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How to enable 6-digit PIN to lock your Windows 10 Mobile phone remotely

Windows 10 Mobile offers different options to sign into your phone as the first line of defense against prying eyes. If you're a Windows Phone user, you already know two locking mechanisms: the standard PIN password and Windows Hello, which is a new feature that uses iris scanner as a form of authentication.

However, Microsoft also offers a third method to lock your phone, which is a 6-digit PIN feature that can be enabled through your Microsoft Account online{.nofollow}, and allows you to lock your phone remotely.

The main reason for this third locking mechanism is to add an extra layer of security if your phone ever gets lost or stolen. While you can configure Windows Hello, which is very secure, anyone can still have access to the Lock screen and guess your PIN -- even more likely if the device falls into the hands of someone you know. Additionally, if for any reason you get locked out of your phone, you can also set a 6-digit PIN remotely to unlock the device without having to wait hours before trying again.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to set a 6-digit PIN to lock your phone and how to go back to your original PIN once you regain physical control of the device.

How to secure your Windows 10 Mobile phone using a 6-digit PIN

  1. Open your web browser and access your Microsoft Account (opens in new tab) with the credentials you're using on your phone.
  2. On Your devices, click the Find my phone link for the device you want to lock remotely.

  1. On the Find My Phone page, click the Lock button.

  1. Enter the 6-digit PIN you want to use.Note: Keep in mind that a new 6-digit PIN is all you need for the feature to work, but you can also include a phone number where you can be reached. You can also add a message of up to 160 characters that will appear on the Lock screen.

  1. Click the Lock button to complete.

Now your mobile device will lock immediately, and anyone trying to sign in will see a pop-up message with your custom text and call back number. (Only you with the new PIN will be able to unlock the phone.)

How to revert to your original PIN password on Windows 10 Mobile

Once you set a 6-digit PIN to lock your phone remotely, it will become your PIN to unlock your phone every time you want to sign in. If you want to go back to your original PIN, you will need to change your sign-in options in the Settings app.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Windows 10 Mobile phone.
  2. Tap Accounts.

  1. Tap Sign-in options.

  1. Under PIN, tap Change.

  1. Enter your current 6-digit PIN password in the first field, then enter and confirm your new PIN, and tap OK.

Now you should be able to lock and unlock your Windows 10 Mobile phone using your original PIN.

It's important to note that you don't need an active phone line, as long the device is connected to the internet, you'll be able to lock it. Additionally, Microsoft will send you an email letting you know your device has been locked with the 6-digit PIN in case you forget it.

The 6-digit PIN is not only useful when your phone gets lost or stolen, but it can come in handy in certain other scenarios too. For example, it could happen that after installing the latest preview of Windows 10 Mobile and hard resetting it (opens in new tab), or you tried to sign in too many times, you'll get greeted with a message that reads: "This device has been locked for security reasons. Connect your device to the power source for at least two hours, and then try again." Instead of waiting, you can use the instructions above to set a new PIN and unlock your phone.

What do you think about the 6-digit PIN password option on Windows 10 Mobile Tell us what you think in the comments below.

More resources

For more Windows 10 Mobile tips and tricks, and the latest news, you can visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

