How to turn off Android's screen lock for yourself (but keep it for everyone else)

Thieves, snoops, trickster friends--they see passwords, but you get quick unlocking convenience.


The two networks that can free your phone.

Original photo by michperu/Flickr

Everyone should have a passcode on their smartphone screen. You use your phone to send email, check bills and accounts, and keep notes on all kinds of matters, which is what someone else could do if they picked up your lost or stolen phone. Beyond that, there are your nosy or prank-inclined friends, the ones just waiting for your to leave your phone behind on a bathroom break.

But turning on a screen lock code on Android can lead to niggling annoyances--namely, having to type in that code every time you want to fire off or check something in quick order. Same with iPhone, but iOS doesn't give you as many deep-down preferences and settings abilities as Android. With Android, you can install an app that provides a nice security/convenience compromise: only ask for a screen lock passcode when the phone is very provably away from its user and their normal situations.

In other words: no passcode when your phone is with you in most situations, but definitely a passcode if someone picks it up away from your home, office, laptop, or car. Let's get there.

To get there, you'll need to install Bluetooth and Wifi Unlocker. After installing it and opening it for the first time, you'll be asked to grant the app "Administrative privileges," which basically allows the app to set or reset the screen lock passcode. Next, the app asks you to give it a new passcode (though you can type the same code you've always used, if you have one already). More than once, BTWiFiUnlocker (short for that seriously long full name) will remind you that if you ever decide to turn off screen lock, or change your code, you will need to make passcode changes through this app, and that you must not uninstall the app before undoing this code. Bearing that in mind, the next steps are very easy.

Setting Bluetooth devices to keep your phone unlocked.

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