When several people share an Android device, it can get rather hectic trying to separate the device into manageable parts; in fact, it can get so hectic that you might feel like investing in more devices, but why not set up multiple user profiles on the Android device?

If you set up multiple user profiles, you can provide a space for each user that’s separate from the others, right down to the applications they use. This allows for easier sharing of a single device, should the situation arise. And Android delivers with such a feature, but before you dive in, you should be aware of the kinds of user profiles you can add.

Types of User Profiles

When you create a user profile on your Android device, other than your own, there’s a handful of different user types you can set them to. For example, say you have a child. If you wanted to restrict the kind of content found on the device, then you would use a “Restricted Profile,” but that’s only available on tablets.

Refer to this section when creating multiple user profiles on your Android device.

User Profile

A User Profile is basically like your own account. Think of a computer that has two accounts with administrative powers. That’s what a User Profile is like. It’s best to reserve User Profiles to people who often use the Android device often, provided they can be trusted.

Someone with a User Profile can personalize their profile, like their home screen, accounts of their own, applications and even alter their own settings, among other things.

Guest Profile

If the name didn’t give it away, a Guest Profile is, well, a guest account. It’s a lot like a User Profile, but the personalization is, essentially, temporary. It’s far more easier to rid yourself of a Guest Profile than someone with a fully realized User Profile.

Restricted Profile

A Restricted Profile, as mentioned before, is a profile that has many of its features disabled by the original owner themselves. If you have a child and you have concerns over content, then you’ll want to consider creating a Restricted Profile for them.

However, Restricted Profiles are only available on Android tablets running Android version 4.3 and above.

How to Add a User Profile on Android

Now that you understand why kind of profiles you can create, it’s time to learn how to actually set them up.

Here’s what you do:

1. Locate and launch the Settings app.

Multiple Users

2. Now, scroll down your Settings menu until you come to Users. However, depending on your device you may have to find System first, then select Advanced, and then Multiple Users.

+ Add User

3. In the Accounts menu, or Multiple Users menu, tap + Add User.

Set Up Now

4. When prompted, choose Set Up Now.

5. Unlock your screen to start the profile setup. On the first setup window, tap Continue and then select Next >. Afterwards, it will check for a network connection. If it takes too long, you can always skip it. You can set up a network later.

6. Give the new profile a name. Then tap Next >.

7. Next, you’ll have the opportunity of setting up an email linked specifically to this user profile. If you do not want to add an email, select Not Now. If so, provide the necessary details for the email you want to add.

8. Now you’ll be able to alter which Google services are enabled. That’s entirely up to you. If this user profile is for a child, you may want to disable all Google services. Scroll down and tap Accept > when you’re ready.

Updating a User Profile

Now that you have a user profile created, you can always update it when needed. You can change the name of the profile as well as the profile picture, either by taking a photo–which will launch the Camera app–or by choosing an existing photo found in your Gallery.

Here’s how:

1. Locate and launch Settings. You can open Settings from one of your home screens. If you can’t find Settings, check inside your App Drawer.

2. Open Users again, or System > Advanced > Multiple Users, depending on your device.

3. Tap on the user profile you would like to alter. From here you can change the name. If you want to change the profile picture, tap on the profile icon and choose from where. Tap OK to finish.

How to Switch to a Different Profile

With multiple user profiles on your Android device, obviously you’ll want to switch to yours when you access to it. It’s very easy to switch to a different account.

Here’s what you do:

1. Find and open Settings. You can find Settings on one of your many home screens. If you’re having trouble finding it, check inside your App Drawer.

2. Open Users again, or System > Advanced > Multiple Users, depending on your device.

3. Tap on their name to switch over.

4. Alternatively, you can switch over to a different profile by swiping down your screen with two fingers. This will reveal your Quick Settings Menu. Tap the profile picture in the top right corner of your screen.

different profile

5. Switch over to a different profile by tapping on a name.

How to Delete a User Profile

When you have no need for any of the user profiles you created, they don’t have to take up storage on your device; you can delete them.

Here’s how:

1. Locate and open Settings.

2. Open Users again, or System > Advanced > Multiple Users, depending on your device.

3. In the Users menu, to delete a user profile, tap the gear icon to the right of their name.

Remove User

4. Tap Remove User.