Android Guest Mode is an option that allows you to hide everything that belongs to you, while keeping your phone running. When you switch to guest mode, you hide all your apps, history, images, messages, etc., while allowing other users to use your phone at the same time.
Using Android guest mode is like using a completely separate phone inside the main one. Similar to a separate user account on a computer or website, guest mode can have different apps, files, home screen widgets, emails, etc. Guest users can still make calls, install apps, and upload their own files but nothing contradicts your account.
Let’s take a look at how to enable Android Guest Mode so you can get this neat alternative account for your friends or family whenever they want your phone. Switching to guest mode is easy, but before we get started, let’s take a closer look at why to use guest mode.
Why You Should Use Android Guest Mode
Anyone looking to temporarily share their phone might like the guest mode. Maybe you’re letting a stranger borrow your phone to make a private call and don’t want them to view your messages or banking information? Or maybe you have a kid who loves to watch videos on your phone but has a habit of messing around with other apps like Facebook or Messages?
Android Guest Mode is also useful if you want a phone that doesn’t distract for a while. Go into guest mode (with calls enabled in case of an emergency) and enjoy no app notifications. Since your regular apps aren’t installed in guest mode, you won’t be tempted to open games while you work or browse social media when you’re with friends.
How to set up guest mode on Android
Enabling Android Guest Mode is very easy.
- Go to Settings> System> Advanced> Multiple Users and enable multiple users if you haven’t already.
- Click Add Guest or Guest (whichever you see) to switch to Guest Mode.
- On the multi-user screen, click the settings button next to the guest option if you want to enable phone calls. Otherwise, the guest user will not be able to make or receive phone calls.
- Another way to quickly switch to and from Android Guest Mode is to swipe down from the top of the screen to view notifications. panel. Expand it fully to view all options, then click the avatar button to select Guest.
- When you exit from Guest mode, but before you select another account to switch, the Guest button will change to Remove Guest.
It’s an easy way to erase everything you’ve done in guest mode, so the next time you log in, it will be a completely new, fresh account. If you don’t remove guest mode, you can still do it the next time you open it.
What is being shared between accounts
Each account on your phone shares updates to apps and settings, such as Wi-Fi information and paired Bluetooth devices.
This means that when one user updates the app, it updates for all users. It’s the same with wireless devices. Regardless of whether you or a guest are connected to a wireless network, both of you will have access to the network since the password is used for both accounts.
However, texts, files, emails, music, videos, documents, photos and data stored in applications are not transferred between the guest and the main account. You can open email accounts, upload documents, take pictures, and more, and the other account won’t see them until they switch to yours.
Guests versus Users on Android Phones
When switching to Android guest mode or enabling the multi-user feature, you may have noticed the option to add users. Users and guests are really similar accounts, but with one important difference: it’s easier to delete them and restart the guest account.
Each time you switch to guest mode, you are asked if you want to continue the session with the same changes that were last made to it, or if you want to start over. This is not the message you see when switching to a user profile. This is because Android treats guest mode as temporary and you might want to erase it before each new use, while user accounts are meant to be used for long term use with their own apps and files.
Another difference is that you cannot send and receive text messages in Android guest mode. Phone calls can work if you enable them, but there is no option to enable text messages. If you need a different user account than your main one and want it to be able to send text messages, you will have to use a different user account instead of guest mode (and then enable text messages for it).
As a reminder, the main differences between Android user mode and Android guest mode are as follows:
- Only user mode can send and receive texts from the Messages application (they are still used in the main account).
- Guest mode is easier to remove after use (but you can still remove user accounts quite easily).
Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s up to you which one to use.