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Samsung Good Lock 2021 review: Custom ROM without the root

Here's everything you need to know about Good Lock 2021!
February 6, 2021

Samsung Good Lock is a somewhat powerful app for Samsung devices. It includes a variety of customization options, including theming, UI tweaking, and more. It’s not a new app and originally launched back in 2016. Samsung updates it every year and the 2021 variant was launched in the first week of February 2021. Here’s everything you need to know about Good Lock 2021!

Editor’s note: The popular Task Changer and Edge Lighting modules are either not available or not updated for 2021 yet so we don’t list them right now.

How to download and install Samsung Good Lock

Samsung Good Lock Galaxy Store listing
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Samsung Good Lock is easy enough to find but it’s only available on Samsung devices. Simply open the Galaxy Store app and search for Good Lock. You can also hit the button below if you want to get there right now. The 2021 version should be live on the Galaxy Store at the time of this writing.

However, that is not the entire process. Good Lock has a bunch of modules and each module is its own app. Thus, when you open the app and select an option, you redirect back to the Galaxy Store to install that particular module. There are 15 total modules so get those fingers ready to download a bunch of stuff.

Samsung Good Lock comes with 15 total modules and all of them are in the Galaxy Store for download.

There is a positive here, though. You can uninstall or simply not install the modules you don’t intend to use. It saves space and lets you customize only what you want to customize. We don’t expect many people to download all of the modules.

What each Samsung Good Lock module does

Let’s talk briefly about each module and what it does. Each module works with Android 10 and One UI 2.0, something that wasn’t true before its previous update in February 2020. The modules are rather simple and don’t require a ton of explanation. You can open each one through the Good Lock app.


LockStar from Good Lock
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
You can tap and drag every element of the lock screen except the fingerprint scanner graphic.
LockStar lets you lightly customize your lock screen. It gives you a WYSIWYG editor and you can move the elements around as needed. You can edit both the portrait and landscape lock screens at your leisure. Some of the things you can do are being able to move the existing elements around, change the wallpaper, change the clock, and add additional items like app shortcuts. It’s fairly easy to use overall. There is also an auto-layout feature that moves stuff around the way Samsung thinks it should be.


Joe Hindy / Android Authority
This setting lets you choose whether to see notifications or the quick settings.
QuickStar underwent a big change in 2021. It doesn’t let you customize the quick setting theme anymore like in 2020 since that’s mostly handled by Theme Park and Samsung themes in general. The new QuickStar focuses mostly on status bar customizations.

You can add or remove icons from the status bar as needed. During testing, I removed the alarm clock icon since I don’t really need it there. There is also a mechanism to open the quick settings directly, skipping the notification shade in the process. Those are the two big things QuickStar does and it’s relatively easy to customize.


Clockface from Good Lock
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Clockface lets you change your lock screen or AOD clock.
Clockface lets you customize the clock on your always-on display or lock screen. There are a couple of dozen options to choose from ranging from analog to digital and even text. I quite liked the panda bear clock you can choose as well. Most of the clocks let you further customize things like color, some of the items, and other elements as well. Once done, simply set the clock and it’ll appear on your lock screen or always-on display. All the clocks you customized are available under the My Clocks category accessible from the bottom of the screen.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy S21 buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know


MultiStar from Good Lock
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
MultiStar lost some of its functionality in 2021, but it's still pretty good.
MultiStar was simplified quite a bit in the 2021 version of Good Lock. It still lets you lightly customize your multi-window experience. However, it focuses more on the pop-up action than multi-window. The multi-window elements let you force all apps to use it and you can hide the navigation bar for a more immersive experience. You can also force apps to stretch over the pinhole camera and customize the pop-up action. It’s definitely not as powerful as before but it’s still there.


Joe Hindy / Android Authority
You can change the appearance of your navigation bar with NavStar.
NavStar lets you customize the soft key navigation bar or your swipe gestures depending on which one you use. For soft keys, you can change the look, add a button to hide the navigation bar at will, and change the background color and button layout if you want. It’s pretty simple but adds some fun customization.

