How to Customize the Galaxy S9 Always-On Display

In this guide we’ll show you how to completely customize the Galaxy S9 always on display. Whether you want to add a background image, calendar, or even a GIF right to your locked screen. Samsung’s always-on display is a popular feature people love, and here’s how to make it even better.

The always on display gives you at-a-glance information even when the screen is “off”. Information like the time, date, battery level, and incoming notifications. That’s not all though.

Read: 35 Samsung Galaxy S9 Tips & Tricks

To start, go to Settings > Lock screen & security > and scroll down to Lock screen & Always On Display. Then, tap on Clock & face widgets or watch our quick video below.

With the Galaxy S9 Samsung added more clocks, calendars, and the option to use moving live wallpapers or GIFs right on the always-on display. In fact, you can record a 960 FPS slow-motion video with the camera and turn it into a GIF for your lock screen or AOD.

How to Customize the Galaxy S9 Always On Display

Add a GIF, download new themes, or choose from over a dozen different clock styles on the Galaxy S9 and S9+. Samsung recently changed how and where to change these settings, so follow our step-by-step instructions below. In here you can choose different styles, options, fonts, colors and more. In the end, there are hundreds of possible combinations when it comes to customizing your screen.

  • Open Settings in the app tray or hit by hitting the gear-shaped settings button in the pulldown bar
  • Find and select Lock screen & security
  • Scroll down to the Always On section and tap Clock and FaceWidgets
  • Choose Clock Style
  • Now choose from the many options

Initially, you can choose from a few different clocks, add a calendar, or even a few of Samsung’s light wallpapers for the always-on screen. However, we recommend going to the theme store, tapping AOD (always on display) and downloading something new.

Some of those custom options in this menu will say “GIF” in the middle. Tap that, and it’ll let you add a GIF, resize it, or even choose one from your phone you downloaded from the internet.

As you can see, we added a GIF to the always on display on the Galaxy S9. However, you can choose from hundreds if not more from the store, or right on your phone.

Galaxy S9 FaceWidgets

Most Galaxy S9 owners don’t know this, but if you double-tap the always on display, you’ll get more options without unlocking your screen. These include music controls, your schedule for the day, or upcoming alarms. You can interact with these too.

Go to Settings > Lock screen & security > Clock and FaceWidgets > and tap on FaceWidgets. Samsung adds the music controls for you, but you can customize this as you’d like. Giving you a few more options and controls without ever unlocking your phone. You can add these to the lock screen too if you want.

Additionally, there’s another option here to add a “Call if found” type message to your Galaxy S9. This way you can put a secondary phone number, email address, Twitter handle or something else on the lock screen and always on display. Or any message, for that matter.

Read: How to Find a Lost or Stolen Galaxy S9

How to Turn Off the Always On Display

While this is a great feature that a lot of people enjoy, some find the always on display distracting. Especially at night, or if you’re going to a movie. So, if you want to quickly turn it off, we’ve put together a quick guide showing you how.

Go to Settings > Lock screen & Security > and scroll down to the Always-On display section. Then, just uncheck the switch to turn it off, and you’re all set.

Other Details & Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that anything you add to the always on display can and will affect battery life. This is especially true for a GIF. Even if you’ll only see it loop once each time you lock the screen.

That said, we do recommend keeping this feature on, and using it to some extent. You don’t need a bunch of colors or GIFs, and a simple clock is just fine. That’s because studies suggest most users turn on a phone over 150 times a day. The always on display cuts down on those, by sharing important information you’re likely looking for without ever waking up your phone.

While you’re here, take a look at how to change your lock screen and wallpaper. Or, keep your phone safe with these screen protectors.

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