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How to access work profile on android

A work profile can be set up on an Android device to separate work apps and data from personal apps and data. With a work profile you can securely and privately use the same device for work and personal purposes—your organization manages your work apps and data while your personal apps, data, and usage remain private.

If your organization supports work profiles, your IT department should provide instructions on how to add one to your device.

Does my device have a work profile?

Go to Settings > Accounts. If you have a work profile, it’s listed in the Work section. On some devices, work profiles are also listed directly in Settings.

How do I access my work apps?

Work apps are marked with a briefcase icon so you can distinguish them from personal apps. To access your work apps:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to the top.
  2. Tap the “Work” tab.
  3. Tap the app that you want to open.

If your work app icons are gray, your work profile may be paused. Find out how to pause or turn on your work profile.

How do I delete my work profile?

Some of these steps might not be the same on every device.

You can only delete your work profile if you personally own your device or your organization relinquishes ownership of a company-owned device to you. To delete your work profile:

  1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Remove work profile.
  2. Tap Delete to confirm the removal of all apps and data within your work profile.
  3. Ensure that the policy app (“Device Policy”) is uninstalled and not present on your device.

After the work profile is deleted, all local data on the device within that profile is deleted.

You can also remove all apps and data (both personal and work) by factory-resetting your device.

When your work profile is running, your work apps can run and generate notifications that appear alongside your personal notifications. Pausing your work profile temporarily disables your work apps and notifications, allowing you to use your device without any work interruptions. You may want to pause your work profile when you’re not working. For example, at the end of your workday, over the weekend, or when you’re on vacation.

When your work profile is paused, work apps won’t run, generate notifications, or consume data and battery life. You also won’t be able to access work apps or widgets. If you try, you’ll see a message asking if you want to turn your work profile on again.

How to

Some of these steps might not be the same on every device.

To pause or turn on your work profile from the Work profile tab:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to the top.
  2. Tap the “Work” tab.
  3. At the bottom of your screen, toggle the Work apps switch.

When the switch is off, your work profile is paused. When the switch is on, your work profile is running.

To pause your work profile from Quick Settings:

    Swipe down from the top of any screen and locate the work tile (briefcase icon).

You may need to swipe down again to see all your quick settings. If you don’t see the work tile, you can add it if your device supports it by tapping the edit icon at the bottom of the panel.

When the tile is dimmed, your work profile is paused. When the tile is illuminated, your work profile is running.

If you use Microsoft mobile apps such as Microsoft Office, Outlook, or Teams with a so-called Android work profile provided by your work or school administrator, you may be unable to see all of your images and other media files when trying to access these from within your Android mobile apps. This is because your administrator may have restricted access to such files for security or other reasons.

This means that even if your personal photo gallery on your Android device contains a large number of images and other media files, you may be seeing very few of those files (if any) when trying to access your gallery from within mobile apps that are running in your Android work profile.

Affected media files include images and other media that you’ve already saved to your photo gallery, as well as images and media captured and shared using the native Camera app in your device, as well as scanner apps like Microsoft Lens and other media editing apps.

For possible workarounds to this issue, follow the steps below.

Find and share images in Microsoft Teams for Android

If you’re an Android work profile user through your work or school, and you have a number of images or other media files stored in the photo gallery on your personal profile, you can follow the steps below as a possible workaround.

Note: In this example, we’re using Microsoft Teams as the app in which to find personal image files, but you can take similar steps in other Microsoft apps to work around the issue.

Do the following:

In the Microsoft Teams app on your Android device, tap Chat, and then select a contact for whom to compose a new message.

Try to add an image to your message by tapping the Camera icon.

Look for the notification that says, Displaying media from work profile. Tap here to access all media.

Tap the notification message, and then proceed to access your media files and folders as you normally would.

When you’ve selected the file or files you want to add to your message, tap Done.

Alternately, you can try one of the following:

Follow the same steps as above by tapping on the notification message while you’re in the image or media capture screen (for example, your Camera app or the Microsoft Lens app).

