If you’ve ever owned a OnePlus device, you probably already know how cool and convenient OxygenOS is. You can customize a ton of things and it makes Vanilla Android ten times better. But, you know, everything has its pros ‘n cons: one of the cons is actually related to the Parallel Apps and how they are implemented in the software. Before getting to the point, let me add a bit of context.
This feature came out in August 2017, as part of the Open Beta program – then later in stable – and all it does is letting you run the same app in multiple profiles or instances. That’s pretty useful considering that there are plenty of apps or services that let you use only one account at a time. On the downside, OnePlus has restricted the compatibility to a dozen of popular social media and messaging apps.
Of course, if you wanted to use multiple accounts on a single app before, there were already good alternatives out there: like App Cloner, Parallel Space and Island, my favorite one.
Island by Oasis Feng
Island is an Android application developed by Oasis Feng (the popular creator of Greenify) and, as he says on GitHub, is a sandbox environment to clone selected apps and isolate them from accessing your personal data outside the sandbox. What does that mean? That you can take advantage of the already present Android for Work feature (just like OnePlus does) and safely clone every single app on your phone. Every. Single. One. That’s basically Parallel Apps on steroids.
Island is super advanced, and lets you quickly create a work profile (something that you couldn’t technically do without an actual company), clone apps, freeze them, block permissions and even setup a God Mode, but that’s another story. I highly recommend you to use this app instead of Parallel Apps.
OnePlus’ questionable decisions
The point of this article and the reason why I’m writing it, is that you can’t easily delete a work profile on a OnePlus device, or at least, not the one created by OnePlus itself. In OxygenOS, from the moment you select an app to create its parallel version, your phone creates a work profile. Then, even if you want to delete it, you can’t. Because they’ve decided to remove the ability to do that from the settings. Why? We’ll never know. 🤔
Note: Before OnePlus updated its phones to Oreo in January 2018, Island was able to overwrite the profile present in your device, so it wasn’t a big deal. Then, that method stopped working because Oreo allows you to have more than one work profile (who could possibly want such a thing, by the way?).
So, there are two ways left to do it right now: the first one is by performing a factory reset (pretty unconvenient, huh?); and the second one, by using ADB.
How to remove work profiles with ADB
If you are unfamiliar with ADB or you want to know more about it, I suggest you to read this guide by XDA.
First of all, connect your device to your PC, open cmd in the platform-tools folder and check if everything works:
It works. So let’s ask ADB to list all the profiles in your device:
adb shell pm list users
Here it is. Now delete that unpleasant 999:Multi-App profile:
adb shell pm remove-user 999
And… it’s done. It wasn’t that hard, right?
This method works with any work profile, so you can use it even if you don’t have a OnePlus device, you just have to replace 999 with the USER_ID provided by ADB, in your case.
Let me know in the comments below if this method worked for you, or if you encountered any problems. I will be more than happy to help you.
(This article was initially wrote on Medium a year ago).