I am going to buy a new Android phone.

I would like to give my current one to my wife when I do this. She already owns an Android phone so she has her own Google account.

I am just wondering what happens if I switch Android account to my current phone. Will she be able to use the installed apps or only the ones she bought also?

Or does she lose the ability to upgrade the apps, but can she still use the ones already present?

  • 4
    You can leave your original account on the phone, and simply disable all the sync options (Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, etc.) to have the best of both worlds. This way you'll retain all apps that you've purchased previously. As an added bonus, your wife's phone will be able to use any apps you purchase with your account in the future.
    – Chahk
    Jun 20, 2012 at 13:28

2 Answers 2


Apps are linked to the account that downloaded them, but Android has adapted, and will recognize the apps that are installed, regardless of which account is on the phone. This means:

  • Your apps will not be deleted from the phone if you switch accounts

  • You will still be able to update apps

  • You will not be able to use any apps that were purchased through the other account. They will remain on your device, but most apps check for validation in the Play Store when they start, and will not allow you to run them if you have removed the account they were purchased in.

ALTHOUGH: You can use them if you leave the other account logged in on the device, they will just be managed by that account in the Play Store. You can switch accounts to manage apps for either by pressing Menu in the Play Store and selecting Accounts and choosing the account with the apps you wish to manage. Then choose My Apps from the Menu after you have switched accounts.


As said earlier, you could add an additional gmail account in addition to the existing gmail account and make it active for your Play Store access.

In case if you want to have just a new account and remove the old Gmail account, obviously you will lose all your data.

But if you want all your data, back up all your data and apps on the phone. Because sometimes it will be frustrating to have whole of a lot of the old contacts and other stuffs that you dont need.

You can use Go Backup Application, the best backup app I have found so far for this purpose. You can even restore your application with the its previous state, with all of its data.

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