If you choose Open photo library from the media picker, you’ll see the full screen gallery. If you don’t see all of the images here that you’re looking for, you can try to access the images from your personal profile by tapping the folder icon near the top of the screen.

Note: If your organization’s IT administrator has fully restricted access to personal media from any app running within a work profile on your Android device, then the workarounds documented in this article won’t work for you. In this case you will not be able to access any personal images from any Microsoft mobile apps or any enterprise apps to which your organization’s policy applies. For more information, please contact your organization’s IT administrator.

How to tell if your apps are running in a work profile

To tell the difference between a normal app on your Android device and an app that’s part of your work profile, look for a small briefcase icon in the lower right corner of the app’s original icon.

Apps with the small briefcase icon in the lower right corner are Android work profile apps. The ones without it are Android apps that you can run normally within your personal user profile.

How to access work profile on android

“New configurations are now available for Android BYOD management”

Google have deprecated their ‘Device Administrator APIs’ which means even though devices are enrolled into an MDM, they will no longer respond to commands being sent from the MDM server with the old APIs.

This old mechanism for enrolling and managing Android Devices is being fully deprecated by all MDM vendors for devices running Android 10 and Android 11 by the end of 2020.

Going forward, Android Enterprise must be used to manage Android devices.

What is Android Enterprise?

Android Enterprise is a modern set of management controls that

Enforce encryption for company data

Enable centralised, seamless app deployment

Provide a unified set of controls across all makes of Android devices

Android Enterprise offers two options for device deployment – 1) Work Only, and 2) Personally Enabled. For BYOD devices, Android Enterprise Work Profile is the best solution.

How to access work profile on android

Android Enterprise Work Profile

Android Enterprise Work Profile is designed to keep work and personal data separate.

Rather than the whole device being enrolled and managed, a separate partition or container on the device is provisioned. Then company apps and data are deployed to the container and kept separate from personal apps and data.

Work Profile is the best option for BYOD. But it can be useful to provide access to devices that don’t support the other Android Enterprise management options. This can be due to operating system version limitations or where factory reset / device wipe is not desired when migrating to Android Enterprise.

Also, we see Android Enterprise Work Profiles being rolled out on Contractor devices where a private enterprise app is required to be pushed to a device, but management of the device is not needed.

Employees need a personal Gmail account to enable the Work Profile. MDM administrators can set policies and controls on the managed container but not the device itself.

Here is a video showing the user experience of a Personally Enabled Android Enterprise device

I’ve researched and I cant find anything. What I am missing?

How to access work profile on android

2 Answers 2

It might not always be possible to transfer data between multiple users/profiles. It depends on the Device/Work Policy Controller app, installed by you or your IT admin.

Android device can be managed in two ways: fully managed (which is setup at the time of first use or after factory reset on a company owned device) and work profiles (which can be added or removed anytime without affecting primary profile on a personal device / BYOD). Both requires a profile owner app (MDM/DPC/EMM) installed and registered as an administrator. Fully-managed devices may further have work profiles and it provides more isolation and control on device-wide policies than the latter. See a comparison of both modes under Building DPC (1, 2, 3, 4) and Employing Managed Profiles (5) in Android documentation.

Multiple users can also be added if enabled in ROM by OEM/ROM developer. Being more isolated than profiles, interacting with users requires INTERACT_ACROSS_USERS which is a permission with signature|system protection level. So third party apps cannot use it at all.

Irrespective of if the secondary user is a human user or personal profile owner or work profile owner, the primary intention is data isolation. As defined here:

“A work profile securely isolates work apps and data from personal apps and data.”

And as explained here, file sharing between device owner and work profile must only be through intents (fired with content URIs), not file paths. But a profile owner may completely disallow data sharing (and IPC/ intents ) between users/profiles. For instance see DISALLOW_SHARE_INTO_MANAGED_PROFILE , DISALLOW_USB_FILE_TRANSFER , DISALLOW_MOUNT_PHYSICAL_MEDIA , addCrossProfileIntentFilter .

