lock your phone.

Overall, voice commands provide one option but connecting wireless headphones, double tapping the screen, or using Smart Lock functionality can also allow hands-free screen locking if preferred.

Key Takeaways

Using voice commands on your lock screen can provide convenient hands-free access to key device functions without needing to fully unlock your phone.

The main benefits of enabling lock screen voice commands include:

  • Making calls, sending messages, or searching quickly without authentication
  • Accessing personal data like calendar events or reminders
  • Playing music or getting directions while on the go
  • Launching apps or settings to complete basic tasks

However, users should be aware of potential privacy and security risks. Limit the amount of personal information accessible through voice commands for best security practices.

With the proper precautions, lock screen voice controls can be an efficient hands-free way to use your smartphone’s capabilities on the go.


No sources were explicitly referenced in this article. The content provided is based on the author’s first-hand knowledge and experience using voice commands on lock screens across various mobile devices and operating systems.

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