How to install two copies of the same app in Android

Do you have multiple accounts for an app but your Android phone only lets you use one? Don’t worry, some Android phones have a feature that allows you to run multiple copies of an app.

That way, you can make a second copy of your favorite app, add your secondary account, and use that app like it was the original app that you have on your phone.

You don’t even need a third-party app to create clones of your installed apps. Here’s how you can duplicate your Android apps.

Run multiple copies of an app on Android

For clarity, the ability to make multiple copies of an app is only available on certain Android devices. You should find this feature on Samsung, Xiaomi, and OnePlus phones.

If your phone doesn’t have this feature, you can still run multiple instances of your Android apps with a third-party app.

Although each manufacturer has their own name for the feature – Samsung calls it Dual Messenger, for example – it works pretty much the same regardless of the phone.

How to start. For this demo we used a OnePlus phone with Android 10:

  1. Open that settings App.
  2. Scroll down, tap Utilitiesand tap Parallel apps.
  3. You’ll see a list of apps that you can make copies of. Not every app is supported.
  4. Find the app you want to clone and flip the switch to on Position.
  5. Your phone will make a copy of the selected app and add it to your app drawer.

Your newly created app will not adopt any of your existing settings. This gives you the opportunity to customize this app very differently than the original app.

You can now use your secondary account with the cloned app.

Where does Android store the data for cloned apps?

Your Android phone doesn’t store the data for your cloned apps in the same directory as the original apps. Finding this data shouldn’t be too difficult, however.

On a OnePlus phone, you can find the data for your cloned apps in the Parallel apps storage Section. You can access this storage using an Android file manager.

What are the limitations of cloning apps on Android?

One major limitation of cloning apps is that you cannot clone all of your Android apps. There are some apps, such as Google Chromefor which you cannot yet create duplicates.

Basically, you can only make copies of the apps you see on the Parallel Apps screen. If an app isn’t listed there, you won’t be able to make a copy of it.

Disable multiple copies of an app on Android

Removing your cloned apps is as simple as this:

  1. Go in Settings> Utilities> Parallel Apps.
  2. Find the app you want to delete the duplicate for and flip the switch to the end Position.

Your phone will remove the duplicate app and all of its data. This has no effect on the original version of the app. You can continue to use it as before.

Using dual accounts in Android apps

If you run multiple instances of an app, you can have multiple accounts for those apps on your phone. With this feature now built into your system, you no longer have to look for tools to clone apps. You can now do this by simply toggling a switch on your Android device as shown above.

Cloning apps has other benefits, including increasing your security. The Shelter tool allows you to run apps in a sandbox to separate them from the rest of your system.

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