Let a Stranger Borrow Your Android Phone Safely with a Guest Account

By creating a guest account, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data won’t be compromised when someone needs to borrow your phone.

If you experience a situation where someone approaches you and asks: “Hey, my phone’s battery died, can I use yours?” You might be hesitant because so much of your personal information is on it. You could have open emails, Facebook posts, or other items you don’t want someone to see.

If you’re an Android user, rather than creating a new user account (which is time-consuming), creating a guest account is the quick and easy way to hand off your phone without that person seeing your stuff.

Note: Guest accounts were first available on Android tablets running Android 4.2. And then later added to phones with Android 5.0 Lollipop. For this article, I’m using a Huawei Nexus 6P that’s running Android Nougat 7.1.1. The steps for creating a guest account may vary depending on your device and the version of Android it’s running.

Create a Guest Account on Android

  1. Open the Quick Settings menu by swiping down from the top of the screen with two fingers. Tap the user profile icon and then tap Add guest.

Quick Settings

  1. You’ll see a “Switching to guest” message, and after a few seconds, you’ll be looking at a fresh and clean Android home screen. Then you can hand it off to the person who needs to borrow it.


  1. To switch back to your account, swipe down from the top and tap the profile icon. Then you can either tap your account profile or remove the Guest account.


Summing Up

Here’s a look at the HTC One M8 running Android 6.0 Marshmallow to give you an idea of how things can vary. I needed to edit the Quick Settings menu and add the user account icon because it wasn’t there by default.

Keep in mind that just like a regular user account, a guest user can use and install apps, browse the web, take photos, and tweak system settings – but not the personal settings on your account.

You wouldn’t let someone you don’t know have free range on your laptop, so why give them that access to the computer in your pocket? By creating a guest account, you can have peace of mind knowing that your data won’t be compromised.

To Top