Your smartphone contains a lot of highly personal and potentially sensitive information. This includes your photos, videos, contacts, notes, and for business users, it might contain proprietary information about products your company is working on, a list of clients, confidential emails, and so on.
This means that whenever you hand someone your phone unlocked, there is a possibility that they will be able to see all that personal information and in a worst case scenario, send it to themselves without you realizing it. This is why if you ever find yourself needing to pass your phone to someone else, maybe it could be a good idea to set up a Guest account.
What is a Guest account?
According to Google:
“A guest profile is for someone using your phone for a short time.
Like a user, the guest profile has its own space on the device, but it’s easier to delete this space when a guest is done with the device.”
Basically this is an account where the user will have access to your phone and its functions like the phone app, cameras, and other preinstalled apps, but they won’t be able to access information related to your personal account like contacts, photos, emails, messages, apps that you’re logged into, and etc.
You could think of it like a sandbox of sorts where the user gets to mess about on your phone (to a certain extent) and you don’t need to worry about it affecting your main account.
How to set up a Guest account
- Launch the Settings app
- Go to System
- Tap on Multiple users
- Toggle on Multiple users
- Tap Add guest
- Tap Switch to Guest
- Give it a few seconds and the Guest account profile will be activated
It will look as though your phone has been wiped in Guest mode because everything related to your personal account is gone, save for the default preinstalled apps. If you need to switch back to your personal account, follow the steps above but select your account name instead.
Keep in mind that depending on your phone, the menus might be slightly different. The steps above are shown based on the Pixel phones which run pretty much a stock version of Android, so look for similar-sounding menus if you’re using a different phone brand/model.