56 Comments
  • Nice feature!
  • There isn't actually a limit to the amount of digits you can have in the pin anymore. I have an eight digit one, just set up in settings, it doesn't stop you at a certain number.
  • You're correct, minimum is 4, but you can use 6, 8, 12, and more, but too many it not it just gets ridiculous. :-) Thanks,
  • I believe the limit is 16. I've tried using more, it throws an error.
  • I have an 12 digit pin # for my Lumia 930
  • I chose an odd number and went with an 11 digit pin.
  • Nice
  • Great article! Thanks.
  • Wowww such a great feature...
  • I really like this feature,
  • You can still bypass the lock with Hello. Basically, it just changes your pin code and locks it right away.
  • If someone stole your phone, how can they bypass the lock with Hello?
  • plastic surgery
  • Even that won't help. It's an iris scanner.
  • Iris surgery lol
  • I don't have a lock on my phone, just in case someone ever finds it and needs to return it. Unfortunately, that also means that everyone has access to my stuff, as all my accounts are linked to my phone. This looks like a nice solution.
  • Download the app Lockscreen text and use that to add a custom message to your lock screen. Mine is set with emergency contact details in case anything happens.
  • That is a nice solution. Been using that since a long time.
  • It will work only if the phone is connected to the internet I guess
  • Exactly what I wanted to know. There is a point about it in the article, but it says active phone line is not required as long as it is connected to the internet. But what if there is active phone line and no internet. Will it work? Somebody needs to try. XD
  • unfortunately not
  • What if I already set PIN code and it gets stolen, so the thief has no access to mobile data and Wifi?
  • Lol like sim pin
  • What if you button hard reset the phone
  • If you have Reset Protection enabled, they will need your Microsoft Account login credentials to be able to get past the Reset Proction login screen before they can set up the phone. Reset Protection works great. I hard reset a phone via the buttons do to a software issue, forgot I enabled Reset Protection and was greeted with the Microsoft Account login screen when the phone finished resetting and thought "WOW! No way to get around that!!" and then logged in as it was my phone.
  • Thanks!!!
  • You're welcome!
  • This is GooD
    But I want just like in my NOKIA C7 Symbian back there, cuz our phones aren't connected to the internet 24/7, and mostly we loss our phones when they aren't connected.
    In my NOKIA C7 I can choose a password (anything numeric or alphabetic, even bad words) to lock my phone. So WHEN I SEND THAT PASSWORD BY SMS THE PHONE LOCKS AND NO NEED OF ANY INTERNET CONNECTION. Plz guys make that happen
  • This solution is way more versatile, because one the first thing most phone thieves do is to remove the sim card. And then sending SMS becomes useless.
  • maybe have this SMS thing as an option for folks that don't have mobile internet
  • Cool, I did not know that.  Thanks!
  • And another excellent Parental Contol feature for those child accounts (Windows 10 Phone has quickly become the gold standard for parental controls on a phone - no other comes even close as far as I can tell). If your child ever refuses to give you their new PIN, simply reset it from the web. Or for the times when your kids forget what password they put on a phone. I have several older phones that my kids play with and there been a few times when they forgot what PIN they put on it after it went unused for a bit - ultimately required wiping the phone and starting over but with this it will be a simple remote pw update.
  • This feature has been available since WP7 days as far as I remember. Certainly isn't new.
  • The difference is the ability to enter a new PIN. Previously, you could enter a PIN if the device did not have one set already. If there was one, it used the existing PIN to lock it. Wasn't useful if you forgot your PIN or your kid got you locked out forever playing with it.
  • I just had this last monday... Out of the bleu my devices was locked for security reasons (I still don't get why it got locked it the first place) I had to unlock it trough the find my device feature at my microsoft account page... Nice feature and all, but bloody annoying if your devices locked you out for no apparent reason like mine did (no matter how easy it was to unlock it again)
  • Thanks....for the info
  • Hard reset combo
  • Reset protection option. If you enable that, they will still need access to your Microsoft Account to complete the reset.
  • Awesome, thanks for letting us know! I'm going to set this up now.
  • Is this just an article about Find My Phone, then? I thought it was something else.
  • I agree - the headline and intro didn't convey how powerful this feature is. I nearly stopped reading after the first sentence but it turned out to be an interesting feature I didn't know about. If headline had been something like "How to remotely contact and lock your lost phone" it would have grabbed my interest from the start.
  • ThaNX!!! You guys rock!
  • It didn't worked for me. It just says "We can't lock your phone right now. We'll notify you if we successfully lock your phone," My phone is just next to me and has internet connection, but MS can not Lock my phone.
  • Go to settings and search for "Find my phone". Enable both options in the menu and then refresh the account page on the internet. Click locate my phone/find my phone for it to locate it on the map, showing that it has connected to it and then try to lock it again.
  • It takes a time.
  • Shouldn't take time. If phone stolen you need it locking or wiping.
  • All i want is a feature who wont let anyone reset a phone whithout a digit code or a password. Kinda like icloud on ios. It would be more secure than ever.. Otherwise that 6digit code wouldnt work if the phone gets reset
  • Does this still work after a hard reset and the device is linked to another account?
  • Only if simcard and data connection. Most thief's remove sim card
  • Please, is Hard reset protection available on the latest version of W10M?
  • we've to turn on wifi/data & location for it right ??
  • This is really nice and something we have been asking for. You could always lock a WP from the web interface, but entering a PIN was only an option if you did not already have a PIN set. So, you could set a PIN, but could not re-set one. That was a real pain when someone forgot their PIN, or a kid playing got ou locked out for what amounted to days or months before you could try again. Our only recourse was to hard reset and get as much back via a restore as you could. Now, if the PIN is forgotten (write it down somewhere safe) or your cat tries to log in too many times, you can get back into your device. It should always have worked like this.
  • What happens if someone connects the phone to a computer then resets it with the Windows Phone Recovery Tool? Any mechanisms to prevent a hard reset through this method?
  • Nice i use that site a lot because i forget where i left my phone i press ring and i find it.
    P.S.1
    If i restart my phone(640XLdual sim) and need the pin from my sim and someone press cancel the device just open.You can't make calls or send messages but you have full access to my phone like pictures documents contacts and read calls and messages
    P.S.2
    The last photo has the keyboard for numbers only and you can use it if you wanna change your pin.Why we don't have that style with big numbers to make calls and unlocked the sim but we have to use this awful and stupid keyboard???
    Sorry for the big post.No potato.
  • Thanks for the info
  • Lumia 950 XL with 10586.29 - MS Site says that protection is off and there is no option on the phone to switch it on (it's supposed to be under "Find my Phone" but I only have "save my device's location" and "save it more frequently"). Is this a new feature that's missing from my phone?