Creating Your Own Lockscreen Theme

What is the first thing you see, when you pick up your iPhone and wake it up? It’s the lock screen, right? Most people have their favourtie photo or a wallpaper they downloaded, on their lock screen, but what if you could really customize your lock screen, with whatever you want? Well, there is a way, and I’m going to do my best to walk you through it.

What’s required of you:

As with many of my tutorials, this requires you to have a iPhone or iPod Touch (any version) that is Jailbroken, with OpenSSH and Winterboard installed. You’ll need some minor graphics skills. I’ll be using Adobe Photoshop, but you just need any graphics software that will let you save as a PNG file. You will need some kind of FTP program, to move the theme to your device. Lastly, you will need a little creativity. Feel free to go as crazy as you want here, as long as you stick to the sizes and file names.

Creating the Images:

We’re going to start off real simple. We’re going to make a custom background for your lock screen, and a custom slider. Let’s start with the background.

Using Adobe Photoshop, go to File>New. We need to be specific about the parameters. We know our iPhone screen’s resolution is 320 x 480, at 72 dpi. Also, set the background to “Transparent”. It should look something like this:

screenshot_04Okay, this is the part where you gotta get those creative juices flowing. What do you like? Cars? Sports? Babes? Stamp collecting? Make it personal. You can either create something in Photoshop, or just find some cool images, via a Google Image Search, and import them to your background. I did a little of both. I stole the new iPhoneinCanada logo, from this site, and put it on a grey background, with a bit of a gradient:

screenshot_10Once you’re satisfied with your design, you need to save it. Let’s just put it on the desktop, for now. The file name needs to be exactly like this “LockBackground.png”.

screenshot_11

Next, we’re going to create a custom slider, or “bottom bar knob”, as it is labeled in the iPhone. Again, in Photoshop, go File>New. This image will be rather tiny. The dimensions for the slider are 71 x 47, at 72 dpi. Should look something like this:

screenshot_011Again, this is the creative part. I would suggest keeping the slider simple, as it is a small image. You won’t see a bunch of detail in there, it would just turn muddy. For my theme, I decided to take an image of an iPhone, and put a Canadian flag, where the screen should be:

screenshot_13Okay, now let’s save it. Just on the desktop for now. The file name needs to be exactly this: “bottombarknobgray.png”.

screenshot_14

Packaging the theme for Winterboard:

Let’s get your theme ready for Winterboard. On your desktop, create a new folder, and name it whatever you want your theme to be called. Drag and drop you “LockBackground.png” in there. Then within that folder, create another folder, and name it “Bundles”. Within the “Bundles” folder, create another folder and name it “com.apple.TelephonyUI”. Drag and drop your “bottombarknobgray.png” into the “com.apple.TelephonyUI” folder. The final result should look something like this:

screenshot_19

Install your theme on your device:

We showed you how to use a FTP program and OPenSSH to install SMS tone on your device. This is exactly the same. Go here, to revisit that post. Once you’ve SSH’d into your defive, navigate to Library>Themes. Then transfer over the entire folder, that we created earlier.

Next open up Winterboard, and you should see you theme on the list. Select it, and exit Winterboard. Your device will respring, and when it comes back up, you should see your new lockscreen! Mine turned out like this:

IMG_0017

There is so much more you can do to customize your iPhone. It does take a lot of work to create a complete theme, especially with all the app icons out there. What I’ve shown here, is merely the tip of the iceberg. You can customize the dock, the wallpaper, the status bar,….just about anything, including any of the sounds your iPhone makes. If you’d like to dig a little deeper into this, download some themes from Cydia, SSH into your phone, and copy the themes to your computer. You can then examine the the file structure and file names, and get a better idea how to customize further.

Good luck, and have fun!

