The view of the lysosome as the terminal end of cellular catabolic pathways has been challenged by recent studies showing a central role of this organelle in the control of cell function. Here we show that a lysosomal Ca2+ signalling mechanism controls the activities of the phosphatase calcineurin and of its substrate TFEB, a master transcriptional regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy. Lysosomal Ca2+ release through mucolipin 1 (MCOLN1) activates calcineurin, which binds and dephosphorylates TFEB, thus promoting its nuclear translocation. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of calcineurin suppressed TFEB activity during starvation and physical exercise, while calcineurin overexpression and constitutive activation had the opposite effect. Induction of autophagy and lysosomal biogenesis through TFEB required MCOLN1-mediated calcineurin activation. These data link lysosomal calcium signalling to both calcineurin regulation and autophagy induction and identify the lysosome as a hub for the signalling pathways that regulate cellular homeostasis.