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How to enable multiple user accounts on a Jelly Bean device right now

Posted: , by Ray S.

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How to enable multiple user accounts on a Jelly Bean device right now
We recently informed you that random code has been found in Jelly Bean hinting at the eventual arrival of a multiple user accounts feature to Android. While Google is yet to announce such functionality, though, it looks like users of Jelly Bean devices can take advantage of the code that's already in place and enable the feature right now!

Thanks to the bright folks over at XDA-Devs, we now know a quick and easy way of turning multiple user accounts on, but keep in mind that this functionality is not yet ready for mass deployment, meaning that it will most-probably contain bugs and other such unpleasant stuff.

But enough talking, let's get right to enabling the feature!


HOW TO ENABLE MULTIPLE USER ACCOUNTS ON A JELLY BEAN DEVICE

1. First things first, if you want to enable multiple user accounts on your Android phone or tablet, you'll have to start by rooting your device, and then downloading the Terminal Emulator app from the Google Play Store.

2. Once you have the app installed, you need to launch it. When inside the app, you need to type and execute these two commands (without the quotes):

"su"

"pm create-user test"

3. Note that in the second command, "test" is the name of the new user that you are creating. Well, congrats, you have now created a new user on your Android device!

4. But that wouldn't mean much if you can't access it, right? Fortunately, you can! You simply have to hold down the power button, and right there at the bottom of the list you'll see "Primary" - your main account, and "test", which is the new user account.

How to enable multiple user accounts on a Jelly Bean device right now
5.
Choosing the "test" option will send you to a brand new homescreen, which you can customize in an entirely different way from your primary one! Most info like photos, app info, music, contacts and Google Account will not be visible between accounts, but there might be some omissions that are not fixed by the Android team yet.

6. Repeat step 2 to create even more user accounts.

7. At some point or another, however, you may feel that you are self-sufficient and you no longer want multiple user accounts on your device. That's OK, because you can just as easily get rid of the additional accounts, by opening the Terminal Emulator app and executing the following commands (without the quotes):

"su"

"pm remove-user 1"

8. Note that in the second command, "1" is the second account on the device (or in other words, the first additional account that you've created), because your primary one is 0. If you have a third account, you just substitute "1" with "2" in the second command.

Coll stuff, eh? Just remember that the guys over at XDA warn that this functionality is not yet fully tested, so who knows what issues or bugs may hide beneath the surface.

source: XDA

32 Comments
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posted on 03 Aug 2012, 09:46 21

1. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)


Now, this is innovation, unlike black rectangles

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 09:53 15

2. ishfaq.mehraj (Posts: 10; Member since: 30 Jul 2012)


Great work guys... Android rocks...

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 09:59 4

3. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Question. Is that a Galaxy Nexus? If so, how did all those options appear while pressing the power button? Reboot and screenshot options? All I get is power off and airplane mode. Is that part of the additional user feature?

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 11:44

8. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)


Its obviously a Nexus as it IS the only device that has the raw Jellybean version. Any other device would have HTC Sense, TouchWiz, or MotoBlur options.

If you have a Nexus and dont see those options you probably dont have JB 4.1

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 12:21

10. MobileCaseReview (Posts: 241; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Those options are not exclusive to JB 4.1 on Nexus. Most stock ICS and custom ics builds and up have those options available. All depends on the devleopers.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 15:56

15. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


I'm aware of that, but some people manage to download it early on other phones. I have a Nexus, on 4.1. I don't see those extra options. Perhaps in settings? But I don't think so.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 13:47 2

13. parthpatels007 (Posts: 52; Member since: 27 May 2011)


yup it is a GNexus but since it's a custom ROM shown in the picture, you wont get them in your stock ICS/JB ROM

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 15:57

16. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Oh, but is there a way for me to get it at all?

