Original topic:

Android Multi-user profiles vs Secure Folder

(Topic created: 05-01-2022 01:59 AM)
Galaxy S21


I've been very frustrated trying to get used to Samsung's Secure Folder as a crutch since apparently Samsung is the only company that disabled the multi-user profile feature that's been part of stock Android for a long time.

If I had known this feature was lacking I would have purchased a different phone like the pixel. But anyway, I now have a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G that frustrates me because of the lack of multi-user profiles.

Does anyone know how I can unhide or re-enable multi-user and guest profile support that's built in to Android?

Before you mention Knox, Secure Folder, pinning apps, or kids mode, let me explain the use cases:

For me the use case is not sharing phones with another person... It's to support my work and personal and privacy needs:

I think that Knox/secure folder just an encrypted storage space, right? Isn't full encryption also built-in to Android OS now?

Regardless, why couldn't this encrypted storage space still work with Google Android user profiles and guest mode?

I've been trying to make do with running some apps in secure folder, but the multi-user function that's native in Android is much better for my use cases:

1. keeping separate profiles for work vs personal,

2. an additional profile for when older kids play or borrow the phone,

3. The ability to have a private profile for adult communication that I want completely separate from my normal workspaces,

4. and having quick access to guest mode when I lend my phone to someone to play music on Bluetooth or Google Chromecast or control Google Chromecast video when they are visiting my place.

5. Easy sexting. Come on, this is a lot more common than you might think, and it's a lot better and stress-free when you can easily change to a different private profile that has a totally different background wallpaper and apps before taking and receiving private photos.

6. Multi user accounts also makes it easy to manage multiple social media accounts that I manage for my businesses. For example, with multi-user profiles I could easily switch between my main user profile with my personal social medias accounts, and user profiles for each of my brands with the apps and layout I want for that use case. It's so liberating being able to have multiple separate instances of Facebook, Instagram, VK, Telegram, WhatsApp, YouTube brands, etc being easily accessible, and replaced the need to carry multiple phones. BTW, I easily accomplish sharing of images as desired between profiles just by using Google photos and sharing between accounts. Providing access to some common contact lists yet keeping some contacts private to each account is also easily controlled by the particular Google logins activated for each use profiles (logging in to one general account, and then having a separate Google account for that brand or privacy needs)

Secure folder feels very klunky for my needs even after using it for a while, and kids mode is also useless vs a custom profile I create with the apps that I want (not apps for toddlers) Samsung allows only one secure folder, and the UI to browse apps and files in secure folder is very limited. Just try using some apps that have screen writing permissions (like all video calling apps and Google translate) from both the main device and from within Secure Folder and you'll quickly see how everything becomes messy... Can't tell whether an overlay icon belongs to to the main profile or the secure folder profile, and you only see the blue lock icon when an app is open full screen or in the currently running apps view.

Kids mode is also useless vs a custom profile I create with the apps that I want (not apps for toddlers).

Pinning apps: yes I know this is possible. Unless you are turning a phone into a kiosk I don't see the use case. Any time I lend my phone to someone they never need just one app: they often need to call, surf the web, and maybe log in to their own social media accounts to then be able to easily cast music to my home systems.

I also hate how my private messaging notifications show on screen when I let someone use my phone...because of the lack of multi-user profiles!!! 

It's frustrating that my top of the line phone (S21 Ultra) is frustrating to use for these use cases, vs lower end Android phones that don't have the great cameras. 

Yes I'm a power user. I also miss the SD Card slot, though I'm at least glad we still have dual sim support with the esim+sim card. Moto was able to add dual physical sim + SD card (Moto G7 pro), and I wish Samsung at least kept the SD slot).

However, in the list when I showed people what multi user profiles is and how they can use them (even just for work and non-sexting needs), they often start to use this feature). 


Multiple user profiles in Android enables me to carry one phone that is a very elegant workhorse, and also lets me keep private my other profiles.

So now even though I have a top of the line Samsung, I'm forced to also carry an inexpensive Moto G100 phone by Lenovo because it has the stock Android with multi-user profiles in addition to my Samsung. I might even just replace my Samsung S21 Ultra 5G with the latest Google Pixel 6 Pro because of this.

Very frustrating.

If you can help me with useful suggestions, please do. I need the Samsung camera app to control the beautiful photography and zoom features of this phone, so I don't think I could just replace the Samsung One UI with stock Android or another launcher.

I hope the right person at Samsung reads this so that everyone can better understand the helpful use cases of no longer disabling this stock Android feature.

I love Samsung and the great cameras, I just wish that the issues I raised can be addressed.

5 Replies
Galaxy S21

I do need to be able to do this as well! I just had to return my S22 Ultra because I wasn't able to create another profile. that made for the worst set up that ended up being useless when I had to send it back and buy a Pixel instead which works to switch my profiles easily. 

Galaxy S21
Yes same here
Galaxy S21
I have been trying to search this feature for past couple weeks... And now i see your message and confirmed that you dont have this feature... How come Samsung doesn't have this feature and claim them one of the best smart phone company.... Thats just not acceptable
Not applicable
Galaxy S21
I'm troubled by this discussion and the tribulations in trying to change this to that and Uninstalle this app for that app..feel your frustration folks!! Is it possible to reset EVERYTHING?!!
Or is phone already activated from start??
Galaxy S21
If Samsung do not fix this issue I'm buying a pixel aswell