How to Use Multiple Users in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

One of the most significant features included in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update is the ability to create multiple user accounts on a single tablet.

This new Multiple user set up allows Android tablet owners create up to eight separate accounts for friends, family members or significant others, all on a single tablet like the Nexus 7 or Nexus 10. By doing this, each user can put a personalized touch on the tablet with their own home screens, apps and gallery. It will also help to prevent cluttering of the home screen.

After using Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on my Nexus 7 for a few days, it’s easily my favorite feature as has allowed my girlfriend and I to share the tablet but not intrude on the others set up and content. It’s also going to be handy for tablets that are used by more than just two people.

Read: Android 4.2 on Nexus 7 Review: Final Impressions and Performance.

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Setting up multiple user accounts is useful for tablets that have multiple users.

Unfortunately, Google has almost hidden the feature in the depths of the Android settings making it difficult to find. However, once unearthed, the feature will likely become a favorite for Android tablet owners out there who share their device.

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Read: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean: Everything You Need to Know.

So, here is how to set up the Multiple User feature in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on an Android tablet. (Smartphones are not supported.)

How to Use Multiple Users in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

The Multiple User feature can be found in the Settings of a tablet device that is running the latest version of Android, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Simply find the Settings and enter it to find a screen that looks like this.

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Once there, you’ll want to head on down to Users. Once in there, you’ll be at a screen like the one you see below. On it, you should see the owner of the device listed at the top and a blank section below listed as Other Users.

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To add a new user, tap on Add User in the top right corner.  A prompt will appear letting you know that there is a setup process, which takes about 5 to 10 minutes, and that any user can accept updated app permissions for all the users.

As Google notes, you’ll want the person whose account it is to be present as there are some personal questions that need to be answered.Tap Setup Now and you’re on your way.

Most users will then be taken to the lock screen. Unlock the device and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll be prompted to input Gmail information if necessary. If no Gmail is necessary, you’ll be asked to sign up for a Google Account that will sync up Google’s apps with a specific account linked to the user.

Next, Google will ask for permission to use location. These can be changed at any time in the device Settings.

The software will ask for the name of the person to personalize applications and voilà, setup is done and the tablet is now armed with multiple user accounts. Novice users will then want to pay attention to some of the hints that Google provides after progressing through the finished screen as they will elaborate on some of Android’s most powerful features.

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From there, users of the tablet will be able to use their account from the bottom of the lock screen. Simply tap on the right icon and it will bring up the appropriate users lock screen and wallpaper. Owners of the device will have the authority to delete accounts if deemed necessary.

Settings like Wi-Fi and brightness will be maintained across all accounts but there are some ways beyond the home screens and wallpaper where Google has given users a way to personalize the experience.

Things like photos and video will be attached to a certain user. If a user takes a screenshot, it won’t be available in the gallery of another user. As for apps, if the app is already present, then Google will simply allow access to the application if the person tries to download it from the Google Play Store instead of downloading it.

All of this transitions perfectly from user to user and I have yet to run into any issues.

  

Comments

  1. Boulton says

    It won’t seem to let me share videos across multiple users on the tablet though, same goes for music.

  2. Daniel says

    To clarify the apps behaviour… the childrens apps I purchased on my phone I will also see on my tablet, but if I set up my child with their own account on the tablet, there is no way for them to access those apps unless I purchase them again under that account? That seems a little disappointing :(

  3. kernelpanic says

    I guess all of the users share the same google account, email, search history, etc.? Looks like I need to set up a family email and fwd those msg to my personal mailbox.

  4. sarawut says

    I want something like that, I need to freeze everything and recovery every restart like deep freeze.

    I will put android box for internet service in the office(email and some app).

    If you know something can do like that please tell me.

  5. puckstar32 says

    When switching to another users. Do the application of the first user stay active? or do you have to open them again everytime you switch user?

    • sarawut says

      It good idea for refresh or rollback, for public android box or tablet. When you have many account you should to have space for photo and other. It not good for share item.

      Sample : I get tablet from the office and login facebook app, gmail account with browser, login line app. When I will return the tablet I want to clean all my history and logout every application and browser, remove my photo or something download in one step.

      • puckstar32 says

        thanks for your reply.
        i understand it will take up more resources when letting it open. but so it is possible?

        and what about what kernelpanic says. do you have to share a googleaccount? or can each user have it’s own google account?

        i want to have different users so i can leave a webpage or 2 open, and when my wife uses the tablet she can open her user and browse the web without seeing my open pages. and when she’s done i can switch back to my user and still have the pages open that i had.

        • sarawut says

          In your country you can work a few hour for buy tablet. But, In the third world country like India, China, Cambodia, Lao, Thailand. It work more than 10 day for buy one tablet. It good idea when have share item with access the Internet.

  6. Samarkhand says

    How do you switch user accounts when connected? Do you have to press the lock button on the tablet and go back to the locked screen?

  7. Ifraz says

    There is no way to restrict the applications and files access for the users, all users can view my photos and videos and access hidden files, anyway to given permissions for the users on files access and settings changes.

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