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 10:33 2

4. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)


Quote from pockenow

"God Knows, You don't want justin bieber apps littering on your homescreen" lol

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 10:37

5. tlsmithsr (Posts: 79; Member since: 28 Sep 2010)


Nice.. just set my kids am account up with their own apps and settings

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 11:15 1

6. remixfa (Posts: 13906; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


SWEET. :)

though i've already got the "best of both worlds" of multiple accounts on my wifes N7. She is the primary google account for her apps and such, and my google account is logged into G-Music for access to all of that. And since you can "switch" accounts for both the Play store and G-Music pretty much on the fly, there isnt really a whole lot of need for a separate front screen log in. At least not for us. :)

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 11:19

7. bloodline (Posts: 691; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


im getting su not found !!???

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 11:46 1

9. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)


you need to be rooted to have SuperUser priviledges

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 12:23

11. vladimir86 (Posts: 22; Member since: 15 Oct 2011)


you dont have to have nexus decice for that i have htc one x with JB cm10 previe12 and it works fine for me great job!!!!

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 13:18 2

12. PhoneCritic (Posts: 357; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


Beautiful!!!!
Great Job Google. This will go far for the Nexus 7. I figure in the coming months all Nexus 7 will get an update that will official turn this feature on. Excellent Job this will help with the sales of Nexus 7 device

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:13

14. amiaq (Posts: 452; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


Does Google has patent for this? We don't want iOS to copy us do we? On the other hand iOS might not care with this feature since their owners are "SO RICH" that all their households can afford an iPad each.

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 12:13

17. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


So, how do I root? Also, what advantages would that give me?

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 13:13

18. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)


Go to youtube and do a search for "how to root Galaxy Nexus" and pick the video with the best reviews.

Its not complicated. It will give you superuser priviledges after you root. just follow the instruction.

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 16:51

19. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Ok thank you. I heard that it gives better battery performance by giving you privileges to get rid of some background applications. Is this true? Because battery boosting is the only reason I'd ever consider rooting.

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 17:02

20. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


not necessarily

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 19:32

21. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Care to elaborate mate?

posted on 05 Aug 2012, 10:59

22. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)


OptimusOne is right. "not necesarilly" will this give you better battery life. Some claim its better, some worse, but most say theres no difference. The number one reason people root is to allow the hotspot feature to tether for free. Most carriers ask Google to deactivate that feature since they want control to be able to charge for hotspot.

Multiuser is also a good reason to root since you can now hand your phone to someone else to borrow/use while all your info is kept private.

posted on 05 Aug 2012, 12:31 2

23. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Makes sense, thanks.

posted on 05 Aug 2012, 14:30 2

24. Asasindude26 (Posts: 33; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)


Just rooted my Gnex and my Nexus 7 so it should work for you :)

posted on 05 Aug 2012, 15:08

25. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Can you provide a legitimate website that shows how please?

posted on 05 Aug 2012, 19:41

26. 305Bucko (Posts: 506; Member since: 07 Aug 2011)


Would you like us to install it for you too

posted on 06 Aug 2012, 00:09

27. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Would you?

posted on 06 Aug 2012, 07:58

29. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


i definitly would

posted on 06 Aug 2012, 07:57 1

28. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


just use google. see if the website has good coments and feedback. then you kniow it works

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1531865

posted on 06 Aug 2012, 08:46

30. The_Innovation (Posts: 558; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


Thanks, appreciate it.

posted on 28 Dec 2012, 08:11

31. valkandroid (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


Hi all!

I'm trying to create a restricted access user account for my 3-year-old.

Just installed Terminal Emulator and typed in "su", then "pm create-user NAME_OF_USER", but I haven't been able to go any further as I got stuck after "Error: couldn't create user". I surely must have missed something, but then what ...?

I rooted my Samsung Galaxy Nexus with Nexus Root Toolkit under Windows 7 64bits and flashed CM 10.1 with TWRP if that's of any help to understand why I can't go any further ...

PS: I have both Superuser and SuperSU apps. Could THAT be the problem?

--
Samsung Galaxy Nexus Maguro yakju
CyanogeMod 10.1 w/ TWRP

posted on 07 Jan 2013, 16:36

32. valkandroid (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Dec 2012)


OK, that was because CM 10.1 is 4.2.1 and not 4.1 ...

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