With Android 4.3 comes a new feature, restricted profiles. It allows creating new special "restricted" users, for which an admin user can control access to apps.

However, in addition to my own admin user, I already have a secondary user for my kid, which has all of the user-specific data, such as saved games. If I create a new restricted profile, those will be lost.

How can I convert an existing (secondary) user to a restricted profile?

Note for the interested: The restricted profiles feature doesn't provide a complete secure access block, but it works well as a hinderance and prevents accidental blunders - which happens to be excatly what I'm interested in.

  • Your second account is a user, not a profile, right?
    – geffchang
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 12:43
  • What device are you referring to, IIRC, multiple users only confined to tablets?
    – t0mm13b
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 22:20
  • The device is Nexus 10, an Android tablet with vanilla Android OS. Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 6:45
  • 1
    @geffchang Yes, a user. I was confusing the two concepts. I now cleared up the terminology of the question (and deleted my earlier response). Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 6:00
  • I'm glad you were able to distinguish between a user and a profile. However, you have an interesting (business) case. If you report it to Google's support channels, maybe they can support it in the future (at least for transferring existing data to a new profile).
    – geffchang
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 6:27

2 Answers 2


As of this moment, it is not possible to convert a user into a profile.

However, you could create a profile based on the existing user. Downside: Since a profile doesn't have a Google account tied to it, they can't have a GMail app. And as you have already mentioned, they would also lose those user-specific data.

UPDATE #1: From Android.com, it says that a restricted profile is a subset of a user's account. It's using the same user account, albeit restricted. So the profile is quite different from a User, where it's tied to a different Google account.

Each restricted profile offers an isolated and secure space with its own local storage, home screens, widgets, and settings. Unlike with users, profiles are created from the tablet owner’s environment, based on the owner’s installed apps and system accounts. The owner controls which installed apps are enabled in the new profile, and access to the owner’s accounts is disabled by default.

  • I was afraid so. Any reference for this? Are you sure there are no hackarounds for doing this, even though it isn't directly supported? Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 6:23
  • @IlariKajaste Based on what I've read on What's New, users and profiles are really different entities themselves. A profile is a subset of a user, while a user is like any ordinary user.
    – geffchang
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 6:28
  • @IlariKajaste From what I've read over at XDA, there is no way to convert a user into a profile.
    – geffchang
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 6:31
  • @IlariKajaste I added Update #1 to my answer.
    – geffchang
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 6:40
  • Thanks, that is very interesting information! I wonder if there is a simple way to transfer app data and settings from an user account to a restricted profile. I guess at least app data should be possible by using some backup app, like Titanium... Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 11:32

On rooted system change in xml file for user in /data/system/users/ flags from 16 to 24 Example:

user id="11" serialNumber="13" flags="24" created="1373565328127" lastLoggedIn="1376779161829" icon="/data/system/users/11/photo.png"

Here are the constants https://android.googlesource.com/platform/frameworks/base.git/+/android-4.2.2_r1/core/java/android/content/pm/UserInfo.java

 * Primary user. Only one user can have this flag set. Meaning of this
 * flag TBD.
public static final int FLAG_PRIMARY = 0x00000001;

 * User with administrative privileges. Such a user can create and
 * delete users.
public static final int FLAG_ADMIN   = 0x00000002;

 * Indicates a guest user that may be transient.
public static final int FLAG_GUEST   = 0x00000004;

 * Indicates the user has restrictions in privileges, in addition to those for normal users.
 * Exact meaning TBD. For instance, maybe they can't install apps or administer WiFi access pts.
public static final int FLAG_RESTRICTED = 0x00000008;

 * Indicates that this user has gone through its first-time initialization.
public static final int FLAG_INITIALIZED = 0x00000010;


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .