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Android 12: How to Change Lock Screen Clock

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After months of anticipation, Google has finally released Android 12 for its Pixel line of smartphones and if you own a Google Pixel 3 or newer model, you can upgrade to the latest version of Google’s mobile OS right away. As you may have seen from beta testers in the latest few months, the newest build of Android brings major design changes to the look and feel of the OS on a Pixel device. 

If this is the first time you’re using Android 12 on your Pixel smartphone, there’s one thing you wouldn’t miss noticing – the digital clock that’s now bigger (ugh?) than it has ever been on the Lock Screen. If you’re not a fan of this new clock design, then this post should help you understand what has changed with the Lock Screen clock and how you can modify it on Android 12. 

Related: Android 12 Scrolling Screenshot: Step-by-step guide

Android 12: What has changed with the lock screen clock?

Let’s first address the elephant in the room – the huge clock module on your lock screen and always-on screen. The digital clock on the Lock Screen is huge and now displays the hour and minute digits in two different horizontal rows.

Its font is now larger in size and also thicker than its Android 11 counterpart and now followed the wallpaper accents that you choose when picking a background on Android 12. Although much emphasis has been given on time, there’s still some more info at the top left corner of the lock screen with a small row each for the date &day, weather, and a calendar reminder (if available). 

The layout remains the same when the always-on display (AOD) kicks in. The only visible change is that the digital clock’s font is now thinner than the one on the lock screen and is white in color as you’d expect on an AOD screen. You still see the date and weather info at the top left but now, you’ll also see the battery percentage at the bottom, just like you would on Android 11. 

But why did Google change the lock screen/AOD clock? There’s a simple reason why. Pixel phones have always shown the time, date, and weather info at any time so that you can look down on your device and get all of this information.

With Android 12, Google cuts down your effort by showing you a bigger clock, thus letting you know the time without needing to stare down at your phone. Since this clock shrinks down to a smaller size when notifications come in, you will know when you have pending alters on your phone right away. 

While Google’s plans for a bigger lock screen clock might have been for good reasons, not all of you may appreciate this change. For those of you who prefer a minimalistic setup, the large size clock on the AOD/Lock Screen can be pretty annoying to watch. But can you change the clock or its size on Android 12? Read further down this post to learn more. 

Related: How to Add Material You Clock Widget on Android 12

Does Android 12 allow you to change the lock screen clock?

The answer is a simple NO! There’s no official way to change your Lock Screen clock on Android 12, at least on Google’s Pixel lineup (devices from other OEMs may have their own skin on top of Android, so they may provide them). In fact, there’s no way you can disable the clock module from the lock screen or change its layout or style from the Settings app.

The large-size digital clock comes natively to the Android 12 system and you can only tweak it around using the methods below to either prevent it from showing up persistently or change its appearance. 

How to change the lock screen clock on Android 12

Since you cannot change your lock screen clock on Android 12, you have to suffice with making minor adjustments to it to change the way the clock looks on your Pixel device. Here are a few ways how:

Method #1: Keep unread notifications

The digital clock on the lock screen and AOD screen is only large in size when there are no notifications on your phone. The moment any kind of an alert comes in, the clock shifts to the top left portion of the screen.

Instead of a row each for the hour and minute digits, the clock on the lock screen will now be a single row affair, replacing the original positions of the weather and date elements. These elements will now be visible below the smaller clock module and will be followed by all the notifications present on the screen. 

For the always-on display, the clock layout will follow that of the lock screen with a smaller module to show the time at the top left corner followed by the icons of apps you have notifications from or some other data. 

Related: How to Customize Material You on Android 12

Method #2: Change your wallpaper accent

If the bigger clock on the Lock Screen isn’t your problem but the color it takes up is, then fret not, you can actually change the clock module’s font color on the lock screen from the Wallpaper & style screen on Android 12. By default, Android picks up the color it thinks is right based on the wallpaper you have applied on your home/lock screen.

Based on the different colors present in this background, you can change your clock’s color by first long-pressing on your Home Screen and selecting the ‘Wallpaper & style’ option. 

from there, you can choose different color options under the ‘Wallpaper colors’ or ‘Basic colors’ sections on the next screen to apply your preferred clock color. 

Related: How to Copy a URL From Recents on Android 12

Method #3: Disable Always-on Display

If the big ol’ clock is what’s annoying you the most, you may disable it from the one screen that it appears the most on – the Always-on Display. This way, you won’t be bothered by the clock when your phone is not in use and you’ll only see it when you press the power button and are greeted by the lock screen. 

To disable the Always-on Display on your Pixel smartphone, open the Settings app and select ‘Display’. 

On the next screen, tap on the ‘Lock screen’ option under ‘Lock display’. 

You can now disable the Always-on Display on your phone by turning off the toggle adjacent to ‘Always show time and info’. 

When you disable this option, your Pixel phone’s display will be turned off entirely when you lock it with the Power button. 

Related: How to Auto Rotate Your Screen With Face Detection on Android 12

Method #4: Turn on Android’s screen saver

One alternative to using a lock screen clock is enabling a screensaver on your Pixel phone. However, unlike your regular Lock Screen, the downside to this option is that you will need to turn on the screen saver every time you want to see it unless your phone is plugged in for a charge. On Android 12, the screensaver clock takes up inspiration from Material You with a dollop-like shape. 

To enable this screensaver, open the Clock app on your Pixel device, tap on the 3-dots icon at the top right corner, and select the ‘Screensaver’ option. 

The screensaver will now show up on the screen. If you want to configure the way this clock looks, you can go to Settings > Display > Screen saver and choose when you want the clock to show up, toggle between analog and digital clocks, and enable Night mode (for a dimmed down display). 

That’s all you need to know about changing the lock screen clock on Android 12. 


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