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How to Change the Shortcuts on Samsung Galaxy S III Lock Screen



The Samsung Galaxy S III lock screen includes four app icons. While I love quick access to four apps from the lock screen, I don’t like the programs Samsung chose.

Here’s how to change the lock screen app shortcuts on the Galaxy S III. This tip will work on all version of the Galaxy S III.

First, open the Settings by hitting the menu button on the bottom left of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Tap on Settings from the menu that pops up and find the Security setting. Tap it and choose Lock screen options. Make sure to set Shortcuts to On and then tap the line to open the setting.

set shortcuts setting for lock screen

The four icons from the phone’s lock screen will show up on that screen. Tap on an icon that needs replaced. Choose from the Application list that shows up after tapping an icon. I included an image of my lock screen. I replaced the middle two icons so I can quickly access my calendar app and the Instagram app. I kept the Phone and Camera apps since I often need them quickly.

I wish I could use the extra space on the unlock screen to add another row of icons. It’s possible by replacing the lock screen with another one, like Widget Locker, or by rooting the phone. I don’t want to do that yet. I actually like the TouchWiz unlock mechanism.

Which icons should replace those on the default Samsung unlock screen? That depends on usage. Pick icons that you need quickly. I often need to add a new appointment or check my calendar quickly, so I put my calendar on the screen. I also take a lot of pictures with my phone, so I included both the Instagram and the Camera apps. For heavy text messaging users, pick the preferred messaging app. For heavy music listeners, chose the favorite music player.

We’d love to know what apps you place on your lock screen. Also, if you use an alternative lock screen app, let us know which one in the comments below.



  1. 66sweep

    07/16/2012 at 3:38 pm

    Something I just stumbled across today on the S III: Holding the phone in portrait, touch and hold the lock screen while rotating to landscape and the camera app will automagically open. I replaced the camera icon on the lock screen since I discovered that.

  2. Vicki Taylor

    07/17/2012 at 4:41 pm

    The Lock Screen Options is dimmed out on mine. It won’t let me change anything.

  3. Al Nicko

    07/20/2012 at 6:51 am

    Just noticed a small number, in this case the number 2 imposed on a small red circle superimposed on the green phone widget at the bottom of my III’s home screen. Can anyone explain what the number is? Thanks!

    • Chris

      07/24/2012 at 7:56 am

      That means you’ve got two notifications for the phone/dialer “app” — usually that means missed calls.

  4. Xenplex

    07/23/2012 at 9:21 am

    You saved my day! Thanks.

  5. Brett

    09/20/2012 at 4:32 pm

    I’ve got same issue as Vicky – Lock screen option is greyed out. Anyone know how to fix?

    • Laura

      03/05/2013 at 4:28 am

      Yes choose swipe lock just above lock screen option to un-gray.

  6. vigirl

    11/03/2012 at 5:12 pm

    The phone chose a pic from my gallery and set it as the image for my music player. Any idea how to change that image??

  7. Kari

    01/23/2013 at 5:30 am

    Thanks! This worked on the Victory as well.

  8. Laura

    05/14/2015 at 6:19 am

    Thank you!!

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