Tech Tip: Android Security When You Need It


Q. I forgot my Android tablet at work one night and used the Android Device Manager to remotely lock it from home. I got the tablet the next day, but now it requests the password every time I want to use it. Except for the odd occasion when I bring it to the office, I mostly use it at home and don’t need the password, so how can I remove the requirement?

A. You can disable the password requirement in Android 6.0 by opening the Settings app and tapping Security on the screen that appears; as a shortcut to Settings, swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers and then tap the gear icon. On the Security settings screen, tap Screen Lock and enter the password you have been using. On the next screen, tap None or Slide to remove the password requirement for using the tablet.


In Android 6.0, the Smart Lock settings can be configured to automatically unlock your device when the software recognizes a face, place or other factor. Credit The New York Times

A password helps keep the information on your tablet secure should visitors, children or anyone else find the device around the house. If you find typing in a password cumbersome, the Screen Lock settings allow you to use a numeric PIN code of at least four digits, or a pattern drawn on the screen to get into the tablet instead. Android devices with fingerprint readers can also be unlocked with a fingertip.

If your tablet is running Android 6.0 or later, you might be able to employ Google’s Smart Lock feature instead of having to manually unlock the gadget yourself. After it is configured, Smart Lock automatically unlocks your device for you under certain circumstances — for instance if you’re carrying the tablet with you, or using it with a recognized connected peripheral like a Bluetooth keyboard.

Smart Lock also works with location, voice and face cues. Once you set up Smart Lock (which can also be found on the Security settings screen), your tablet will unlock itself if it pinpoints your current physical location as a designated safe place, if it recognizes the sound of your voice or if the tablet’s camera identifies your face.

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