Latest update pulls 'swipe to unlock' feature from Samsung phones

Users of Samsung smartphones are reporting a new problem. As per reports from those using the company’s flagship smartphones (including Galaxy S9/S9+, Galaxy S8/S8+, Galaxy Note8, and Galaxy S7), the interim ‘swipe to unlock’ screen that appears when you try accessing the phone (by pressing the power button usually) has gone missing.

Yes, users say (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) now when they turn their phone’s display off using power button, and the device is still not hard locked (meaning security measures like fingerprint and iris scanning haven’t kicked off), then accessing the phone using the power key lands them directly inside (to the last app or screen that was in use).

Here’s how a user explains the change:

Before update: Pressing the home or unlock buttons always went to the lock screen. If the phone hadn’t been unlocked in the last 10 minutes, it would require to input Pin or fingerprint. If it had, you could just swipe to unlock.

After Update: Home and unlock buttons went to lock screen which ALWAYS requires pin or fingerprint. In settings under Lock Screen and Security > Secure Lock Settings, I changed “Lock Automatically” to 10 minutes, but now the home and unlock buttons bypass the lock screen entirely and just unlock the phone completely. This is annoying because I would always check the time and all notifications using the lock screen. Also note I don’t use AOD

While this may seem like minor annoyance in first look (no access to clock, notifications, and more), it’s definitely more than that.

Users say now even an incoming text message completely unlocks the phone, and if the device is in their pocket at that time, there’s a risk of accidental touches leading to unintended calls and other such actions.

I know I’m going to pocket dial people constantly without that “interim” page of the unlocked lock screen

While there’s no official word from Samsung on this change, a user shared on the company’s official forum that a company rep confirmed the latest update has taken away the feature.

I just wanted to update this since I finally got an answer. The Samsung tech I spoke with informed me that for some unknown reason Samsung took away your ability to use swipe and password/fingerprint together anymore with their last update

So there you go, it’s likely not a bug, as the rep confirmed the feature has been pulled in the latest update (presumably the June security update). Sadly, there was no reason on why this was done, and more importantly, whether or not the company plans to bring it back in near future.

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Dr. Aparajita Sharma

A budding entrepreneur by profession, and a psychologist by education. As a founding member of PiunikaWeb, I am nurturing this firstborn with my sharp-eyed expertise and even journalistic writing when needed.