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Enable lock screen widgets in Android 4.4 KitKat

The setting to enable lock screen widgets on Android 4.4 is buried in the least obvious place possible.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

When Google first launched Android 4.2 Jelly Bean one of the features included in the update was lock screen widgets. With the launch of Android 4.4 KitKat last week, there's a change to lock screen widgets you need to know about.

Users of Android 4.2 and 4.3 know that lock screen widgets were enabled by default on any compatible device. The option to have lock screen widgets was there whether you wanted them or not; that's not the case with KitKat.

When you first go to access or add a lock screen widget on KitKat you'll notice you can no longer swipe to the left. You can still activate the camera by swiping to the right, however.

In order to add lock screen widgets to your device you'll need to enable the feature. One would assume the setting to enable them would be found in the Display settings, but one would be wrong. Instead, you'll need to launch the Settings app on your device, select Security and look for the "Enable Widgets" option. Notice there's no indication these widgets will be found on your lock screen, but alas that's exactly what this setting is for.

If you're looking for more information on how lock screen widgets work, be sure to check out our tutorial here.