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How to add restricted user profiles on an Android tablet

How many times since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have you heard, “You got any games on your tablet?” If you’re stuck entertaining kids at home during this weird, frustrating time, the answer is a lot.

But while we all want to keep the little ones entertained right now, not all of us want to just hand over our tablets. These gadgets have information on them that we may not want to be erased by sticky hands. Looking for a new device? Tap or click here for help choosing the Android tablet that’s right for you.

Kids aren’t the only people we share devices with, either. Most of us don’t think twice about handing our tablets to our spouses or roommates to use. If you have an Android tablet, profiles are a way you can share without giving someone else access to your account. You should set them up right away if you share your device.

Using profiles on your Android tablet

When you set up user profiles, it lets you share your Android tablet without sharing any personal information in your account. Creating a new profile essentially creates a completely new account on the device — like it would on a PC or laptop — and gives each person their own space to add apps, customize features, get messages, change home screens, etc.

That’s the main perk of using a profile — you’ll get to keep information private and clear of other peoples’ apps and clutter. But you can also use profiles to set age restrictions on content that you don’t want on your account — which is useful if you have young kids who like to watch YouTube or Netflix.

You can set other limitations, too — like time limits for certain accounts — which is handy when you want to keep your kids off of screens 24/7.

Setting up separate profiles also protects what’s in your account, too. The person you’re sharing the device with won’t have access to apps, images, messages, or files in your account — and you won’t have access to the stuff that’s in theirs.

When setting up profiles, you can choose from three different types: admin, users and guests. Admin profiles are for the device owners. This type of profile lets you maintain control of your device. Users’ and guests’ accounts are for people you’re giving access to on your device.

It’s important to note that while separate profiles are a great way to keep accounts separate, you will be sharing some of the tablet features with the users and guests on your device. Any updates for common apps will be shared. Your storage will be shared, too, which could slow your device down over time. You’ll also share data usage if you’re using cellular connectivity when not on Wi-Fi.

You won’t share access to most of the important stuff, though. Files, the apps in your account, and the app data with chats, history, and other information are all private to your account. You won’t share notifications or other user histories either — and you can remove profiles that you don’t want or need anymore.

Related: The 10 best apps to install on your Android device

How to set up profiles

Ready to set up some profiles on your Android tablet? Here’s how:

To make a restricted profile

  1. Open your tablet’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Users & accounts > Users.
  3. Tap Add user or profile.
  4. Tap Restricted profile. The new profile opens with a list.
    • To name the profile, tap New profile. Enter the name and tap OK.
    • To pick which listed apps, features, and settings the profile can see and use, tap the On/Off switches and Settings.
  5. Tap Back.
  6. Tap the new profile.
    • If you’re with the new user, they can set up the Google Account and other details.
    • If the new user isn’t there, they can set up the next time that you switch to this profile.

To delete a restricted profile

  1. Open your tablet’s Settings app.
  2. Tap Users & accounts > Users.
  3. Tap the restricted profile you want to delete.
  4. Next to the profile, tap Delete.

That’s it, now your Android tablet is ready to share while keeping private data private. Could you imagine trying to make it through this pandemic without technology like tablets and streaming services? No thank you!

Tap or click here for a list of streaming services that offer free trials.

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