[alert color=”green”]Although this walk-through is written for those using a device running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the steps are almost identical for those of you running Android Lollipop, too. [/alert]

Screen Pinning menuWith the holiday season basically upon us, family gatherings are going to be in near future for many of us. While it is wonderful to spend time with loved ones, these parties normally involve multiple children begging to play games on your phone. There is no better time than now for a refresh on how to use that amazing screen pinning feature that Google debuted with Android 5.0 last year.

Screen pinning allows you to pin a specific app on your phone so that whoever is using your phone can only use that app and cannot navigate throughout your phone. If they discover how to unpin the app, they will be greeted with your lockscreen provided your device is secured with some form of lockscreen security. This means that when you hand your phone off to you little cousins to play Clash of Clans, they will not exit the app and somehow find there way to Amazon to accidentally purchase a giant stuffed bear.

To enable Screen Pinning, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Settings menu on your phone
  2. Scroll until you see the Security section and tap on that
  3. In the Security menu, scroll to the bottom where you will find Screen Pinning and select it
  4. Enable screen pinning by tapping the toggle at the top right of the menu
  5. If you have any type of lockscreen security (PIN, pattern, etc), you can have it be displayed in order to unpin the app by toggling that option

Hooray! Screen pinning has been enabled. Now to utilize your new found power, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app that you want to pinScreen pinning
  2. Press the Overview button (the square button at the bottom of your phone)
  3. In Overview, drag the app you want to pin into the middle of the screen
  4. Tap the blue pin icon in the bottom right corner of the box
  5. Each time you pin a screen, a dialog box will appear that explains how to unpin the screen. Tapping “Got It” will make this box go away.
  6. Congratulations! Your screen has been pinned!
  7. To unpin your screen, simply tap and hold on the Overview and Back buttons simultaneously. If you chose to lock the apps with your lockscreen, you will be prompted to enter your passcode and then you can return to using your phone as normal.

It should be noted that when trying to exit a pinned app, instructions appear on now to exit the app which will give anyone using your phone the ability to unpin the app. For the best privacy, some sort of lockscreen security is recommended. You can couple this with screen pinning so that when someone attempts to unpin an app, they are sent directly to your lockscreen.

Screen pinning is a super useful tool when your around family and friends who like to borrow your phone, but it is also a nice feature to have if you even lend your phone to a stranger to make a call or anything else. This extra layer of security is always useful and helps keep your information private.

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  1. Not exactly how I’d like screen pinning to work. Say I’d like an app to inhabit a screen and not move from that screen but allow myself to move freely between other screens. Is this possible?

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