Yoodley is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
When you press and hold a text message in Android Messaging, you may see “Lock.” Some Android Messaging apps provide this feature.
What does it do?
A locked SMS message can’t be deleted. The lock function gives an extra layer of protection from deleting the encrypted message by mistake.
If you lock a text message and then delete the thread it’s part of, the locked messages will remain but the thread will be deleted. On certain devices, deleting a thread has a checkbox to “Include protected message” or “Delete locked messages.” Other phones lack this feature.
If Message Locking is enabled, look at the “Send” button. If it has a lock, your conversations are secure and can’t be read by others. The lock feature can also be seen near the text message timestamp and banner.
An end-to-end encrypted conversation ensures complete protection by a shared verification code. Both the people having a text conversation have the same code. You can verify this code as well.
Follow these instructions for code verification:
- Open the conversation you want to verify on your messaging app.
- Click on the More options, then choose Details.
- In the upper top side, you will see a Verify encryption in the menu.
- Check with the other person if they have the same code as well.
If you or the other person disables this chat feature, the lock disappears. So, to ensure this before sending another message, check that all the locks have been removed.
How Does Message Encryption Work?
Any kind of text or media you send through a messaging app transforms into an unreadable dataset. When data encryption takes place, it jumbles up the information segments for safety. For those who are curious about how this works, here’s how it works:
The data will only make sense through a secret code key. This means that both you and the recipient of the message have this key number. Similarly, this step of unique code key generation happens with every text message created. By the end of the decryption, the key is destroyed.
This method of message protection ensures that an authorized person can’t access your personal information. For now, this feature is limited to only two-person interactions, not group conversations. The technology for the availability of this feature in group conversations is still some time away.
To use the end-to-end protection through encryption, both the members need to utilize the same messaging app. Another necessity is for these messages to be in RCS states. This ensures they are transmitted only through packet data and Wi-Fi, not SMS/MMS. Both the users should have encryption enabled in their respective chat apps as a requirement.
How To Enable Locking On Messages?
Follow these instructions to activate the chat room features:
- Open the messaging app.
- Tap the menu that looks like three dots.
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Choose the features of Chat.
- Select the option to Enable chat features.
You can check the activation of chat functionality by noticing the message colors. For example, dark blue indicates RCS mode while light blue denotes SMS or MMS state.
When the end-to-end feature is activated in your conversation, you will see a banner denoting “chatting with [name or number of the person].”
How To Get Rid Of It?
To get rid of the lock symbol, you need to disable it from Settings. If your Android device is RCS compatible with the Locking option enabled, you will need to go to Settings and then go to Chat Features. From Chat Features, you will be able to disable the Locking Messages option.
Once disabled, your messages won’t be locked anymore and the Lock symbol won’t be applied on any future messages as long as you don’t enable the RCS feature back again.