How to Add Lock Screen Widgets to Android 4.4 KitKat and Nexus 5

The new Google Nexus 5 smartphone with Android 4.4 KitKat is finally on the Google Play Store, Sprint and soon here on T-Mobile in the US and not to mention shipping for many in Canada. Many users who get the new device will want to enable the lock screen widgets and here is how to do it.

Unlike Android Jelly Bean, where Google released lock screen widgets, Android 4.4 KitKat still has this feature, but it is not enabled by default. Instead of swiping left and adding widgets, first you need to go to settings and enable them. This is a safety precaution and we thought many of you would like to know how. Whether you just got the Nexus 5, upgraded to KitKat on a Nexus or Google device, or a custom ROM running KitKat, here’s how to get these widgets back.

At first I tried a few different things to get the widgets back and I was confused, this was not a simple out-of-the-box feature like we had before. In the end, it only makes sense to enable it for those who want it, as not everyone asks for Gmail, Google Assistant directions, and other important information that appears on the lock screen before unlocking a device.

This is Google making Android more secure and hence disabled lock screen widgets by default and now few extremely quick and easy steps in settings will get them back.


To re-enable lock screen widgets on Android 4.4 KitKat and your Nexus 5, simply go to settings and select it. No, this is not under display options and is instead in the security tab as this is a feature to keep your smartphone more secure.

(second option) and that’s it. Everything is ready!

Screenshot 2013-11-11 10.21.21 AM

In simpler terms for starters, you’ll want to look for the gear-shaped “settings” icon in your app tray, or toggle between quick settings by hitting the top-right icon in the notification pop-up bar. Tap settings, go to security, tap this and check enable widgets and you’re done. Find out how you can quickly check out our video below.

It’s that simple. Just a few taps and you’re ready. The video above also shows you how to add, rearrange and remove lock screen widgets in Android 4.4 KitKat for those wondering.

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Should You Enable This?

Adding lock screen widgets to your smartphone can be very convenient. It is very convenient to have instant access to Google Sound Search, Soundhound, alarm clock settings, Gmail and various other apps in seconds. On the other hand, this allows someone to access important aspects of a device before it is unlocked. As a security concern, Google has disabled this out of the box, but it’s easy to enable for those who need it.

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