Since Android 9 adb is also disallowed to access file belonging to secondary user/profile. For details see How to access multi-user storage in adb shell on Android 9+?

However if the sharing is not disallowed, you’ll see options to switch to other profiles (tabs in Share Sheet on Android 11+) when sharing files:

Shelter – a Free and Open-Source app (I’ve no affiliation) that leverages the “Work Profile” feature to provide an isolated space for cloning apps – acts as a content (media) provider and provides “File Shuttle” option which lets you access Work Profile files from Personal Profile through “Storage Access Framework”:

You can also run a small http / ftp server for file sharing on either side, or sync to cloud storage, if not restricted by policy.

So it entirely depends on the profile creator’s policy if file sharing is allowed or not, usually not desirable in a corporate environment. However following method may work in all situations:

The most widely used trick for file sharing among multiple users is Android/obb directory which is shared among users to save storage space. Sharing was managed using bind-mounts in early days but then handling was added to FUSE/ sdcardfs internally. However sharing is deprecated in Android 10 introducing mount option unshared_obb in sdcardfs .

So up to Android 9 you can use obb directory for file sharing among users/profiles:

Create a device profile that requires a work profile passcode by following these steps:

In the Intune Azure portal, select Device configuration > Profiles > Create profile, enter Name and Description for the profile.

Select Android enterprise from the Platform drop-down list.

In Profile Type > Work Profile Only, select Device Restrictions.

In Work profile settings, select Require in Require Work Profile Password.

How to access work profile on android

On the Android enterprise device, you will be prompted to set a work profile passcode if you haven’t set one.

Wait until you receive a second prompt that says “Secure your Work Profile – Authorize your company support to remotely reset your work profile password”. Enter your passcode to authorize reset. This activates the reset password token that Intune needs to perform this action successfully.

How to access work profile on android

Note If you skip any of these steps, you will receive the following error message:

Initiating Reset passcode failed

Select Reset passcode.

After reset is completed, the temporary passcode is displayed.

Enter this temporary passcode on your device.

When you’re required to set your new PIN, you must re-enter this temporary passcode, and then enter your new PIN.

For more information about passcode reset, see Reset Android work profile passcodes.

Digital Wellbeing is an app that helps Android users reduce their smartphone usage, so they can focus better on work or just take a break from the digital world. Ever since its launch in 2018, the app has seen a slew of updates, and it seems that Google quietly rolled a new feature a few months ago. As we reported last September, Google was working on a new work profile scheduler that would help users automatically pause all work profile apps once they’re off the clock. This was likely added due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people worldwide to get accustomed to a work-from-home environment.

Although there was no formal announcement about the feature going live, users on Stack Exchange noticed that Google enabled the rumored work profile scheduling option in the Digital Wellbeing app. We don’t know exactly when it went live, but we can confirm it’s present in the latest version of the app. Having said that, Google’s support page on pausing your work profile hasn’t been updated on the scheduling bit.

How to schedule your work profile on Android:

If you have a work profile enabled on your Android smartphone, you can now pause it according to a set schedule. Simply head over to Settings > Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls. Under the ‘Ways to disconnect’ section, you should see the ‘Work profile schedule’ setting. Tap on it to set your schedule and save it. Your new schedule should now be added to a list.

How to access work profile on android How to access work profile on android How to access work profile on android How to access work profile on android How to access work profile on android

This feature should be available to all Android smartphones running the latest version of the Digital Wellbeing app. If you don’t see it, make sure you head over to the Google Play Store and check for updates.

Update (11/11/2020 @ 06:18 PM ET): Google Calendar is now rolling out the ability to see your personal calendar events when you’re using a work profile on Android 11. Click here for more information. The article as published on September 9, 2020, is preserved below.

