Google Smart Lock

Google Smart Lock allows you to access your devices much faster when you’re not too worried about security. If you’re at home, you probably don’t want to enter your passcode every time you pick up your phone. However, if you can still take advantage of maximum security in public. Here’s a quick look at how you can use Google Smart Lock and how to set it up on your Android phone or Chromebook.

Google Smart Lock features

There are various features that Google Smart Lock offers, allowing you to use the feature in different situations.

On-body Detection: Provided you’ve already entered your pin or passcode once before putting it back in your pocket or bag, Google Smart Lock will not require you to enter it again when you take it back out.

Trusted Devices: This option allows you to select Bluetooth devices that you trust. This means that when your phone is connected to these devices you will not need to enter your passcode to unlock it.

Trusted Places: Here, you will have to create a location that you trust. This could be your home or office, and you won’t need to enter your passcode when you are there.

Voice Match & Trusted Face: These two options are being phased out, and are really only present on much older Android devices. However, they basically work by allowing you to set up your voice or face to be the cue to allow you to use your phone without a passcode. The voice match option won’t leave your phone fully unlocked all the time, but it will allow you to access some of your device’s features.

How to set up Google Smart Lock on your Android device

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra display held in hand over water

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

It’s easy to set up and use Google Smart Lock on your Android device, and it only requires you to have a password or other screen lock set up on your device already. Once you do, simply follow these steps:

  1. Head over to your device’s settings.
  2. Go to security and location, and then choose Smart Lock.
  3. Enter your passcode or another screen lock.
  4. Choose either On-body detection, Trusted places, or Trusted devices.
  5. If you chose Trusted places, follow the on-screen instructions to set up your secure location.

How to use Google Smart Lock on a Chromebook

Acer Chromebook Spin 311 right profile

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Google Smart Lock works a little differently on Chromebooks, and it allows you to unlock it simply by connecting to your Android device. You will need to sign in to your Google Account on both devices and have Chrome OS 71 or newer and Android 5.1 Lollipop or newer. Once you are signed in and updated, simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the time from the bottom right of your Chromebook’s screen.
  2. Click settings.
  3. Choose your Android device under connected devices and then hit the set up button.
  4. Enter your password and follow the onscreen instructions.
  5. Once you receive the confirmation message on your phone, choose the options you want to turn on under “enabled.”
  6. Follow any further instructions to complete the setup.

The pros and cons of Google Smart Lock

Aside from being able to access your devices quickly, Google Smart Lock also allows you to share passwords across your devices, making it even easier to carry out day-to-day tasks. Google Smart Lock makes it easy to get into your devices without a screen lock, and you can save your passwords to quickly access your favorite websites and apps.

However, keep in mind is that this is a security risk in certain situations. It’s fine if you’ve set up your house as a trusted location and it’s just you or your family at home. However, on-body detection and trusted devices could potentially allow others to get access to your unlocked phone.

The feature is simple enough to turn off with the settings in your Google account. You can do this on your Chromebook, or on your Android device by going to settings first and then going into your Google account settings.

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