Locked phone: things you can still do

When you set a password lock on your Windows Phone, it can help you avoid that accidental 2 AM call to your family/friend/boss, courtesy of that pet or small child who got into your things. To know more, take a look at Lock screen FAQ. But now what, you ask? You might be wondering what you can do when your phone is locked. Read on for a few examples.

Emergency calls

You can still make an emergency call, even if your phone has a password lock set. From the lock screen, just flick up until you see the Keypad, tap Emergency call, and then dial the emergency phone number for your locale.

For more information, see Make and receive phone calls.


If you don't want your phone to ring (say, if you're in a movie theater or a meeting), wake up your phone by pressing the Power Power button button. Then press the Volume button (usually on the left side of the phone), which brings up the volume bar.

Lock screen with volume bar

Then you can do any of the following:

  • Tap Ring Ringer icon to set your phone to vibrate or silent mode. To find out more, see Ringtones, sounds, and volume.
  • Press and hold the Volume Down Volume Down button button (until the numbers in the upper-left corner reach 00) to silence the ringer.
  • Press the Power Power button button to silence an incoming call and turn off the screen.


Quick, you need to capture that perfect moment. If you've configured your phone to wake when the camera button is pressed, you don't need to unlock your phone. Just press and hold the Camera button (usually found on the right side of the phone) until the camera starts. Then you can take a picture or start recording. For more information, see Take a picture or record a video.

Music, podcasts, and radio

You don't have to leave your phone unlocked to listen to things. You can leave your phone in your pocket while piping those tunes into your head. Press the Power Power button button and you can rewind, fast forward, pause, or play whatever you're listening to right from the lock screen. For more information, see Play music, videos, and podcasts.

Phone calls

If a phone call comes in, you can see the incoming number and decide if you want to answer it. (If it's someone you know and they're in your list of contacts, you'll also see their name and picture.)

  • If you want to answer the call, flick up and tap Answer.
  • If you don't want to answer the call right now, flick up and tap Ignore to send the call to voicemail.

For more information, see Make and receive phone calls.

Date, time, and appointments

You can check the date and time on the lock screen display. You can also see your next appointment at a glance if you're using the calendar on your phone to keep track. For more information, see Set up or delete an email account.


  • If you've set a reminder for your appointment, it will also appear on top of the lock screen.
  • If you want to unlock your phone, you'll need to dismiss the reminder first.
  • If you get a notification, you can tap it before you unlock the phone and you'll be automatically taken to the notification after you unlock your phone.

While you were busy

If you turned your ringer off or haven't been checking your phone for a while, you can see at the bottom of the lock screen how many new text messages, missed calls, emails, and voicemails arrived since the last time you checked.

Lock screen with callouts showing missed call and voicemail, text message, and email icons

Make a phone call using Speech

If you've configured your phone so that you can use Speech when it's locked, press the power button power buttonto turn on the phone, press and hold the StartStart button icon button to bring up Speech, then say "Call" and the name of the person you want to call, or a phone number. Your phone will place the call, but leave your phone locked. To learn more, see Use Speech on my phone.


Speech may not be available in your country or region. For more information, see Feature and service availability.

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