Lock screen design guidelines for Windows Phone

[ This article is for Windows Phone 8 developers. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation. ]

Users can customize the lock screen to use your app as the background provider when the Windows Phone is locked. They can also change the basic notifications found in the lock screen (email, text, etc.) to reflect notifications provided by your app. In this topic, we’ll cover the best practices for implementing lock screen backgrounds and notifications.

This topic contains the following sections.

Lock screen background

The lock screen background is a static image that’s displayed when a phone is locked, as seen here:

Typically, users select visually pleasing or familiar images as their lock screen background. If it’s not eye-catching and friendly, users probably won’t select it.

Keep these basics in mind if you choose to implement a background image:

  • Reduce the amount of text in your image so it doesn’t clash with the on screen text.

  • Keep it simple. “Busy” photographs or art make screen text and notifications difficult to read.

The following images show sizing info for using text or logos as part of the lock screen background image:

WVGA (480px by 800px)

WXGA (768px by 1280px)

HD720p (720px by 1280px)

Other design considerations

The following image shows three examples of good lock screen design:

Lock screens: Logo and text, text only, and logo only

  • Keep the logo and text small on the screen so it doesn’t compete with the date, time or notifications.

  • If you’re including a logo, consider making it slightly transparent.

  • If you choose to include text, it should relate directly to your image.

  • The visual focus of the lock screen image should be the image, not the logo or text.


To ensure that a lock screen visual appears in the event of an error, be sure to provide a default background image.

Updating the lock screen background

For more info about how your app can update the lock screen background, see Lock screen background for Windows Phone 8.

Lock screen notification

The following image shows two different lock screen notification types – detailed status and quick status. The text, icon and count for each app are pulled directly from their primary Tiles.

The lock screen notifications area can display the following items:

  • Detailed status: Notification text will be displayed in white pixels. The description provided comes from your primary Tile. If your default Tile is a flip Tile, the info from your wide Tile is displayed in the lock screen notifications. However, if there is no wide Tile info, the info provided in your medium Tile displays.

  • Quick status: The icon you provide will identify your app in the notification area of the lock screen. The icon image should contain only white pixels plus some level of transparency known as watermarking. If implemented, the count from your primary Tile will also appear beside the icon.

Including your app in the lock screen notifications area

For more info about how your app can be included in the lock screen notifications area, see Lock screen notifications for Windows Phone 8.

See Also

Other Resources

Lock screen for Windows Phone 8

Lock screen background for Windows Phone 8

Lock screen notifications for Windows Phone 8