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  • Dusty

    Good job on the guide ;)

  • Dusty

    Good job on the guide ;)

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca iphoneincanada

    Haha, sweet! Time to unleash the legion of rabid Canadian iPhone
    fans! That's a nice looking lockscreen I must say ;)

  • dashparr

    Great post!
    Instead of Winterboard, I SSH the files directly. For example, to edit the lockscreen, I go to /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/TelephonyUI.framework/. That way, my iphone does not get “slowed down” by winterboard. Try it out!

  • dashparr

    Great post!
    Instead of Winterboard, I SSH the files directly. For example, to edit the lockscreen, I go to /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/TelephonyUI.framework/. That way, my iphone does not get “slowed down” by winterboard. Try it out!

  • Nick_Abby

    thats pretty cool! an app that i like for my lockscreen is called “lock Calendar”

    it displays your calendar events right on the lockscreen (covering your lockscreen picture) its not exactly creating your own lockscreen but its how i use my lockscreen and make it into somthing useful :D

  • Nick_Abby

    i dont really see the “slowdown” on my 3GS but i remember exactly what your talking about when i had my 3G phone!

    winterboard brought the 3G to a grinding halt causing the need for excessive Reboots till i found the memtool to clear the RAM

    however now that the 3GS has double the ram and a faster processor winterboard cannot drag the phone down as much as before.

  • rorypiper

    I like the Winterboard method, because you can add as many themes as you want, and then just use the Winterboad App to switch them, when you feel like.

    I am on a 3GS now, but I do remember how slow my iPhone “EDGE” was, with Winterboard installed. Ugh.

  • rorypiper

    I like the Winterboard method, because you can add as many themes as you want, and then just use the Winterboad App to switch them, when you feel like.

    I am on a 3GS now, but I do remember how slow my iPhone “EDGE” was, with Winterboard installed. Ugh.

  • joshuadenney

    Very cool! I have a photo of my brothers and I riding an elephant right now, tough choices must be made in the near future…

  • http://joshuadenney.com Joshua

    Very cool! I have a photo of my brothers and I riding an elephant right now, tough choices must be made in the near future!

  • Dusty

    I know how ya feel about the iPhone 2G Edge and Winterboard lol
    I had moving backgrounds, flashing lights, switching themes, and everything was change to the way I liked it using Winterboard. Wow, did that ever slow the iPhone down lol The 3GS is handling everything good!

  • Dusty

    I know how ya feel about the iPhone 2G Edge and Winterboard lol
    I had moving backgrounds, flashing lights, switching themes, and everything was change to the way I liked it using Winterboard. Wow, did that ever slow the iPhone down lol The 3GS is handling everything good!

  • Stagg

    This is a great guide, and you made it look so easy for the ppl who are not too tech about their iphones. I actually tried your step by step guide and got an amazing lock screen (thanks for that) .. I would be very much interested in finding out on how to create a complete theme. I am sure it won't be as easy as creating just the lock theme..

  • Tim

    Great guide thanks.
    Question: How did you get that little mail symbol beside your Bluetooth symbol?? That is something I would really like.

  • Nick_Abby

    its a applicaiton for jailbroken phones called “Notifier”

  • graylen

    Excellent post! thanks!

  • VirginiaAMckinney

    To combat this problem must american flag wallpaper ensure that you understand what the problem is America is obesity.

  • Brandon

    How do you change the “Slide to Unlock” text to something else? Is that a difficult process?

  • Brandon

    How do you change the “Slide to Unlock” text to something else? Is that a difficult process?

  • Guest

    navigate to /System/Library/CoreServices/SpringBoard.app/English.lproj/SpringBoard.strings. In the first line in quotes it says”Slide To Unlock” just change that. For winterboard put it in Bundels/com.apple.springboard/

  • Hyphy Purple

    how do i use photoshop?

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  • Glen Close

    what application can i use to open the springboard.strings file?

  • Rafaelveras34

    um i did it but when i go into winter board it wont show it

  • Rafaelveras34

    um i did it but when i go into winter board it wont show it

  • Rafaelveras34

    um i did it but when i go into winter board it wont show it

  • Charlie

    notepad

  • HellokittyQueens57

    This sucks it does not work