Android phones can support multiple users accounts like Windows and macOS via the Guest Mode feature. Additionally, this feature is handy whenever users need to lend their phones out to family, friends, or colleagues.
Enabling Guest Mode on an Android Phone
- Go to Settings > System and Multiple users.
- Then, turn on the Allow multiple users switch.
- Add new users to the device by clicking on Add user.
- Finally, enable Guest Mode by tapping on Add guest.
Note: These steps pertain to the latest version of Android 13 on a Google Pixel 6 Pro. Fortunately, the instructions also apply to a different version of Android or a phone from another manufacturer.
Furthermore, users get a basic settings screen once they tap on Add guest. For instance, they get the option to switch to the guest account, enable or disable phone calls while in Guest Mode, and remove the guest account.
How does the Guest Mode Work?
Users cannot add multiple guests at once. Thus, they must start creating users if more than one person regularly needs access to their handset. But, creating new users is a complex process—-it’s similar to setting up a phone for the first time. Therefore, the new users must set up a Google account, their own method for screen unlock, etc. However, creating users is only helpful when someone is sharing users’ phones continually. Otherwise, users can opt for simplicity and choose the Guest Mode.
As mentioned above, one can enable the Guest Mode from the Settings and Multiple users page. Or, they can drag their fingers down from the top of the screen and tap the user account button at the bottom of the Quick Settings panel. But, most importantly, users can follow the same steps to return to their standard account again.
On another note, guests must enter a Google account if they want to download apps or check Gmail. But, they can use Google Chrome and YouTube applications without signing in. Also, guests can make phone calls if users enable the feature when configuring Guest Mode at the beginning.
Why does the Guest Mode Stand Out?
The ease of starting again from scratch makes this feature different from a full-user account. For instance, whenever users switch over to Guest Mode, they’ll be asked if they want to continue the previous session or wipe everything and start fresh. And this includes the guests’ Google accounts, websites they open in Chrome, etc.
Moreover, guests cannot access files or messages on users’ phones. Thus, users’ messages, emails, photos, etc., remain blocked and inaccessible to the guests. In addition, people using this feature cannot switch to another Wi-Fi network or reset the users’ phones.
Besides that, the feature also provides privacy protections for the guests. For instance, they can go to the account switcher screen and select Remove guest when they are done using an Android phone. Thus, this action removes all evidence of what they did on the phone and signs them out of all their accounts.
On the other hand, users can see how much space a guest account and other user accounts take up on their phone in Settings > Storage > Guest. Lastly, unfortunately, iOS users do not currently have a corresponding feature at their disposal like Android’s Guest Mode.