For swipe gestures, it’s more of the same. You can change the back gesture sensitivity from both sides of the screen independently, change the color of the line on the bottom of the screen, and make the bottom handle line transparent. I was hoping for a bit more. NavStar is still useful, though.

Related: Android 11 on Galaxy phones: Hands-on with all the new One UI 3.0 features

Home Up

Home Up
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Home Up's Share Manager function is awesome for cleaning up your share menu.
Home Up is basically the customization settings for One UI’s launcher. You can change minor things like grid size, app drawer grid size, and even change the amount of blur you see when opening the app drawer. There is a separate section for folder customizations and a back-up and restore option.

The coolest part of this one is the Share Manager section. It lets you customize the default share menu to include or not include whatever apps you want or don’t want. This saves a ton of space since you can simply select the apps you want to share from. You can also disable the Nearby Share function, giving you even more space. This one is actually really helpful.


NotiStar from Samsung Good Lock
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
NotiStar is great if you need to filter notifications or prevent apps from sending notifications.
NotiStar is a separate UI for your notifications. You can select the apps you want notifications from or blacklist ones you don’t. Additionally, you can add a filter that includes things like keywords as well as apps. You can, say, get SMS notifications but only if they contain the word “emergency.” You can also set this to work on the lock screen and it’ll store notifications indefinitely, for a week, or for 30 days depending on your preferences.

Android 11 added the ability to view notification history, so some of NotiStar’s functionality is redundant. However, the filtering and blacklisting options are still super useful.

Keys Cafe

Keys Cafe module from Good Lock
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
When was the last time you saw official OEM support for the Dvorak keyboard?
Keys Cafe gives you a lot more options for the stock Samsung Keyboard. You can change the layout to Dvorak or Colemak if you want and there are even a couple of symbols keyboard options. However, the big story here is the style section. You can change the keyboard color independent of the theme. There are also some truly delightful keyboard effects that flood the keyboard with color as you type.

You can also play a couple of typing games to improve your speed and accuracy with Samsung’s keyboard. The games are very reminiscent of the kind I used to play when I took typing class in high school.


Joe Hindy / Android Authority
The simplified Air Command menu and heart pointer make this one worth it.
Pentastic gives you a couple of extra options for the S Pen. It has a couple of extra cursors, including an arrow and a heart shape. There is also an extra sound when you use the S Pen, an extra shortcut that opens an app, and a simplified Air Command layout.

Obviously, this is only useful if you have a phone with S Pen. I tested this with a Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but those with regular Galaxy S series devices probably won’t need this one at all.


Wonderland photograph from Samsung Good Lock
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Wonderland seems simple at first but you can actually do a lot with it.
Wonderland is a live wallpaper creator. There are a few presets so you can get a sense of how everything works. However, the fun part is making your own. You can select a base image, other images to lay over top, various effects, and even text. There are some movement effects as well as some particle effects as well. This one takes a while because you do build this thing from the ground up, but the results can look pretty good if you have the right set of graphics and some patience.

See also: Samsung Theme Store — what it is an how to use it

Theme Park

Theme Park
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Theme Park has a learning curve, but custom themes are always awesome.
Theme Park lets you create your own custom theme. It asks you to select an image from your gallery, download folder, or any other album. From there it lets you select a main color and uses the other colors from the image as accent colors. It also includes dark mode support and the dark mode version is independent of the light mode version. You simply enable dark mode in the settings to get the dark mode version of any theme you make with Theme Park in Samsung Good Lock.

Once done it creates the theme with the colors and wallpaper you selected. The app diverts you to the theme store in order to enable it. It’s a lot more stable than its 2020 counterpart and there is even more customization than last year. That said, this one has the steepest learning curve of any module in Good Lock so prepare yourself for that.

