How to Install Two Copies of the Same App in Android
Do you have multiple accounts for an app but your Android phone will only let you use one? No worries, there’s a feature on some Android phones that lets you run multiple copies of an app.
This way, you can create a second copy of your favorite app, add your secondary account to it, and use that app as if it’s the original app you have on your phone.
You don’t even need a third-party app to make clones of your installed apps. Here’s how you get duplicating your Android apps.
Run Multiple Copies of an App on Android
To make it clear, the feature 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.
While each manufacturer has its own name for the feature—it’s called Dual Messenger on Samsung, for instance—it works pretty much the same no matter the phone.
Here’s how to get started. We’ve used a OnePlus phone running Android 10 for this demo:
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down, tap Utilities, and tap Parallel Apps.
- You’ll see a list of apps that you can make copies of—not every app is supported.
- Find the app you want to clone, and turn its toggle to the On position.
- Your phone will create and add a copy of your selected app to your app drawer
Your newly created app won’t carry over any of your existing settings. This gives you a chance to customize this app in a completely different way than the original app.
You’re now ready to use your secondary account with the cloned app.
Where Does Android Save the Data for Cloned Apps?
Your Android phone doesn’t save the data for your cloned apps in the same directory as the original apps. However, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find that data.
On a OnePlus phone, you’ll 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 to Cloning Apps on Android?
A major limitation to cloning apps is that you can’t clone all your Android apps. There are some apps, like Google Chrome, that you can’t yet make duplicates for.
Basically, you can only make copies of the apps that you see on the Parallel Apps screen. If an app isn’t listed there, you can’t make a copy for it.
Disable Multiple Copies of an App on Android
Removing your cloned apps is as easy as this:
- Head into Settings > Utilities > Parallel Apps.
- Find the app you want to delete the duplicate for, and turn its toggle to the Off position.
Your phone will remove the app duplicate, as well as all its data. This won’t have any impact on the original copy of the app. You can continue to use it like you’ve been doing.
Using Dual Accounts in Android Apps
Running multiple instances of an app lets you use multiple accounts for those apps on your phone. With this feature now built into your system, you don’t need to go hunting for app-cloning tools. You can now do that by simply toggling a switch on your Android device, as shown above.
There are other benefits to cloning apps, including increasing your security. With the Shelter tool you can run apps in a sandbox to keep them separate from the rest of your system.