How to use app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen?

manage and use app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screenYou can add up to two app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen so that you can use these apps without unlocking the phone, or use the app directly after unlocking the phone.

This Galaxy S20 guide explains how the app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen work, how to manage, customize and use the app shortcuts on the lock screen, how to use the floating button for app shortcuts.

App shortcuts are available on all Galaxy S20 models: Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra. So, this guide applies to all these three Galaxy S20 models.

How do app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen work?

As explained in this guide, on Galaxy S20 lock screen, by default, there are two app shortcuts (Phone app and Camera app, by default) on the two bottom corners.

You can drag or swipe the icon to the centre of the screen to use the two apps without unlocking Galaxy S20.

There are no security issues with the app shortcuts on the Galaxy S20 lock screen.

Most apps will work only after you unlock Galaxy S20. Only selected apps will work without accessing your data and without unlocking Galaxy S20.

Your data are always safe. They can only be accessed after you unlock the phone. There is no exception.

So, the app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen work in different ways depending on the app shortcuts you put there:

  1. Without restrictions. For apps that do not access any data, they can work normally. For example, you can use Flashlight or Do Not Disturb without any restriction on the lock screen.
  2. With restrictions. For selected apps, including  Phone app, Camera app, they can run in a restricted mode. For example, the Phone app on the lock screen can only be used for emergency calls. The camera app can only be used to take photos or record videos, and it can only access photos or videos taken in that session. Of course, you can use all Galaxy S20 camera modes and change some camera settings.
  3. Unlocking the phone is required. For most apps, you need to unlock the phone to continue the app.

As a convenience feature,  you should put the most frequently used apps on the lock screen so that you can access them quicker than tapping the app icons on the home screen.

When using the face unlock, you can choose to stay on the lock screen (default) or to go directly to the home screen (or to the last opened app), as explained in this guide.

But if you open apps from the app shortcuts on the Galaxy S20 lock screen, you will always directly access the app without stopping on the Home screen once your face is recognized.

If you use other methods (e.g., PIN or fingerprint) to unlock, of course, you will also access the app directly if you use the app shortcuts on the lock screen.

Therefore, you can save considerable time if you use one or two apps very frequently and add them as app shortcuts on the lock screen.

What are the default app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen?

On all Samsung Galaxy phones, the two default app shortcuts on the lock screen are Phone app (left) and Camera app (right).

As mentioned, you can use these two apps on the lock screen with some restrictions if Galaxy S20 is not unlocked.

For the phone app, you can only use it for emergency calls when the phone is locked.

You can use all camera modes to take photos or record videos. But you can view photos or video taken in the current session only.

“Current” session means from the screen on to off. If you open the camera app again after the screen is turned off, you cannot view photos taken before you open the camera app.

Of course, if you need to check other photos or videos, you need to unlock Galaxy S20. This is a security feature to protect your data and privacy,

When the screen is locked, you can also use the Galaxy S20 camera quick launch (i.e. quickly press the side key twice) to open the Galaxy S20 camera app. This is equivalent to use the camera app shortcut.

How to use the app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen?

As mentioned earlier, You need to drag or swipe the icon to the centre of the screen to use the two app shortcuts on the lock screen.

You cannot tap the app icon to open the app on the lock screen. When you tap the icon, an animation will be shown to remind you that you need to swipe or drag the icon to the centre of the screen.

If you use the app on the lock screen without unlocking the phone (e.g., using the camera app), you can tap the home button (or the corresponding gesture if you are using the navigation gestures on Galaxy S20.) or the back button, you will exit the app and return to the lock screen (not the Home screen).

Please note, there is no Recents button (in the app or in Galaxy S20 locks screen) when the phone is locked.

Also, when you reboot Galaxy S20 into the safe mode, the app shortcuts will be disabled temporally.

How to manage and customize app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen?

You can disable and customize the app shortcuts on Galaxy s20 lock screen whenever you want.

On Galaxy S20 lock screen settings, you can find the Shortcuts at the bottom, as shown in the screenshot below.

The button (marked as A) is for you to turn on (enable) or turn off (disable) the app shortcuts on the lock screen.

To customize the app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen, tap Shortcuts field (marked as B in the screenshot below)

Galaxy S20 lock screen settings manage and customize app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen

You can tap Left shortcut, as shown above, to select an app for the left corner. The Right shortcut for the right corner.

When selecting apps, you can choose any apps installed on the phone. Of course, most apps can only be used after you unlock Galaxy S20.

How to use the floating button for app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen?

Instead of showing the two app shortcuts on the corner, you can also hide them by using a floating button.

As shown in the screenshot below, you can choose one of the two layouts for the app shortcuts:

  1. Bottom corners (the default).
  2. Floating button.

When using a floating button, the app icons will not be shown unless you tap and hold (long tap) the floating button.

And the floating button will not be shown unless the phone is unlocked by the face unlock or fingerprint reader.

use the floating button for app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen use the floating button for app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen

For example, as shown in the screenshot above, after Galaxy S20 is unlocked with face recognition, the three-dot icon appears.

You can tap and hold the button to show two app icons. You can swipe to one of them to use it.

The floating button does not show up if the phone is not unlocked.

When unlocking Galaxy S20 with the fingerprint reader, you need to hold the fingerprint sensor a bit longer.

Once the phone is unlocked by your fingerprint, and when you hold the fingerprint sensor, you will see the floating icon and the two app shortcuts, as shown below, in an overlay screen.

You can swipe your finger to one of the app icons to use it.

use the floating button for app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen

Normally, the floating button is hidden unless the phone is unlocked by your face or fingerprint.

But there is one exception.

If your fingerprint is not recognized for 5 times sequentially, you will be temporally blocked from using your fingerprint to unlock Galaxy S20.

In this case, the floating button does show up, as shown below. And you can tap and hold it to reveal the two app shortcuts and use them.

use the floating button for app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen

Please note, the icon shape of the app shortcuts follows the system app icon shape settings. You can customize the app icon shape on Galaxy S20 as explained in this page.

Do you know how app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen work? Can you manage and use the app shortcuts on the lock screen now?

If you encounter any problems on using app shortcuts on Galaxy S20 lock screen on Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra, please let us know in the comment box below.

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