Does the iPad Support Multiple Users?

Use multiple Apple IDs on the same iPad, but you can't create different user profiles.

Directly out of the box, the iPad has no easy way to switch between multiple users with different settings, configurations, and apps. The iPad is a single-user device, which means the central login is persistent. This login controls access to the App and iTunes Stores but doesn't save information like settings.

The single-user focus extends to apps like Safari, which keeps track of bookmarks and web history for all users rather than a specific user.

Is it Possible to Set up an iPad for Sharing?

You can't set up an iPad for sharing in the traditional sense. While it is possible to log in and out of multiple Apple IDs on the same iPad, this solution won't work like it does when creating different user profiles on a Mac or PC.

For example, a new Apple ID won't change the layout for the iPad. Plus, downloading apps from multiple Apple IDs may cause some confusion when it comes time to upgrade to a new device.

How to Set Up Your iPad for Multiple Users

However, there are some tricks you can use to make sharing an iPad a little easier.

Set up Folders on Your iPad

Create folders for each user. One easy way to organize apps for multiple users is to create a folder on the first page of the Home Screen for each person. Sorting apps like this makes it easier to find and use specific ones and keeps from cluttering up the rest of the iPad.

Use SpotLight Wisely

Get used to using Spotlight Search to launch apps. Having multiple users on the same device means the iPad is more likely to fill with apps, which may make it harder to find certain ones. Spotlight Search may be the easiest way to launch apps, no matter how many people use the iPad.

Use Separate Email Apps and Web Browsers

Download separate email apps. The standard Mail app is useful for managing multiple email accounts, but the default view pulls all email messages into a unified inbox. It can be easier to use a specific email client like the Yahoo or Gmail app for one user and the unified mailbox for the other user.

The same approach applies to browsers. Safari is the default browser for the iPad, but you can also download Chrome or Firefox. Doing so will allow each user to keep track of their bookmarks.

Social Media Workarounds

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media apps can be a little tricky. Facebook supports multiple profiles, and you can set up a passcode for each account. Still, you must remember to log out. Twitter allows extra users but doesn't have a passcode. One alternative is for one person to use third-party apps for social media and the other to use the official apps.

Activate Touch ID for Each User

Set up Touch ID if you have a compatible iPad. With Touch ID, each user can input their fingerprint and use that to unlock the iPad.

What About Childproofing the iPad and Still Using It?

Multiple people can use an iPad, but it becomes more complicated when some of the users are small children. It's easy enough to childproof an iPad to restrict the ability to download age-inappropriate apps, music, or movies, but those safeguards disable those features for parents as well.

Another problem parents run into is the iPad's insistence on resetting restrictions when you disable them. You'll need to double-check that your settings are correct each time you re-enable them (for example, when the kids want to use it again). It can be impractical if you have set up app restrictions but frequently need to disable them to download an app for yourself.

You can set time limits on types of programs, like games and streaming services. But it's not currently possible to lock individual apps to keep children out of them, short of deleting apps altogether. And if you want to lock down the Safari browser to disable certain websites, you'll need to live without them yourself as well.

Will Jailbreaking Solve the Problem?

You could get around some of these issues by jailbreaking the iPad, but this might introduce more problems than it solves and could destroy any warranty you have.

Downloading apps outside of the Apple ecosystem means the apps don't go through Apple's testing process, which means it is possible to download malware.

Jailbreaking isn't an ideal solution for a parent wanting to share the iPad with their kids. But it could work for friends or family members who use multiple accounts. However, jailbreaking is only recommended for more advanced users who aren't afraid to potentially ruin their iPads.

  • How do I transfer users on an iPad?

    Use iCloud Backup, Quick Start, or iTunes to transfer data from your old iPad, then reset your old iPad to factory settings. That way, another user can set it up with their Apple ID.

  • How do I Facetime with multiple users on iPad?

    To Facetime with multiple users on iPad, open the FaceTime app, tap the plus sign (+) at the top of the menu, and type in the names of the people or phone numbers you want to call, then tap the Audio or Video icon to start the call.

  • Why can't I text Android users from my iPad?

    You must have a cellular connection to send SMS text messages to an Android. However, you can send messages to Android users from an iPad using apps like Google Chat or WhatsApp.

  • How do I add multiple users to Google Chrome on iPad?

    Tap your profile icon, then tap your email address, then tap Add Account. To switch between accounts, tap your profile icon > tap email address > choose an account.

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