The applock is perhaps the most rudimentary of security apps. The way it works is that it will lock up your other apps from prying eyes. You have to enter a password or something in order to gain access to the app. They work best when paired with a lock screen lock to give you two layers of security. Which ones are worth getting? We’ll help you out with the best applocks and privacy lock apps for Android.
The best applocks for Android
- Apex Launcher
- Applock by DoMobile Lab
- Applock by IvyMobile
- AppLocker by BGNmobi
- Norton App Lock
- Perfect AppLock
- Smart AppLock
- Smart Launcher 5
- SpSoft AppLock
- Ultra Applock
Do applocks work, and do I need one?
The applock is an interesting type of security app. The basic function is a sound idea. It prevents people from entering an app without something like a PIN, a fingerprint, or a code of some sort. The extra layer of protection keeps prying eyes out of sensitive apps, such as social media, your gallery app, and other such apps.
Here’s the thing. Applocks are just apps. They are capable of hiding themselves from the app drawer to prevent immediate break-ins, but ultimately, you can just uninstall it, and it’ll go away. At the end of the day, a reasonably tech-savvy person can bypass an applock without too much difficulty in a short period of time.
Applocks do work, but we recommend against making them your first and only layer of security on your phone.
So, do you need one? Well, it depends. The best use case for an applock is people with children. Children aren’t all that tech savvy, especially when they’re younger, so they’ll likely not figure out how to get around it and into your banking app. Those types of short-term use cases are perfect for applocks.
In short, applocks do work. However, we would not lean on these apps to be the front line of your security. Lock screens are far more effective at keeping strangers out of your business.
Price: Free / $3.99
Apex Launcher is an excellent launcher and it just so happens to have an applock function. The launcher features are pretty good and include various customizations, icon pack support, various effects, and you can hide elements like the status bar or the dock if you want them invisible. There are also some app security features as well, including the ability to hide apps from the app drawer and an applock function with a password protect layer for extra security. It’s always a little better if it’s baked into the launcher than from a dedicated app, so if you don’t mind re-doing your home screens, this one and Smart Launcher 5 (listed below) are good alternatives to dedicated applock apps.
See also:The best Android launcher apps to make your home screen perfect
Applock by DoMobile Lab
Applock by DoMobile Lab is definitely one of the best applocks out there. The app can do the basics like locking up specific apps. It can also lock up specific images and videos. It also includes uninstall protection, fingerprint support, and you can even lock stuff like incoming calls, uninstalling apps, and your various system functions like Bluetooth. The app is free to download and use. You can unlock the premium features either by enabling ads or paying for the premium version via a donation. It’s a strong app and one of our favorites.
AppLock by IvyMobile
AppLock is another one of the better applocks on Android. Like you’ll see, it can lock pretty much any app on your phone. It also boasts the ability to lock photos and videos. The app features an invisible pattern lock as well as a random keyboard just in case someone is trying to peep over your shoulder. You’ll also get theming, the ability to replace the icon so you can hide the app, lock frequency, and more. It’ll even take a picture of people who don’t put the password in right. It’s completely free to download and use. That’s another good perk for this one.
See also:The best gallery vault apps for Android
AppLocker by BGNmobi
Price: Free / $2.99
AppLocker by BGNmobi is a decent overall app lock app. It does most of the same stuff as other applock apps. That includes locking up apps and giving you various ways to access them. You get fingerprint support as well as pattern unlock and a password unlock. It also comes with some customization options and it can prevent other users from uninstalling apps. It won’t dazzle you with a ton of extra or unnecessary features. It’s just a simple app lock that does its job fairly well and it’s also cheap. You can use this for free if you subscribe to Google Play Pass as well.
Norton App Lock
Norton is a big name when it comes to antivirus apps. As it turns out, they also provide a free app lock app. It uses a four digit PIN, password, or pattern as its lock system. It also supports photos alongside apps. The app also comes with a recommendations list that lets you know which apps should be locked. That’s a great tool for those who want a more hands-off approach. Like most, it also takes a photo of anyone trying to get into your phone. It can be bypassed if the peeker is clever, but it’s still one of the more solid applocks.
See also:The best security apps for Android that aren’t antivirus apps
- The best antivirus apps for Android
- The best privacy apps for Android to keep your anonymity intact
Perfect AppLock is another one of the better applocks out there. It features the basics, including support for locking up WiFi, Bluetooth, and other toggles. It’s also rather frustrating to get passed. It throws fake errors and all kinds of other messages out there. That makes people think there’s a different issue other than an applock. The free and paid versions provide the exact same features. The only difference is that the paid version doesn’t have advertising. It’s a solid all around option, even if it’s name kind of oversells its capabilities a little bit
Smart AppLock is another decent free applock option. It’ll lock up your apps and photos, including your settings, toggles, and phone app (for phone logs) to keep all of those safe. It disguises itself as a lock screen. That way people think they’re back there all over again. Along with that, it provides auto-start upon reboot, break-in alerts, delayed app locking, and it has fingerprint scanner capabilities for Samsung devices. It’s a free option that is supported by advertising. The only downside is that it’s pretty easy to uninstall once someone figures out that it’s there.
See also:What is a VPN and why do you need one?
Smart Launcher 6
Price: Free / Up to $6.99
Smart Launcher 6 is a newer launcher with some decent security features. The app features launcher stuff like ambient theming, adaptive icons, app sorting, gestures, hotkeys, and more. One of its more niche features is an applock. The launcher hides apps you don’t want other people seeing. Additionally, if they do find them, the apps are then protected with a PIN. We would’ve liked to have seen fingerprint reader support, but it’s a whole launcher with an applock built-in and that’s a bit of a rarity in this space. Thankfully, this rarity is also pretty decent as a launcher and as an app lock.
Price: Free / $4.99
SpSoft AppLock is a decent option for applocks. It features password, pattern, and fingerprint unlocking. That’s good news for those with fingerprint scanners. Like many, it’ll take a selfie of people who try to get into your apps and fail. It also has a bunch of fun little extras. You can make your pattern unlock show up on a grid of up to 18×18 instead of the traditional 3×3. It’ll also show a fake error message instead of a lock if you want it to. The app will even keep your screen on when using certain apps if you want. It’s a good option that also supports over 30 languages.
See also:The best password manager apps for Android
Price: Free / Up to $7.49
Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Ultra AppLock is another decent applock with enough features to work for most folks. You simply open the app, lock the apps you want, and then you need a password to enter them. The app supports fingerprint locks and can send break-in alerts if someone guesses the password wrong. The applock part of this app works fine. However, it also includes some cleaner and battery saver features that absolutely do not work and we recommend you not even touch them. It’s reasonably good and should get the job done for most as long as you stay away from the cleaner features.
If we missed any of the best applocks for Android, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best apps, click here.
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