Nice Catch

Nice Catch module from Samsung Good Lock
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Everybody who uses Good Lock should use Nice Catch.
Nice Catch is a surprisingly useful tool. It creates a log every time your phone beeps, boops, vibrates, rings, wakes up, and every time you change your settings. However, the part we like the most is its log for toast notifications (the little bubbles that appear at the bottom of your phone from time to time). You can check these logs by entering the Nice Catch app and clicking on the appropriate category. You can also hit the 3-dot menu and sort alphabetically to see how many instances each app did each thing. This is so insanely useful that it should be a part of stock Android.

One Hand Operation Plus

One Hand Operation Plus
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
You can actually use these gestures with the 3-button navbar, resulting in tons of functionality.
One Hand Operation Plus evolved a little bit from last year. It’s an experimental gesture control system that is fully customizable. You get a total of six actions (three on each side). The really cool part is you can keep the soft key navigation bar enabled and this will just give you some extra swipe gestures for other various things. This one has a bit of a learning curve but the module does a decent job of letting you customize everything.

Each side is configurable with three different swipes (swipe out and up, swipe out and down, and the regular swipe out) for a total of six configurable gesture shortcuts. You can set them to the usual home, back, and Recent Apps. Some additional options in this Samsung Good Lock module include closing an app, turning the screen off, taking a screenshot, showing/hiding the navigation bar, opening the notification panel, opening the menu, going forward (in the browser), and turning on the flashlight.

Edge Touch

Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Only use EdgeTouch if you have problems with accidental taps on the edges of your screen.
Edge Touch is a potentially useful app if accidental touches are a real problem for you. It lets you manually configure the parts of the screen that reject accidental touches. This feature already exists in Samsung phones by default without an app. However, this Samsung Good Lock module lets you increase or decrease the size for better use. We recommend hitting the Show Edge Zones option so you can see where Samsung puts the accidental touch protection by default before trying to mess with it.


Joe Hindy / Android Authority
SoundAssistant has a lot of power, but only for niche use cases.
Finally, we have SoundAssistant. This one also saw significant changes in 2021. You can use it to do simple stuff like theme your volume panel, change the step volume for more granular volume changes, and even select which apps can (and can’t) play audio at the same time as other apps. There is a lot to customize here and it all has to do with sound.

The really cool part starts further down the menu. The Bluetooth Metronome feature helps you sync your Bluetooth headphones with a video reference so you can watch video or play games with Bluetooth headphones. That’s a fairly common problem without an easy solution. It also lets you do things like reverse stereo sound (so left comes out of right and vice versa), change the sound balance, and even drop the phone into mono audio mode. There are a metric ton of niche use cases for this one and it’s quite useful.

Using Samsung Good Lock 2021

Samsung Good Lock 2021 Menu
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
The new animated menu makes Good Lock look way more polished than last year.
The app itself has a lot of various things you can do and it’s quite easy to spend a whole day configuring various things. Aside from just testing the features, I created a theme for all three wallpapers that I generally switch between. I also customized my share menu, used Nice Catch to catch a Destiny 2 Companion App issue, and used Keys Cafe to customize the Samsung Keyboard.

Most of the rest of the features are power user stuff. The only two modules I didn’t use outside of testing were MultiStar and NotiStar. NotiStar has good features but just not ones I need while MultiStar has some super niche stuff for features I don’t use (the pop-out feature).

Using Good Lock almost feels like using a custom ROM again.

In short, Samsung Good Lock is fantastic for power users like me. It adds that extra layer of configuration and theming that, to be honest, I only ever previously received from custom ROMs back in my root days. Something like Magisk Manager has more options, more powerful modules, and more configuration. However, you have to root your phone to use it. Good Lock is available on devices without root.

The fact that something like Good Lock exists on a phone without root makes me hopeful for the future. There are some bugs here and there, but admittedly not as many as the 2020 variant of the app. Plus, it’s not available in all regions and that frustrates a lot of our readers. Overall, though, I love Good Lock and list it as one of the reasons I buy a Samsung phone every year.

If we missed any big Samsung Good Lock features, tell us about them in the comments! What is your favorite part of the app or, consequently, what don’t you like about it?