Work profiles in Android let you keep your work and personal life separate by isolating all apps and synced account information from the personal profile. But there are some disadvantages to using a work profile on your device. For instance, several calendar apps, including Google Calendar, don’t support cross-profile calendar sync. This means that you have to check the calendar app in each profile to make sure you don’t miss an appointment. To address this issue, Google added support for cross-profile calendar visibility in Android 10. But in order to enable the feature, calendar apps have to be updated to support the new APIs.

How to access work profile on android

Google has been working on bringing cross-profile visibility support to Google Calendar for a few months now. Evidence regarding the feature was first spotted in an APK teardown of Google Calendar version 2020.14-1 earlier this year. And now, the company has finally confirmed that cross-profile calendar support will be added to the app soon. In a recent blog post titled Championing employee privacy, productivity with Android 11, the company notes:

“Google Calendar will soon allow people to see personal events in their work calendar, helping to better schedule around commitments across their day. Personal calendar events will remain privately stored on device in the personal file, invisible to both colleagues and IT.”

Interestingly, the blog post also mentions a new secure mechanism for merged experiences that will allow trusted apps to connect between work and personal profiles. This leads us to believe that the cross-profile visibility feature won’t be limited to calendar apps, and we could see more apps receive similar functionality in the near future. As of now, Google hasn’t shared a release timeline for cross-profile visibility on Google Calendar. We will update this post as soon as the feature starts rolling out to users.

How to access work profile on android

Google’s Android Auto just picked up another update, and this time around, it seems to be addressing a longstanding issue. Android Auto is about to added support for Android’s Work Profiles feature.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Work Profiles in Android Auto

Strings within Android Auto 6.4, rolling out now on the Play Store, hint that Work Profile support will be added very soon, if it isn’t already live. The strings in question directly mention “grant work profile permission” among related terms. This is an overdue feature for Google to add, as Work Profile support in Android Auto has been a point of contention for some users for years now.

”Allows Android Auto to display data from the work profile while driving.”

”Work Profile Data”

”Grant work profile permission”

”Permissions”

We don’t have access to a Work Profile at the moment to test if this is already live on Android Auto, but if you do, drop a comment below or send us an email. You’ll need to be on Android Auto 6.4.

As a reminder, Work Profiles on Android and, by extension Android Auto, allow users to separate their apps and other data from their personal apps without requiring multiple phones. It’s unclear exactly how the feature will look on Android Auto’s interface.

‘Connectivity Troubleshooter’ disappears

In the previous Android Auto update, we spotted a new feature called the “Connectivity Troubleshooter” that would help users with problems with their connection. In this update, those strings have been removed from the app. Not all strings have been removed, though, so there’s a chance Google isn’t pulling this idea entirely.

Notably, though, Google has added strings that point to a first-time setup pop-up that links out to a Google Support article.

””If you’re using Android Auto for the first time, this Google Support article will help you get started.””

”Open Google Help Center”

”I need help setting up”

On a related note, the app is also adding a pop-up that notifies users that their phone needs to support 5GHz Wi-Fi in order to use Wireless Android Auto. As that functionality expands to more users, that’s a good pop-up, though one we suspect most people won’t see as it seems the pop-up will only appear on devices that don’t support 5GHz.

”This phone does not support connecting to 5GHz Wi-Fi access points. Wireless Android Auto requires a phone with 5GHz support, please try using Android Auto with a USB cable.”

”Phone does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi connections”

Google Play Music removed

The service has been shut down for a fair bit now, but it’s just now being fully removed. Google Play Music has been fully removed from Android Auto as of version 6.4. The string below was one of the last ones left in the app referencing the killed streaming service.

”Google Play Music”

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

More on Android Auto:

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APK Insight

How to access work profile on android

Android Auto

Android Auto is an extension of the Android platform which is highly optimized for use in a moving vehicle. The system is designed to cut down on the number of interactions you’ll have with your smartphone so you can keep your eyes on the road.