windows phone lock screen cortana

You may be of an opinion that once you have locked your Windows Phone, you just have to unlock it to work with it. Well, it’s not quite true. You Windows Phone can still work for you even when it is in locked state.

Whether you are on a Developers Preview with the latest Windows Phone 8.1 GDR 1 update or you are using the official Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Cyan installed on your Windows Phone, these features are for you to make the most out of your Windows Phone.

If you know these already, this post can be a refresher and if you do not know until now, you could start utilizing these features right from the next time you lock your  Windows Phone.

Action Center:

Just swipe down from the top of your Windows Phone to view the ‘action center’ and you can access certain settings from there. You can turn on/off the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode etc. You can change the settings of the Windows Phone so that you would be able to view notifications in the action center while the phone’s locked.

To do that, go to Settings -> Notifications+actions and make sure that you check-mark  the ‘Show notifications in action center when my phone is locked ‘ option.

You also have the flexibility to choose what kind of notifications appear in the action center from that setting.


If you want to reduce or increase the volume of notifications and calls, you could do this as well without taking the strain to unlock your Windows Phone. Press the power button once to wake up your phone and do one of the following:

– Press and hold the Volume Down button until the number on the top left of the screen change to 00 and vibrate notification icon windows phone icon appears. . By doing so, the ringer on your phone is muted and the Windows Phone is set to vibrate.

 – Tap on the down arrow to expand the volume bar. Beside the Ringer+Notifications bar you could find the ringer notification icon windows phone or ringer 1 notification icon windows phone or vibrate notification icon windows phoneicon. Tap on those to mute or unmute you Windows Phone or to set you Windows Phone in vibration mode. To Mute or unmute the Media+Apps notification bar, tap on the media ringer icon windows phone or media ringer mute icon windows phoneicon beside the bar.

Additionally, to silence an incoming call, press the power button and this also turns off the screen.


To be able to use to the camera on your Windows Phone while it is locked, you need to change a setting in the phone. Swipe left on the start screen to go to the App list.

Go to Photos -> More -> Settings and  make sure that you check-mark  the ‘Press and hold the camera button to wake up the phone’ option.

By doing so, whenever your phone is locked, you don’t have to unlock your phone to capture any moment. All it takes is just a press of the camera button to wake up the phone and to enter the camera mode.

Cortana or Speech:

Cortana for those users who have it activated on their Windows Phone 8.1. Currently, Cortana is available for Australia, Canada, China, India, the United Kingdom and the Unites States of America. Of these countries, India, Canada and Australia get Cortana in  the ‘alpha’ form while the United Kingdom and China received Cortana in ‘beta’.

READ ALSO: How to activate Cortana ‘alpha’ for India, Canada and Australia

– To use Cortana while your Windows Phone is locked, press and hold the search button search button windows phone on the bottom right corner of the screen. This will activate Cortana and she will start listening to what you say. From there, you can make calls, send messages, set reminders, alarms, edit calendar appointments and many more that Cortana can help you with.

– If Cortana is turned off or you do not have Cortana for your region, you can activate the ‘Speech’ option by pressing and holding the search button search button windows phone. With  ‘Speech’ activated on Window Phone, you can still make calls or send messages.

These are a few options of what you can do with your Windows Phone while it is still locked. Stay tuned by subscribing to our blog for more in the coming posts.

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