How to pin apps on an Android phone

How to pin apps on an Android phone

Sharing your phone with someone else can often feel like an invasion of privacy. So avoid letting people rummage through apps with your private data. Instead, you can pin popular apps that are safe for others to use. You can pin certain apps to the home screen of your Android phone and you don’t have to worry about sharing your phone.

If you often share your smartphone with other household members or friends, this is how you can pin apps on your Android phone.

How to enable app pinning on Android

App pinning is a feature of Android that pins or locks a particular app to the screen, thereby prohibiting the user of the device at that moment from accessing other apps or content on that device. This method is not 100% effective as the pinned app can still end up opening the apps that give access to your data.

The app pinning option is not enabled by default on many Android smartphones. You have to activate it manually.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your Android.

Step 2: Scroll down until you find the Security section. Depending on your smartphone model, this option may be hidden under Security and Lock Screen.

Step 3: Tap Advanced settings at the bottom. Or you should just scroll to the bottom.

Step 4: You will find the app pinning option.

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Step 5: On Pixel devices, the feature comes disabled by default. Tap on the option and turn on the “Use App Pinning” option.

This will have the effect of enabling a second “Request PIN before unlocking” switch. We recommend that you keep it activated to prevent the guest from unlocking the app themselves. If you think they are not tech savvy enough to do that, you can disable the option.

If app pinning locks the app to the phone’s screen, it’s not the same as locking an app behind a PIN or fingerprint verification. This is a completely different procedure that requires users to enter a PIN, use their fingerprint or face to unlock certain apps.

How to use app pinning on Android

After enabling the option to pin apps, you can proceed to pin your first app. Here are the steps you need to take.

Step 1: Firstly, you need to open the Recents screen either by tapping on the Recents button or by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and holding for a second.

Step 2: Scroll through the apps we recently opened and find the one you want to pin. On Android 12, you should see an icon at the top of the window showing the app. Press it. Alternatively, on Android 11 and below, you may need to simply tap on the app window to bring up the options menu.

Step 3: Select the Pin option.

Android will pin the respective app. Every time you turn on your phone, you will see the app pinned on the screen and the person using it will not be able to browse or search for other apps on your device.

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How to unzip the app on Android

When the person is done using your device, you can detach the app. Here’s how to do it.

All you need to do to undock the app is hold the back and end buttons at the same time. If you enabled the “Request PIN before unlocking” option, you must first unlock the device. If you don’t use a PIN to unlock your device, go ahead and use the method you’ve chosen to unlock your phone, such as scanning your fingerprint.

If you’re not using three-button navigation, you’ll need to swipe up and hold again to undock the app. It will no longer appear as pinned on the home screen.

Share your personal devices with others

Sharing your technology with other people doesn’t have to be difficult. With app pinning, you can give someone your smartphone without worrying about your personal data. If you want to make sure that your sensitive information is kept safe, you may be interested in reading about 5 Best Gallery Apps with Hide Photos Options for Android.

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