According to the Chrome Releases blog, when Chrome OS 57 rolled out, PIN Unlock became a thing on all Chromebooks.
The only problem? It is a bit tough to find.
Though enabled, the place we would expect this setting to be found is not, in fact, where you will find it.
Around Chrome Unboxed, we’ve been using the Material Design settings off and on for months. In that settings menu (which we sure hope gets fully integrated soon), PIN Unlock is front and center and easy to get to.
In the standard settings menu, however, this setting was a bit tougher to find. I kept looking around the Smart Lock section, but found nothing. Convinced that it was around somewhere, I kept looking.
Usually, a simple search finds what you need. This didn’t work either.
Eventually, I clicked on a link in the People section titled ‘manage screen lock.’ Makes sense in hind-sight.
Once you click through, you’ll be met with a screen that ask you to confirm your Google password in order to change these settings. That’s a good thing. Enter it and proceed. You will then be met with this screen:
Likely, you will be set to ‘Password only’. Simply select ‘PIN or password’ and then ‘Set up PIN’ after that. You will then see this screen:
Simply enter your at-least-six-digit PIN, twice, and click continue. You will return to the screen lock pop up where you will now have the option to change your PIN. You can also select the ‘Require screen lock to wake from sleep’ option here as well. That is a very good idea to enable unless your Chromebook or Chromebox is home-bound all the time.
An interesting note: after setup is complete, if you want to change your PIN, repeat the steps above and when you get to the pop-up with the option for Password or PIN, select ‘Password only’ and then re-select ‘PIN or password’. This will prompt you to reset the PIN. In my opinion, they should simply leave the ‘Change your PIN’ option there as you can’t get to this menu without the main Google password. But, that’s just my two cents.
Anyway, there you have it. Set up the long-awaited PIN unlock and, if you are like me, be relieved that you don’t have to use your very long Google Password every time your Chrome OS device falls asleep!