I have a Nexus 10 set up with multiple users. My owner account has a lot of apps that I got from my Humble Library (so not from Google Play). I want to install these apps on one of the other user accounts, but right now I'm on a metered internet connection so I don't want to re-download these apps. Is there a way for me to transfer these non-Google Play apps from the owner user to another user without re-downloading them? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Usually, with the MultiUser feature, apps are not downloaded again (but rather linked; let's skip technical details here). In your case the trouble is: your apps are not connected to Google Play, so I'm not sure how that would be handled.

However, here's a way you definitely could do so. But it would require you to install one app from Google Play to handle it:

  1. Login with your "owner account"
  2. Get yourself AppMonster Free Backup Restore via Google Play
  3. Start the AppMonster, go into its settings, and check/configure the path it stores the backups to. For your goal, it should preferably be in a location accessible for the other users as well.
  4. Now "back up" the apps you want to "transfer". You might wish to include AppMonster here as well.
  5. Login with one of the "target users"
  6. Use any file manager to navigate to the AppMonster backup directory
  7. Now you can simply "start" the .apk files, and the installer should pop up.

As the backup directory structure might be a little confusing, you may wish to first install AppMonster that way, and use this app itself to install the other apps (after having configured the backup directory again).

Be aware this only handles the apps themselves, not their data.

Another variant, including the app data, could be utilizing adb backup and adb restore. To do this without a computer, you could use Helium - App Sync and Backup. Other than above variant, this creates backup archives (*.ab) of your apps, which then could be restored using the very same app. I've never tried that amongst multiple accounts, so I cannot guarantee it works. Helium is available for Android 4.0 and above; but as you already use the MultiUser feature, this should be no show stopper :)

Note, however, that you would need to install Helium also for the accounts you wish to restore to. And again: While I'm pretty sure the AppMonster variant will work, I cannot guarantee that Helium works in this context. But it might be worth a try if you want to include the data with your transfer.

  • Very slick Izzy, will this also transfer the user data from the app as well?
    – John
    Jul 7, 2013 at 1:52
  • No, that could only be done by either a root-app or via adb backup. Which brings me to another option, will update my answer.
    – Izzy
    Jul 7, 2013 at 19:13
  • I filed a bug report to Google about this, start it to receive updates: code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=82543 Dec 13, 2014 at 12:12

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