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How To Disable Creation Of Android Guest Accounts On Lollipop – Slash Genie
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Android

How To Disable Creation Of Android Guest Accounts On Lollipop

Some OS updates come with unintended bugs, like Android 5.0.2 bricking Nexus 9 devices but some features of an update might turn out to be worse than useless for you. While we personally think that the Android guest accounts introduced by Lollipop are pretty good, it is completely understandable if you don’t really dig them. If you aren’t aware, multi-user accounts let you maintain separate profiles on your Android phone or tablet. This is great for anyone who is sharing an Android with someone (specially kids). However, if you are serious about privacy and data security, keeping all Android guest accounts clean might be a nightmare. So, if you aren’t using this nifty feature on your Lollipop device, and want others to have no easy way of creating a new account on your phone, there’s a way of doing that!

While it is possible to disable the creation of Android guest accounts on your device, the method is not easy by any means. You will need some apps installed on your device, as well as root access.

Disable Android Guest Accounts On Lollipop

Requirements

  • Root access on your device. If you don’t know how to root, our post dealing with unrooting Galaxy S6 might give you a clue.
  • Of course, Android Lollipop update should be installed on your device, since this is why you are dealing with this entire problem.
  • Any SQLite Editor app from the Google Play Store. There are some very good free and paid apps available for this.
  • Any file explorer app. Some devices come with a built-in file explorer, or your rooting tool might install one automatically. If not, grab one from any external source.

Steps to Disable Android Guest Accounts Creation

  1. Head to your phone or tablet’s stock Settings app.
  2. Look for the menu dealing with Android guest accounts, and delete all existing ones.
  3. Open the file explorer app installed on your device.
  4. Search for the file named ‘build.prop’. If you can’t find it, try looking for it in the folder named ‘system’.
  5. Open the build.prop file in editing mode.
  6. Add the below line at the bottom of the file opened in the previous step;
    fw.max_users=1
  7. The above line will limit the maximum amount of accounts allowed on your device to one. Make sure you save the changes when exiting the file.
  8. Now it’s time to put the previously discussed SQLite editor to use. Open it.
  9. If your editor has search capabilities, go straight to the file named ‘settings.db’. If you can’t search, the file can be found under “data/com.android.providers.settings/databases/”
  10. In the Settings.db file, go to the ‘guest_user_enabled’ entry. You have to change its value from 1 to ‘zero’.
  11. Exit the app once you have saved the changes.

If you followed all the steps correctly, your Lollipop shouldn’t allow the creation of Android guest accounts. To go back on these settings, perform a factory reset, or reverse everything performed in the above steps.

9 Comments

  • Thanks for this post. Is there an app that can do this? Because when I do want to turn on guest mode, I would forget these instructions.

    • For now there is no app that can do this, but we will be on the lookout and if any such option becomes available, we will be the first to let you know. In the meantime, maybe you can bookmark this post. 🙂

  • Oh, I’m in Step 9. I downloaded the SQLite Editor app. I’m now in /data/data/com.android.providers.settings/databases/settings.db. But I don’t see “guest_user_enabled” entry. What I see in the “Tables” section are:
    sqlite_master
    android_metadata
    bluetooth_devices
    bookmarks
    global
    powersaving_appsetting
    secure
    squlite_sequence
    system

    —-
    In the Index view, I see:
    sqlite_autoindex_system_1
    systemindex1
    sqlite_autoindex_secure_1
    secureIndex1
    squlite_autoindex_global_1
    globalindex1
    bookmarksIndex1
    bookmarksIndex2
    sqlite_autoindex_powersavin_appsetting_1
    powersaving_appsettingIndex1

  • @Jalamb Click ‘global’ you will find the setting in there.Also there is an easier way to remove the guest account. This will remove the USERS setting altogether.
    At the end of the build.prop put:
    fw.show_multiuserui=0

    • Seems logical, and maybe a better, cleaner, and easier way. One problem. I get a message from ES File Explorer when editing and try to save that an error occurred
      and won’t be saved. Any ideas? Properties say it’s writable.

      • It’s protected. Save it with a different name first then rename the original to build.prop.bak.
        Now rename your
        modified one to build.prop.

        • Can’t rename the original either. I guess I need to be root, and as far as I can tell, I can’t root this phone. Ugh.

          • Wow, sorry, wasn’t getting notifications. It’s still an issue, but what can we do. Hers is an Asus Laser or something like that. Not a very hackable phone unfortunately. We got it because the provider was having a $1 phone deal on them. If it was a Nexus or Samsung it would probably be easier. I really don’t understand the thinking behind this “feature”.
            Anyway, we use Qustodio Parental Control on it and just lock out the settings… which she hates because it also prevents her from changing wallpaper and simple things like that. :-

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