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Can we create restricted user on phone running Android Lollipop? Seems that restricted users are not supported on mobile but only on tablet (mobile has only simple user no restricted user option).

Reference: http://www.howtogeek.com/205301/how-to-use-android-5-lollipops-restricted-user-profiles-for-basic-parental-controls/

  • +1 because every so often some children ask me to play games with my phone – Ivan Ferrer Villa Sep 24 '15 at 0:23
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Although it is not possible to create restricted accounts, you can achieve almost the same effect using a "normal" account.

This is the recipe:

  • Create account, go into its properties and select whether you want it to be able to take/make phone-calls
  • do NOT log in to your Google account during creation of that account
  • after creating the account, deactivate any system-apps you do not want for that user and uncheck notifications for that app. Note that you need to uninstall updates to do so (you can update on your original owner account afterwards)
  • log in to Google play using your owner account
  • go to all apps
  • "install" all wanted apps that are already on your mobile. This will NOT download that app again, but seems to simply create a link to that app, activating it within the mobile for the current user (similar to restricted accounts, but more complicated in the handling)
    • do not forget to install any keys-apps for bought apps after the app
  • Now enter the properties, accounts select your google account and delete it (just for that user)

The result will be a user without your google login but with some of your apps.

  • This will also lose apps auto-update ability, right? – Sarge Borsch May 9 '16 at 13:18
  • @Sarge Borsch As long as the app is also installed on your main account updates will take effect for all other accounts, too. Only if your "restricted" account is the only one with that app you will loose the update function for this app. – Nils May 18 '16 at 20:07
  • Very interesting workaround! Will it work in the latest Pie as well? One if the main reasons I was looking for restricted profile is because of the option to limit access to settings, specifically the data limits. Is it still possible with this workaround? – haridsv Aug 11 at 13:50
  • Never mind, I just followed some of the steps to create the account and haven't setup apps yet, but I can see that the user has full access to settings, including the data usage of the primary account. There is probably some way to install an app and lock down access to settings, but it will not be granular. – haridsv Aug 11 at 14:20
  • I thought about this approach a bit more, but one gaping hole is that the alternative user can login to play store with another credential and install whatever they want, so this doesn't present access to apps. However, only the main user can set data limits l so with some additional planning and monitoring this could work. – haridsv Aug 11 at 15:02
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Using stock Android unfortunately the answer is No. It may be possible using a custom ROM but as the site you've linked to suggests, Restricted profiles are only supported on tablet devices.

On a phone you can configure whether the user can receive phone calls and SMS but this is the only option available.

Unfortunately I've not found any information on how to enable restriced profiles in a custom ROM either. As Android can be built from source I'm sure it will be possible but it does not appear to be something that many people have investigated yet. You don't mention what phone you are wanting to set this up on but it might be worth asking over at XDA in the relevant forum as they may be able to shed more light on it.

  • No workaround possible? I do not want to waste space on reinstalling apps that are already there. – Nils Jan 12 '15 at 22:06
  • I think the only workaround possible will be custom EOM or some hack, but nothing official until Goggle itself adds support for restricted accounts – Maha Jan 13 '15 at 8:46
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Updated answer for 2019 - it appears that Google Family Link let's you lock down an Android phone (including restricting apps).

It works by creating a "child" Google account which is locked down, and you simply have to log in with that child Google account.

Here's a guide I found with step by steps on how to set it up https://www.howtogeek.com/205301/how-to-use-android-5-lollipops-restricted-user-profiles-for-basic-parental-controls/

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