Android Tablets | Family Sharing | Multiple Users & Restricted Profiles Settings

 Getting started with Android's user profiles

If you live in a multi-person household where your Android tablets is frequently used by more than one person, you might want to take advantage of Android’s built-in ability to manage multiple user profiles. You never know who is going to pick up your tablet to quickly check their own email, so you might as well keep your personal data safely shielded away from prying eyes. Google enabled multi-user accounts almost two years ago with the release of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and added restricted profiles with Android 4.3 (think: Kids Mode). The functionality is still limited to tablets at the moment—Google Engineer Dan Morrill took to Reddit to explain why bringing the feature to Android phones is a daunting task. Here’s how to properly share a tablet between friends and family.

Decide who will have full and partial access

Before you begin, it’s essential that you figure out what type of access you want to give to the various parties sharing a tablet with you. Regular and restricted profiles are vastly different in what they allow users to do, but both serve their own purpose. Also, keep in mind that you can create up to eight different user profiles.
Easily add a user profile from within the Settings panel.

Easily add a user profile from within the Settings panel.

First, head to the Settings page, then select Users underneath the Device settings. You’ll see a list of profiles already available, including yours, as well as the option to add another. Select Add a user or profile and then designate what type to make.
(settings), (users), (add), Seems pretty self explanatory, right?

(settings), (users), (add), Seems pretty self explanatory, right?

Now we’ll walk you through the specifics of setting up each type of user account.

How to give full access to anyone

If you’re sharing your device with, say, a spouse, you’ll want to add them as a “User” in order to give them full access to the Android operating system. Android will ask for that person to go through the same Google account setup process you did.
Google will walk your new user through the account setup process.

Google will walk your new user through the account setup process.

You’ll always be considered the primary owner of the device, but other, unrestricted users will have unfettered access to everything, including apps and settings. For instance, if they download an app, it’ll be made available to everyone else. However, every photo taken, note written, and calendar entry made stays contained within that user’s profile, so you won’t have access to that information—only the ability to delete the account if necessary. Those users can also set up their own password to keep the owner of the device from snooping in on their stuff.
Now when you unlock the screen, you’ll be able to pick between which account you want to use.

Now when you unlock the screen, you’ll be able to pick between which account you want to use. 

How to create a restricted profile

Whether it’s a nosy relative or a kid with curious fingers, a restricted user profile can ensure that no one gets themselves into a sticky situation. From the user accounts Settings screen, select Restricted user profile. Android will ask you to create a lock screen passcode if you don’t have one already set up.
Setting up a restricted profile can get a bit tedious.

Setting up a restricted profile can get a bit tedious. 

Then it’s time to tediously pick and choose which apps the restricted user has access to. You can even restrict them from some of Android’s core apps, too, like the camera app.
What the applications drawer looks like on a restricted user profile. It’s a ghost town.  It only shows the allowed applications!

What the applications drawer looks like on a restricted user profile. It’s a ghost town. It only shows the allowed applications! 

Keep it safe. You know, for kids

If you’re creating the restricted profile for your little ones, enable access to the Google Play Movies & TV app, and then select Set app restrictions. From here, you can set rating limits on television shows and movies.
Google Play Movies & TV offers several options for keeping kids limited to safe content.

Google Play Movies & TV offers several options for keeping kids limited to safe content. 

Always use your powers for good

As tempting as it might sound, you won’t have access to the information contained within other user accounts if they’re secured with a lock screen passcode. Do use discretion, however, and be sure to communicate with the other members of your tablet’s family about what their needs are.
Deleting a user account takes two taps.

Deleting a user account takes two taps. 

When you’re ready to rid of an account, just click the trash can icon to delete it.

It would be nice if Apple iOS devices did this... What do you think? Leave a comment in the boxes below:

3 thoughts on “Android Tablets | Family Sharing | Multiple Users & Restricted Profiles Settings

  1. I am having the same problem on my family tablet. Its a 7 inch RCA voyager tablet with 4.4 kitkat Android OS. I can mount the sd card in the owner profile but as soon as i try to access the sd card in a restricted user profile such as my 8 yr olds profile it says there is no sd card mounted and will not allow me to mount it. the option is greyed out. Therefore she cannot listen to her kids songs on the sd card unless i sign her into the owner profile which defeats the purpose of keeping a child out of the main setting access of the tablet. Please help. I have tried reformatting the sd card. I have tried it in her brothers tablet which is exact same and his works with it on all profiles both owner and restricted. I have reset the tablet back to factory settings even to see if maybe there was an option i hit that i couldnt find again that locked out the sd card. Ive been trying to work this issue since christmas.

  2. I put the sd card in the tablet yet it doesn’t recognize it at all. wont let me mount it. I tried plugging the power cord into my computer…. wont recognize it either. what am I doing wrong?

    • To make sure not an issue with (SD-Card), using an adapter; you should be able to connect (sd-card) to your computer/laptop… Then you can try to format it… Usually formatting it in (FAT32), is the most compatible… If you cannot format; maybe a friend or (Best Buy) would take 60-sec to do it for you…

      There are settings (on your tablet) that controls what happens then you connect the tablet to computer via USB… by default, should allow you to see internal/external storage… when tablet screen is unlocked… If not, you will have to (check-usb-settings, on tablet), or (try another computer), to make sure not a windows driver issue on that computer….

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