69 Responses to How to: Enable Multiple User Accounts on Android 4.2 and Above

  1. Option seems to have disappeared in 4.4, and I believe only available on 4.2 and 4.3. I believe this is because of restoration problems with multiple profiles.

    • 1. Make sure your device runs Android 4.2.
      2. Make sure your device isn’t a cell phone/cell-enabled device.

      Otherwise, I’d need more information to help you further, or at least see what’s going on because your comment doesn’t really tell anyone anything about your device.

      • Actually these profiles were available on Nexus 7 with Android 4.4 and LTE cellular radio. But on many Android tablets including Samsung tablets they seem to use the phone version of Android withput support for multiuser accounts. To be sure to get this feature I would recommend getting Nexus tablet and forget the others.

        • Thank you for this post. I have a tab 2 and was wondering if I was overlooking it, now I know it’s not there.

      • So I bought my brother a Kurio 7 tablet which is running 4.2.2. I want to add a restricted profile. I headed to ‘users’ in settings, but I can’t add a restricted profile, in fact it doesn’t even give me an option for restriction. What can I do?

      • I have a similar issue that I’m attempting to resolve with my Android Galaxy Tab 2 4.2.2. I need to set up an additional user account although the “add user” option is not shown. After reading your comments above, I’m wondering if that is because this Tab 2 is set up with a MagicJack phone number? I will be removing that feature from my Tablet (via MagicJack) although for now it is still set up that way. Once this MagicJack is completely removed from the Tab 2, will I then be able to add additional users? Will the option to add additional users reappear?? Thanks for taking your time with this!

  2. AHA! Thank you for this explanation of the process — although I now have one less excuse for not letting the kids play on the tablet…

    One question: the downside to creating a unique user account for my spouse is that he’s had to independently install a number of apps. This makes some sense for something like WordPress (on which we have independent usernames), but not as much for games. Is there a way to designate some apps as “available to any user”?

    • Soft of, but not really. Each user has his/her own account and therefore needs his own Google Play account. I wish that Google would enable “designate a user” option to grant access to apps.

      You can give users to access apps already installed on your device, but this also means they have to start from the beginning (games) or have their own sign-on.

    • That’s a Samsung modification. I think the option is available on the 8 inch model, but not on the 10 inch. There was a rumored update that was supposed to solve this problem, but I’m not sure that Samsung ever pushed that.

    • On Android 4.2.2 you may add “Users” menu:
      edit ‘build.prop’ file (into system directory) and add the line ‘fw.max_users=3’

      If you want the detailed method, use a search engine with these words. If you have no idea after that, better forget this setting.

  3. I have the samsung 10 in tab using 4.2.2
    No user option to set up. Disappointing they can do this. I wish I can set up a use on my tablet.

    • annoying, isn’t it? everyone asking the same thing, why it doesn’t show on a phone.

      it doesn’t show:
      – on a phone;
      – on a smart-phone;
      – on a dumb-phone;
      – on a samsung-crap.

      nice article, thanks

          • Speaking as a software developer, I doubt that’s the case. Every developer I know loves to code. We do it at work all day, and then we come home and code our own little projects for fun.

            More likely is the case that cellular carriers don’t want the feature enabled out of fear that end users will find a way to exploit it to get free data. Most cellular devices aren’t shared anyway, so there’s not much demand for it.

            • Hello Nick. Many people I know share their tech-toys (against my professional opinion, but some just can’t afford it). Meanwhile their own setting get messed up and so on. I rather enjoy sharing with my grandson since I get to happily type away at my “Big Computer” while at home, but I have things like banking, etc… that I can now keep secure. It’s DEFINITELY the way to go and I believe it’s of significant need.

  4. I have just ordered a Samsung Note 10.1 2014 edition solely because I read it supports multiple users. Does anyone know if Samsung has left it alone on this particular tablet? Does it mean my wifes gmail would be separate from my gmail?

  5. Just ordered a GN 10.1 2014 edition because I read it supported multiple users. Now I am reading, that this is not the case after updating to 4.2.2. Is the “max_users” setting still accessible to root. I can’t be Samsung would have it and then pull it. For tablet sharing, it is a must have.

  6. Just received my galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition. It has Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and I am pleased to say it supports multiple users. My wife and I will soon be full time Motor homing and this will be great for whoever is not driving. Just tether to my Verizon unlimited phone and off we go following the sun. Yippee…

  7. On Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, there is a lot of Android 4.3.3 firmware. The version number has to end with “MK1” in order to get the multi-users feature. In the US, my understanding is that the “MK1” version is the one on all updated Galaxy Note 10.1

  8. I have a Google Nexus 10 (love it) on 4.4.2 (KitKat) and it supports multiple users. Thank you Jeffrey for the great article.

  9. I have a Xperia sp c5302, and have this multiple user profiles, only thing is, no profile icons on lockscreen to switch users.

  10. Hi havê a tablet Modecom 9″ FreeTab 9004 HD X4 with Android 4.2.2 version 3.3_20131105 but with no “users” to add or switch. No updates available yet to this de vice. Is there Andy other “workaround”?
    Thanks

  11. Great article Jeffrey but I think there is a possibility for some tablets not to have this feature. I have a no name tablet with Andriod 4.2.2 (NOT A PHONE DEVICE) and the “Device” list has only 5 tabs. The last one tab of “Users” is missing. Maybe they installed a cell phone Android edittion ? What can i say ?
    Now, could you please tell me if there is some other way to add this function ? Some kind of app to download and trick it or anything else ?
    Thanks.

  12. Dell Venue 7 shipped with 4.2.2 and did not have the Users option; the first time I cold booted, it gave me the chance to upgrade to 4.4.2, and now the Users option is there. So now my daughter can use all her favorite websites (as long as she uses Puffin browser to support Flash) without having access to any of my accounts. Yay! Thanks droidlawyer for the info, and thanks Android for keeping the old PC-compatible “what the %$#&?!” experience alive.

  13. Guys! For those with older Android versions or phone devices, there is the SWICH ME application available for free in Google Play. I use it in two devices, a phone and a Galaxy Tab II 3G (also a phone) for two years now.

  14. I need help, I have an Acer a1-830 and I don’t see this feature in setting. I really need this feature for my sister who likes to use my tablet and access to my personal stuffs.

    • Hi there,

      Other people have mentioned an app called “Switch Me” that does something similar – maybe you could give that a try? I haven’t used it personally so I have no idea what it’s like.

  15. Apparently the Lenovo S6000 tablet doesn’t have it. It’s running 4.2.2. Any help without rooting?

  16. iRulu 10.1 inch Android Tablet PC updated to latest Google Android 4.4 KitKat OS (does not have this option). Can others using this tablet verify?

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.