Sharing Your Android Tablet- Android Users

Android-new-usersSince the release of Android 4.2 Android tablets have included support for multiple users.

In 4.3 they also included another user option called restricted profiles.

And In Android v 5.0 they have also added a guest user option.

Before we look at how to setup multiple users we will look at why we might need them, and what the options do.

Tablet Owner and Administrator

The first user of the tablet is effectively the tablet owner or administrator.

As the tablet owner/administrator you can create (and delete) new users, and new restricted profiles.

Note: The only way to change the owner is by resetting the device to factory settings.

When you create a normal user that user can do almost everything that the owner can do. The exceptions I found are that the new user:

  • Cannot create/delete new Users or restricted profile
  • Cannot enter developer mode.

The new user can, and should, have it’s own Google account, and can install and manage their own Apps and data. You can use the new user feature to

  • Allow family members to use your tablet
  • Use a tablet for work and social purposes

Restricted Profiles

This allows you to have complete control over what a user can or cannot do.

Restricted profiles are ideal for:

  • Guest Access
  • Parental controls.
  • Point of sale – Employees can be limited to only using work Apps
  • etc

 New User Creation

Go to settings and select users:


Click add User or profile


Choose user or restricted profile


If you choose user then you get prompted to set up the new user.

This setup is similar to when you first set up the tablet, and although it says to give the tablet to the new user it is easier to do it yourself.

If you don’t know their Google account details then they can add them later.


When finished you will have two users, and the screen lock will show the users at the bottom.

In the screen shot below you can see the lock screen  after I’ve created two new users.


To switch Users when logged in just go to the quick settings *swipe down from top right) and choose the icon for the current user, you will be taken to the lock screen (as shown above).


If you choose to create a  restricted profile then you see a list with all the available Apps.

You will need to enable the Apps you want the user to have access to as by default they are all disabled.

android-user-lock screen

You should also give the profile a name by pressing the restricted profile link and typing in the name.


The restricted profile user will appear on the lock screen just like the new user.

Deleting Users and Restricted Profiles

The tablet owner can delete a user or restricted profile user by going to Settings>users and clicking on the rubbish bin next to the user.

This is also where you can manage the Apps for the restricted profile user.

delete-new-adnroid-user delete-new-adnroid-user

Security Note

Because it s almost impossible to really secure a device that someone has physical access to you should only share your device with someone that you trust.

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