How to create a new user in Android

On a PC it is common for each person to log in to the system with their own username and password. The most normal thing in the world. This allows us to have control over the PC, clearly differentiating administrator users from standard users or guest users.

In Windows, for example, this allows you to implement the UAC (User Account Control) system to limit the permissions, applications and changes they can make in Windows. Perfect to prevent carelessness from “breaking” the PC or from using the computer for things it shouldn’t. But what about Android?

Can multiple users be used on Android?

Android is an operating system for mobile devices, and as a general rule, the mobile is something personal that we do not usually lend to other people. For this reason, many people do not even consider that Android offers the possibility of creating different users.

Today Android allows you to create different users so that each one has their own session with apps, settings and personalized access . However, it is important to mention that not all mobiles allow you to create additional users. If we have a smartphone with a clean version of Android we won’t have any problem, but if we use a customization layer like Samsung’s One UI, it is possible that this option to create users is ‘captured’ and cannot be used.

Advantages of using different users on an Android device

When we create a new user in an Android system , we will find ourselves with a clean desktop, without any associated Google account and only with the apps that come standard in the terminal . From here we can create our own ecosystem of apps, accounts and files, completely independent of the rest of the device’s users.

If at any time we want to return to the main session, we just have to change the user and that’s it .

The use of more than one user in Android can come in handy in certain situations:

  • If we have a Tablet at home and it is used by different members of the family.
  • If we have a terminal and we want to create 2 work environments, one personal and the other for work issues.
  • If we lend the device to a friend to use it for a few hours/days.

It should also be noted that there are some settings that are common to all users, such as the WiFi settings.

NOTE : As we said, in some Android terminals the option to create multiple users is enabled . In these cases, it will be necessary to root the phone or install a custom ROM (these usually have this option enabled). At the end of the post we also explain another alternative method to activate this functionality without root permissions.

How to register a user in Android

Android offers the possibility of creating 2 different types of user :

  • guest user
  • New user

The only difference between these 2 users is that with the guest user, when we restart the device we can choose to keep the settings and data from the previous session or start a completely clean session .

How to create a user of type “New user”

This is the standard user, with which we can perform the same actions as the main user, except for calls and sending SMS (a little further down I explain how to enable it).

To create a new user, simply open the Android “Settings” menu and go to ” System -> Multiple users “. Next, activate the “ Use multiple users ” tab.

Next, click on « Add user », accept the warning message that you will see on the screen and choose a name for the new user.

Finally, Android will also allow us to activate or deactivate calls and SMS for this new user that we have just created, which is quite interesting as well as convenient and necessary (keep in mind that calls and SMS are deactivated by default).

Once the new user is configured, simply display the Android notification bar and click on the person-shaped icon. From here you can change user.

This session will be completely clean, with the factory applications and without any files or associated accounts .

From here we can access Google Play, browse and download files without problems .

Also, if we try to download a new app and it was already installed on the device, it doesn’t download it again from the internet and it will appear installed in a matter of seconds. A good way to improve data management and save storage space.

How to create a “Guest” type user

The process to create a guest account is exactly the same. We display the notification bar and click on the user icon and select “ Add guest ”. We can also navigate to the Android “Settings” menu and from “System -> Multiple users” start a new guest session.

When we restart the terminal or change the session, if we return to this profile we can choose to continue with the same guest session or start a new one completely clean .

In addition to the standard and guest user accounts, Android also includes another type of account, the so- called Owner account . This is the account with which we configure the device on first use, and it has permissions to both create and delete new user and guest accounts.

How to delete user or guest accounts on Android

If we already know how to register users on Android, the deregistration process does not present much news:

  • We go to the Android “Settings” menu, and enter “ System -> Multiple users“. Alternatively, we can also access Android user management by displaying the notification bar, clicking on the user icon and selecting ” User settings “.
  • To delete a user, just click on it and select «Delete user». Please note that all apps and data associated with that user will be deleted.

How to enable user creation on capped devices

Some terminals, by including the manufacturer’s Android customization layer, often disable user management. To enable it we have 2 options.

WARNING : Before proceeding, keep in mind that these processes may not be compatible with the Android version of your device, and therefore could render it unusable . From the outset, it is best not to resort to these methods unless it is strictly necessary or the device is so old that you do not care if it stops working.

Enable multiuser with root permissions

If we have administrator permissions on our Android device, we will open a folder management app , such as X-plore File Manager .

We’ll go to the /system/ path and make a backup copy of the build.prop file .

Now we will open the build.prop file and edit it by adding the following 2 lines of code at the end of the file:

fw.showmultiuserui=1

fw.max_users=5

If something does not go well, it will be enough to replace the build.prop file with the backup that we just made.

Enable multiuser without root permissions

To enable multiuser without root permissions we will need to connect the terminal to a PC via USB. We will need:

  • Activate USB debuggingon the mobile phone.
  • Corresponding ADB and fastboot drivers correctly installed.
  • You also need to have the phone drivers installed.
  • Finally, it is essential that your device is compatible with TWRP.

To complete the process we must follow the following 10 steps:

1- First we will download the TWRP recovery for our Android device (ClockWorkMod Recovery should also work) and copy it to C:\Program Files\andrdk\platform-tools. We will rename the file to ” twrp “.

2- We connect the device to the PC.

3- We right-click on the platform-tools  folder while holding down the shift button and click on « Open command window here «.

4- Now we will write the following command:

adb reboot bootloader

This will reboot the terminal into fastboot mode.

Next we will write the following command:

fastboot boot twrp.img

This will reboot the terminal into TWRP Recovery temporarily.

5- Within the recovery we will click on « Mount «, and we will mark « System «.

6- Now we will write:

adb pull /system/build.prop

With this we will copy the build.prop file inside the platform-tools folder .

  1. We will now open the build.prop file with the notepad++editor (standard notepad might corrupt the file). At the end of the file we will write the following 2 lines and save the changes:

fw.show_multiuserui=1

fw.max_users=5

8-We are almost done. Now we will type the following command in our ms-dos window:

adb push build.prop /system/

With this command we will copy the file that we have just modified to the device.

9- Now we will write:

adb shell

cd system

chmod 644 build.prop

10- To finish, we will go back in the recovery and restart the device.

With this we will be able to enable the creation of users on Android without root permissions. As we say, these types of operations are extremely delicate, so if you are not completely sure of what you are doing, please do not proceed.

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