Just like Google’s Pixel phones, Samsung has equipped Galaxy devices with a special tool for emergency situations. The Samsung mode on Galaxy phones is called “Lockdown,” and it makes unlocking the device even more difficult if you don’t know the PIN or passcode. Here’s how it works.
Lockdown mode is one of those features that we recommend familiarizing yourself with, even though you might never need to use it. The feature sits up there with Emergency SOS as far as importance is concerned.
In essence, Lockdown Mode does a couple of things for your Samsung device. When initiated, the feature will immediately lock your phone. After the Galaxy phone is locked, it will turn off both face recognition and the fingerprint sensor, leaving a PIN or passcode as the only unlock option.
This can come in handy for a variety of reasons – all pretty malicious. There may be circumstances where your fingerprint or face could be used to unlock the device without consent. To combat this, Lockdown mode ensures that any unlock is by intent.
How to enable Lockdown mode on Samsung Galaxy phones
There are a couple of ways you can initiate Lockdown mode on your Samsung phone. Before activating it though, you need to change a couple of settings. By default, Lockdown mode isn’t an option in the Power menu and needs to be turned on.
Here’s how to add Lockdown mode to the Power menu:
- On your Samsung phone, head to the settings by swiping down from the homescreen and tapping the settings cog.
- From the settings, find and tap Lock screen.
- Tap Secure lock settings.
- Enter your PIN or passcode.
- Toggle Show lockdown option on.
This process adds Lockdown mode to your Power menu, making it very easy to access in most circumstances. Here’s how to find Lockdown mode on your Samsung phone:
- From your homescreen, swipe down twice.
- Tap the power icon.
- Tap Lockdown.
As mentioned, your phone will instantly lock itself. If you try to open it back up, you’ll find your fingerprint won’t work nor will face unlock. The only way to gain access again is through your PIN or passcode. Once you unlock with your PIN, your Samsung device will deactivate Lockdown and things will go back to normal.
Accessing the Power menu via the side key
By default, the only way to access the Power menu is through the Quick Setting page above your notifications. You can change this by adjusting what the Side key – or power button – does when held down. Samsung defaults this button’s action to waking Bixby, though it can be used to quickly access the Power menu.
Here’s how to change the side key’s function:
- Head to settings by swiping down once from the home screen and tapping the settings cog.
- From there, scroll down and tap Advanced settings.
- Hit Side key.
- Under Press and hold, tap Power off menu.
Once changed, the Power menu will appear when the power button is held down. This makes it a little easier to access the Lockdown option on Samsung phones.
How is Samsung’s Lockdown different from iOS Lockdown Mode?
With iOS 16, Apple introduced a new feature for the company called Lockdown Mode as well. While the name is similar to what Samsung offers for its devices, the feature is a little more robust for iOS. Lockdown Mode for iOS initiates a systemwide security upgrade that focuses on protecting from “sophisticated cyber attacks.” Apps, websites, and other features will function differently with a focus on security rather than performance.
Apple’s Lockdown Mode is much more focused on cybersecurity rather than the physical security that Lockdown for Pixel and Samsung Galaxy devices are.
While we hope Lockdown is never needed in a real circumstance for your Android device, it’s a feature that should be familiar. Samsung’s Lockdown is a great way to protect yourself and your vital data in the case of an emergency, especially since it’s so easy to activate. This feature works great on any Samsung phone, including the Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4, which both make use of fingerprint sensors and face unlock.
More on Galaxy devices:
- Samsung quietly drops Galaxy Z Flip 3 trade-in credit by $200 when upgrading to Galaxy Z Flip 4
- Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Fold 4 get boosted battery life with new ‘Light’ performance profile
- Samsung says foldables will be ‘the new standard’ of smartphones by 2025
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