How to set up guest access on your BlackBerry smartphone powered by Android

Want to lend your phone to your son for a bit while you make dinner? Want to let your friend check her email on your phone? Does your spouse want to browse the web while you’re in the shower?

If you use your phone for work, those are probably all luxuries you’re not certain you can afford.

After all, can you risk potentially leaking confidential information about your job, even to your significant other? Can you risk having your son inadvertently delete a critical message, or document?

On BlackBerry smartphones powered by Android (like PRIV and DTEK50), those aren’t risks you need to worry about, thanks to the users and guests feature. By setting up guest accounts on your device, you can allow friends and family to use your device without putting your work or personal information at risk.

Here’s how:

Before we begin… 

Let’s talk a bit about the difference between Device Owners, Users, Guests, and the importance of setting a screen lock.

You’re the Device Owner – the person whose account information was on your phone first. You can add up to three users in addition to yourself, along with a Guest. You also have control over whether or not someone can add, or switch to another user from the lock screen. You can also install app updates for all users, uninstall apps from a user profile, or delete users from your device.

The Guest profile is meant for people who use your device occasionally – a colleague at work or a friend at the bar, for instance. They can make or receive phone calls but not text messages. There is only one Guest profile per device (by default a Guest account cannot make phone calls)

User profiles are meant for people who use your device frequently, such as family members. They have all the same privileges as you, except that they cannot manage or delete any user account but their own. While they can install new apps, these apps do not appear if you are using different user account.

Before we begin

To improve privacy between users, each user should set up a screen lock as well. A screen lock prevents another user from accessing information in a different user profile. To set up a screen lock now, go to Settings  Security > Screen lock. If you do not setup a screen lock, the concept of ‘protecting your data’ isn’t possible; as a result, we strongly recommend setting up a screen lock before proceeding.

First Steps

Screenshot_20160819-141421[1]Follow the steps below to switch between your current account, and the guest account.

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen once with two fingers, or twice with one.
  2. Tap priv_guest_gear, then find the Users entry under the Device heading.
    • By default, your device is configured with two accounts: a device owner (you) and a guest.
  3. At any time, you can switch users by tapping an account on the Users screen.

You can also switch to the Guest account by swiping down from the top of your screen once with two fingers, or twice with one finger. After doing this, tap on your account image that appears in the top right corner followed by tapping on your Account which is shown in the top right followed by tapping Guest, or Add Guest if you haven’t used this feature before.

Adding Users

In addition to allowing someone temporary access using a Guest account you can also add a user account for your significant other, for example. This will allow them to install apps, customize settings (specific to their account only) and more.

To add a new user to your device…

  1. Go to Settings > Users, tap Add User, then tap OK.
  2. If the person you want to add is with you, tap Set up now, otherwise tap Not Now.
    • Note: if you selected Not Now, to complete the process later go to Settings > Users, and tap New User
  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to set up the user account.
  4. If you want to allow a user to make calls/send text messages, tap the gear icon next to the account and toggle the Turn on phone calls or Turn on phone calls & SMS option.
    • Note that the guest account only has access to the first option.

Removing Users & the Guest account

To remove an account from your device…

  1. From the Users screen, tap the gear icon next to the account you want to remove.
  2. Tap Remove user, then Delete. Follow any on-screen prompts.
    • Note that if you delete a Guest, the profile will remain on your device so you can set it up again in the future, but all that guest account’s apps and data will be permanently deleted.
  3. A guest or user can also delete their data by tapping on priv_guest_3dot the top right corner of the Users screen and tapping either Delete Guest from this device or Delete [username] from this device.

Setting Up Guest Access While Your Device Is Locked

  1. From the Users screen, tap on priv_guest_3dot the top right corner, and then tap Add users when this device is locked.

Any questions? Hit us up in the comments!

To learn more about PRIV or the DTEK50 by BlackBerry or troubleshoot an issue, there are several great options available to help. Visit the PRIV support page, or the DTEK50 support site for access to product documentation, how-to demos, tips and tricks, YouTube videos, support forums, knowledge base articles, Twitter support, and contact information for your region.

Nicholas C. Greene

About Nicholas C. Greene

Nicholas C. Greene is a technology writer based in Calgary, Canada. An English graduate of the University of Calgary, he's written for publications and organizations such as VPN Haus, Streetwise, Northcutt, and The Coolist.