Thursday, 6 October 2016

Use multiple accounts on the same device

Use multiple accounts on the same device

Using the same service on more than one account is easy on a computer, but much trickier on a phone or tablet. Edward Munn reveals a few simple ways to double up


Your WhatsApp account is linked to your phone number, which makes it easy for your friends and family to find you and get in touch. One downside to this, however, is that the app won’t let you have more than one account on the same device, even if your phone can accept two SIM cards. Thankfully, you can get round this by installing an amazing free Android app called Parallel Space ( This lets you clone many of your apps to a new, virtual environment on your phone, where you can create and use a second, different account.

Unlike many other apps that let you do this, Parallel Space is available directly from the Google Play store and doesn’t require you to root your device. Just make sure the SIM card for the new account is installed in your device before setup, because you’ll be required to enter an SMS-verification code to complete the process.

If you’ve just changed your phone number, Parallel Space offers a handy way to use both your old and new number in WhatsApp on the same device. Just remember that WhatsApp only lets you associate each phone number with one device at a time, so if you set up a new account in Parallel Space, you’ll be logged out of WhatsApp on any devices that use the same phone number.


Parallel Space lets you clone many popular apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Netflix, so you can log into and switch between multiple accounts. If you’ve already installed the app by following the steps in our first tip, it makes sense to use it for other apps it supports. 

However, if you’d rather log into a second Facebook account without installing any additional apps (perhaps to let a friend access the social network on your device), the easiest way is to use your web browser. Visit in any browser app, and you can log into an account without being logged out of your Facebook app.

Bear in mind that if the account has two-step authentication activated, you won’t be able to log in unless you have already approved the browser, or you have access to the account on another device to approve the log in.


You can log into multiple Google accounts on your Android device and quickly switch between them, which is very useful if you have different accounts for your work and home lives. The easiest way to add a second Google account is to use the Gmail app. Simply open the app’s sidebar and tap the down arrow next to your email address, then choose ‘Add account’. Once you’ve added an account, you can switch to it in any Google app, including Drive, Calendar and Docs, by opening the app’s sidebar and tapping the appropriate email address. Selecting ‘Manage Accounts’ from this menu lets you choose which apps sync with each Google account.

In Gmail, you can choose ‘All inboxes’ to view all your emails in a single, unified inbox. You can also open the Settings menu to configure each email account, including whether or not it sends you notifications. To delete a Google account, open Accounts from the Android Settings app and select Google. Tap the account you want to delete, then select the three-dot button and tap ‘Remove account’.


Unlike the services we’ve looked at so far, Instagram lets you log into more than one account directly from its mobile app. To do this, open your profile, tap the three-dot button and swipe all the way down the page until you see Add Account. Tap it and, from the screen that appears, you can either log in with an existing account or tap the ‘Sign up’ button to create a new one. Once you’ve logged in, you can switch between accounts using the drop-down menu on your profile. Instagram lets you use up to five accounts at once, and if you want to remove an account, tap the three-dot menu button on the appropriate profile and then swipe up until you see the option to ‘Log Out of X’. From this menu, you can also select Push Notifications to specify whether or not you want to receive notifications for activity relating to that account.


Like Instagram, Twitter lets you log into more than one account from its mobile app, which is handy if you want to post tweets on behalf of a business or club as well as from your own personal account. To log into a second account on the Android app, tap the account thumbnail in the top-left corner, then select the down arrow in the header to open a dropdown menu. From here, you can choose either to ‘Create new account’ or ‘Add existing account’, as appropriate. Once you’ve added a second account, you can switch between them by tapping the down arrow in the header again. If you’re using an iOS device, you’ll need to select the Accounts icon from the app’s Me tab and then select ‘More options’. From here, choose either ‘Create new account’ or ‘Add an existing account’. Once you’ve added an account, you can toggle between them by selecting the Accounts icon again.


If you want to let your family use iOS apps you’ve bought but keep your Messages, Photos, FaceTime and other Apple apps to yourself, you can do so using Apple’s Family Sharing feature. Introduced with iOS 8, this lets you share apps, music, ebooks and anything else you’ve bought from the iTunes Store with up to five other family members by setting up Apple IDs linked to your account. It’s even available for children under the age of 13, and an ‘Ask to Buy’ option is enabled by default so they can’t make any purchases without your permission. To enable Family Sharing, open Settings, tap iCloud and choose ‘Set up Family Sharing’, then follow the instructions on screen.

It’s also worth noting that you can sign into iCloud and ‘iTunes & App Store’ using different Apple IDs on one device. To log into a different iCloud account, simply open Settings, select iCloud and swipe the page up until you see the option to Sign Out at the bottom. To do the same thing for iTunes, tap ‘iTunes & App Store’ in the Settings menu, select your Apple ID and choose Sign Out. You can also use a different Apple ID account for Messages. To do this, simply open Messages from Settings, tap ‘Send & Receive’ and you can select your Apple ID to sign out.


If your Android device runs Lollipop or a later version of the operating system, you can allow someone else to use your phone or tablet as a guest, which gives them access to some features but not all the information on your device. To add a new guest user, open the Quick Settings menu by swiping down from the top of any screen with two fingers. Next, tap ‘Add guest’ or Guest.

If you regularly share your Android device with friends or family, you can set up a new user profile for them so they have their own space to create custom home screens and install apps. To add a new user, open Settings and tap Users, ‘Add user’ and OK. These features might vary or be unavailable on Android devices from some manufacturers.