What is Google Smart Lock, and How Does it Work?

  • By Maria
  • Mar 21, 2022

Google Smart Lock
People use cell phones and tablets daily, accessing them throughout the day. Because cell phones, tablets, and laptops used by individuals and organizations hold secure information, they are password-protected. To provide a smoother user experience, technology companies have been steadily introducing functionality that will keep devices and personal information safe but alleviate the burden of repeated password entry. 

What is Google Smart Lock?

Google Smart Lock is a set of features used for android phones to provide quicker access to password-protected devices. It is meant to be used in secure areas, such as a user’s home. Users can switch between Google Smart Lock and regular password entry as needed. 

Google Smart Lock offers many intuitive features that make accessing and using your devices smoother. These features include: 

On-Body Detection: If a user enters their password and then stows the phone in their pocket or handbag, Google Smart Lock will allow it to be accessed without entering the password again. 

Trusted Devices: With this feature, users can select trusted Bluetooth devices, and when the phone or tablet is connected to these, a password re-entry is not required. 

Trusted Places: Users can create locations that are authorized. These may be home, office, or a friend’s house, but no password entry is required if they are using their devices there.

There are older features that can now only be found on dated Android devices that are part of Smart Lock, such as face and voice recognition. 

Enabling / Disabling Smart Lock – Android Devices

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To turn on Smart Lock, ensure that a password is set up for your device. Users are usually prompted to do this while setting up their devices. Once a password exists for a device, follow the below steps to activate Smart Lock: 

  • Go to Settings
  • Select Security
  • Choose Advanced Settings 
  • Select “Smart Lock
  • Enter your password, or use a different screen lock 
  • Choose from the following options:
    • On-body detection
    • Trusted places 
    • Trusted devices 
  • Follow on-screen instructions 

To disable, undo the options listed above that you turned on. 

Enabling / Disabling Smart Lock - Chrome Devices

Working on Chrome devices and Androids and utilizing Smart Lock creates a nearly seamless login experience for users with Chrome OS 71 and Android 5.1 Lollipop or newer. Users can unlock Chromebooks by connecting them to their Android devices. Setting up Smart Lock on Chrome devices require the below steps: 

  • Sign in, install updates (if applicable)
  • Go to Settings 
  • Go into Connected Devices
  • Next to the Android device listed, select Set up.
  • Select Android device 
  • Click Accept and Continue
  • Enter the password and click Done
  • Return to Connected Devices
  • Select the Android device 
  • Select “Smart Lock” and click on “Unlock device and sign in to your Google account” 
  • Wait to receive a confirmation message on your Android cell phone 
  • Choose options to turn on under “Enabled.” 

To disable, undo the options listed above that you turned on. 

Google Smart lock can also automatically log you into stored websites. 

Security Concerns with Google Smart Lock 

The convenience of Google Smart Lock is clear to see, but it is critical to address some security concerns. For example, if you are in a trusted place and your phone does not require a password, it could still get into the wrong hands. The same logic applies to on-body detection. Ask yourself about your needs for convenience versus security requirements to figure out the best use of Google Smart Lock features. Also, consider other options for streamlining password entry without compromising security, such as strong password generator options. 

With any security shortcuts, due diligence is necessary, as is staying current with upgrades and new features. With Google Smart Lock, users can enjoy a more streamlined experience, but they must be careful about the features they use to prevent security threats


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