Google introduced multi-user support with Android 4.2 for tablets and smartphones but still many manufacturers have locked out the feature to their own line of tablets (for the phones there are many issues), something that would be a big step forward. Many tablet users are expecting to get multiple user account support with a new software update. Having multiple users on your tablet means that you have the option to have different applications, photos, emails, files or even high scores in games, installed on each user account which is very handy if you and your girlfriend are using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other applications and you don’t want to login and logout with different initials every time you switch hands on the tablet. Also multi user feature is very helpful if your kid uses your tablet and you want to have only some applications or games available for your kid to use. It’s a kind of parental control over the use of the phone or tablet by your kid. But that is a feature that will be available with Android 4.3 as Google showcased.
Manufacturers, maybe because they promote the “One tablet for one person” idea to increase sales don’t have the Multi user option available to their distribution of Android 4.2 as they may believe that tablets are for personal use like phones, which is not so true as a tablet is shared in a house by dad, mom and the kids, easily with the Multi user option enabled, unlike a personal mobile phone.
Whatever the reason is, it’s a possibility that should be available whether you want to use it or not. In case you want to have Multiple user account option in your Android 4.2 tablet (for example the “Plaisio” Turbo X Tablet Hive IV) you can follow the steps on our guide to enable the feature and setup different user accounts.
First you need a rooted tablet. In case your tablet is like the one used for this guide read below how you will root your tablet.
Note that if you want to have Play store and Gmail functioning you need to have a Google account for all the users you want to create. If your manufacturer has uninstalled or blocked these two applications read here how to install Google Play and Gmail in Android 4.2 using tablet Turbo X Hive IV.
We are going to show you here how you can enable the Multi User Account feature for Android 4.2 tablets using Turbo X Hive IV from “Plaisio” store. The tablet used for this guide is Turbo X HIVE IV 10.1″ running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean but you can do the same thing for other similar Android 4.2 tablets.
Other pictures of the tablet are here
The technical information of the Android tablet is:
Item Type: Tablet PC 10.1″
Screen Size: 10.1″
Touch Screen Type: IPS Capacitive panel
Display resolution: 1280×800
Front camera: 0.3 MP
Back camera: 5 MP
Operating System: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Processor Model: Quad Core ARM cortex A31s 1.2GHz
Processors speed: 1.2 GHz
Tablet Data Capacity: 16GB
Memory Capacity: 1GB
External storage: micro SD (32GB max)
Cell Capacity: 6000mAh Li-Ion
Network Communication: Wi-Fi
HDMI: Mini HDMI
USB: Micro USB 2.0 Micro usb 2.0 host
Weight: 610 gr
Width: 25 cm
Height: 17.6 cm
Depth: 9.5 mm
Extend Port: DC Jack, Earphone Jack
Feature: Multi Touch, miniHDMI, G Sensor, OTG, Dual Cameras
Model Number: M10A9
This Android tablet is similar to tablets from Somy, Ployer, Soulycin, Vido and other manufacturers.
Some other Android tablets – similar models are:
- 10.1 inch IPS TFT LCD AllWinner A31 Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 1GB 16GB Dual Cameras 5MP HDMI Tablet PC M1025
- 10.1 Inch Soulycin S11II Quad Core Tablet PC A31S IPS Screen Android 4.2 Ram 1GB ROM 16GB Silver
- Ployer momo 20 Allwinner A31 Quad Core Tablet PC 10.1” IPS Capacitive 2GB/16GB HDMI out Android 4.1 Dual Camera
- Ployer momo 20 Allwinner A31 Quad Core tablet pc 10.1” IPS 10 points touch 2GB/16GB Dual Camera HDMI out Android 4.1
- Ployer MOMO 20 Silver 10.1 inch Android 4.1 Tablet PC Dual Cameras 2GB RAM 16GB ROM CPU Allwinner A31 Quad Core 1.5GHz
- Ployer Momo20 10.1inch IPS quad core A31 2GB/16GB android 4.1 HDMI dual camera Ployer Momo 20 tablet pc
- Vido N101 Quad core tablet pc 10.1″ IPS tablet pc Allwinner A31 Android 4.1 Dual Camera HDMI
Why wouldn’t you root?
