Help return your lost Windows Phone with WP7 Lock Screen

Should you lose your Windows Phone, there is a possibility that should a person come across it they'll return it. But what if there's a lock on the handset? They can't rummage around your Twitter, Live, email and Facebook accounts in attempt to contact you. This is where WP7 Lock Screen comes into play.

Waking up the screen will present whoever has picked up your phone with a wallpaper that's customised with your contact details so they can easily get in touch, whether it be via Twitter, Facebook or a landline number. An optional add on is a "cash reward" message at the bottom of the wallpaper, providing a small incentive to return the lost valuable.

Think of it also as a portable, digital business card that you don't have to keep in your wallet. It's a neat little idea. The pack, by AJ Troxell, is freely available at the source below and includes a .PSD file for customisation.

Source: AJ Troxell  Thanks AJ!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Can' t you already do something similar by setting a lock screen message through the FindMyPhone portion of the WindowsPhone website?
    Yes, it appears you can.
  • Exactly what I was going to say. Find my phone handles this and more. You can also wipe your phone of personal data and check where it was recently on a map.
  • The only thing I dislike about the Lock My Phone feature is that there might be decent delay before you could get to a computer to actually lock your phone. This is a faster way. Say for instance you lose your phone and someone finds it in a bar, as soon as they pick it up they could call the alternate number, which might be your wife or girlfriend, whom you are with, and no later than ten minutes after you lost it she gets a phone call and there's your phone! 
    Of course, this was just my thinking in creating it, something more readily available.
  • My lockscreen is already taken up with medical information and an emergency contact number.
  • This is a BAD IDEA. Exposing personal details is always risky...especially when they are in the hands of a robber or a criminal.
  • This is only a template. You can change the information to whatever you would like. I didn't provide my social security number, living address, or anything of that nature. I provided information that would be publicly available were anyone to search my name on the internet. Aside from the alternate phone number, which you could easily remove within the template.
  • Thanks for that clarification...!
  • Personally, I don't find the "Find My Phone" feature very reliable AT ALL. And yes, I am a U.S. Resident for whom this service should work flawlessly.
    I've only been able to get this feature to work once or twice. After that, whenever I have tried "ringing" my phone, it says it's ringing, but nothing's happening. And, even if my phone is unlocked and the password has been disabled, it shows that my phone is already locked and I can only update the lock message. Which, btw, does not show up because my phone is presumably already "locked".
    Love my Windows Phone to death, and am pushing it on people everywhere I go (to the point where even my husband, if he knows I'm feeling down, says something or other about WP to cheer me up). Yes, I've got it bad. But, "Find My Phone" is something I'm extremely disappointed about.
    So I personally appreciate this article giving me the idea of updating my Naruto wallpaper to show a contact info, since I'm (thankfully) in the habit of keeping my phone locked at all times, even if it means entering the darn password 6 billion times in 1 hour.
  • That is strange, I just used find my phone 5 Minutes ago and it worked very well. Almost instantly I got it ringing and found. Maybe it's your provider?
  • Exactly.  I have no issues with the Find My Phone feature.  I demo it all the time to folks.  It very well could be the location of where your phone actually is.  Cellular coverage is pretty important for that feature to work.
  • Any time I've tried to use the "Find my Phone feature" it states that my phone is already locked and I can only update the message. I have to manually remove the phone from my Windows Phone account and wait for "find my phone" under Settings in my Phone (an HTC HD7) to update and show that it's no disconnected. Then I have to re-add my Windows Phone and reactive the Find My Phone feature.  I can then successfully ring and lock my phone.
    But, once I've unlocked my phone after this set of "locking", the Windows Phone website does not update to show that the lock feature is not being used. Meaning, if you "lock" your phone using the website, it shows a masterlock image next to the word "lock". Once I've unlocked my phone using the passcode, the masterlock image remains, hence I can now never use the website to relock my phone unless I repeat the above steps of removing the phone from the acct, etc.
    And I'm doing all this from one location. The phone is being moved barely a feet throughout the entire process and I have full 3G signal.
    I've seen people have similar issues on Microsoft Answers, but with no resolution. It could just be a bug with my phone that's fixable after a hard reset, but I don't want to go through the hard reset at this time with no way to back up my text messages and other in-app data.
  • where do i find this. thank you in advance
  • I lost my phone on a bus one time on campus and immediately logged into my account, located it - saw it moving around the campus on the bus route. Rang it, then locked it with a message to drop it off at the student union. The person did about 40 mins later :)
  • The only thing I consider, is what if someone (knows) to hard reset your phone? Wouldnt that pretty much flaw both wp lockscreen and find mp? Of course not your average user knows how to do such tasks, but just a thought.
  • Lost all faith in humanity, huh? :)
    Well, sure, with a hard reset everything is gone. It's always a possibility someone doesn't give a sh** and is just happy about his new phone. If a person like this finds your phone and happens to know how to hard reset the device, it's gone for good. But at least your personal data won't be in said persons hand!
    The thing is, most people I know can barely go online and make calls. So, you shouldn't worry to much.
  • That is where the "Reward" line at the bottom comes in, kind of betting on someone's good will that they will see there is a reward and return it for a bit of cash. I'd glady hand over 25-50 even 75 for my phone if someone returned it. It's sure cheaper than buying a new one.
  • I think you read too much into that. It was only a vague thought. But I will surely give it a shot.
  • That's why you call your telco and report the phone stolen.
    Blocked IMEI makes the phone useless, whether they've "hard reset" it or not.
    I'm spiteful, if someone has my stolen property, I'd rather make it useless to anyone than let them get something out of it.
  • Unfortunately, as far as I know, in the U.S. neither T-mobile nor AT&T block IMEI numbers.  This practice is only prevalent in Europe.