There are essentially three potential reasons why not to root your Android.
- Voiding your warranty. Unless you can restore or flash the original ROM you made.
- Bricking your tablet. There is a small risk of bricking your device, so follow the instructions carefully and bricking should never occur.
- Security risks. Rooting could create a security vulnerability, depending on the services and applications you use on your tablet, so be careful what applications you choose to use.
1. Root the Android tablet Turbo X Hive IV
First, you need a Rooted tablet so you need to fully Root your tablet (Click here to read our guide – How to Root the Android tablet Turbo X Hive IV from Plaisio store (Greece) and other similar Android devices). If your tablet is fully rooted go to next step.
By rooting your tablet you can have extra possibilities like installing or uninstalling applications that might be uninstalled or blocked by your manufacturer and many other useful applications that require root access to work properly.
2. Enable the Multiple Users Feature on Android 4.2 using tablet Turbo X Hive IV
The tablet that we are using for this example has the Multi user option hidden; you can’t find it under Settings so we first need to make it appear.
If you don’t have Google Play available at your tablet follow tis guide here – How to install Google Play and Gmail in Android 4.2 using tablet Turbo X Hive IV.
Go to Google Play and search for the application 4.2 Multiple User Enabler Root https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.sferadev.multipleuser&hl=en
Install the app and open it, click on “Enable the feature”. See the image below for an example.
Go to your tablet “Settings” and at the right column you will see the option “Users” right after the “Apps” option. Click on “Users”, you should see the owner of the device listed at the top and a blank section below listed as Other Users. (See the image below)
At the top right corner you will see an option “Add User”, (see the image above) tap on it to add a new user account. A prompt will come up informing you about a setup process, which might take a few minutes (5 to 10), and that any user can accept updated app permissions for all the users.
Google notes that the person whose account is created is present as there are some personal questions that need to be answered. Tap Setup Now and proceed.
You will be taken to the lock screen. Unlock the tablet and follow the on-screen instructions, you’ll be asked to input Gmail information if necessary. If not, 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, you will be asked for permission to use location. These can be changed at any time in the tablet’s Settings.
Then you will be asked to provide the name of the person to personalize applications and …TADAAA, setup is done! The tablet now has a new user and multiple user account feature enabled. Note that if you are an experienced user, you will have 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. See the photo below of an example with 2 users of an Android tablet.
If you lock your screen and unlock it you will now see the available users at the bottom of the lock screen. Select the account you want and login!
Note that settings like Wi-Fi and brightness are maintained across all accounts but there are some ways beyond the home screens and wallpapers where Google gives the users a way to personalize the experience.
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, for most users 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. If not then each user account can have its own applications.
Please note that after reboot the different user accounts do not appear at the unlock screen, so you will have to login to the main user and then open the 4.2 Multiple user enabler root and enable the feature again, every time you reboot, so you better not reboot your tablet but only lock or “sleep”, otherwise you will have to do it every time. This is the only negative about the app. Maybe it will be fixed soon.
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Sharing applications, parental control, hiding applications along different users of Android tablet
Now the fun part, you have the option to allow sharing of applications or even show or hide the availability of applications to certain users. You can select which applications you allow each user to use OR NOT, or share applications along users. This can be done with another useful application called Multi-User App Share. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fivehellions.android.muappshare&hl=en ).
Download or install the application and launch it. Provide root access (If you don’t have root access, read here how you can root your tablet)
This option can be very handy, let’s say for example you don’t want your kid to download games (or other apps) or use Facebook application. You can hide the Google Play store from your kids account so it won’t be able to download applications and you can hide Facebook so it can’t use it or even download it! (Unless your kid is an experienced user, so it will find his way around it no matter what you do!) – There is nothing wrong with these two apps, they’re only mentioned as an example!
If you followed all the steps above you have now multiple user accounts feature enabled and working. We did it with the tablet Turbo X Hive IV running Android 4.2 and the 2 applications mentioned above.