How to Clone Any Android App on Your Samsung Galaxy Phone Without Using Third-Party Tools « Android :: Gadget Hacks

Samsung has an interesting security feature built into One UI which has an interesting side effect, which allows you to have two separate copies of any Android app on your Galaxy phone. And it’s not the only built-in Samsung tool for app cloning.

Some mobile apps have built-in account switching so you can use two or more separate accounts in one place. Amazon, Gmail, Google Play, Instagram, Messenger, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube all come to mind. But what about Android apps that don’t allow you to switch accounts?

If you have two or three Facebook accounts, you can easily switch between them on computer, but not in the mobile app. To switch Facebook account on your phone, you will need to clone the Facebook app. The same goes for Skype, Tinder, WhatsApp, Zoom and any other apps where you want two accounts running simultaneously.

Samsung provides two easy methods to clone apps on your Galaxy device, but which method to use depends on the apps you want to duplicate.

Method 1: Using Dual Messenger

Dual Messenger is an exclusive feature for dual-SIM Galaxy models that allows you to clone certain social apps to use two different accounts at the same time. This is a great option if you have separate accounts for work, school, family, and your public figure. And it’s perfect for apps that require a phone number on the device to work, like WhatsApp, because dual-SIM devices can have two numbers.

There is no official list of apps supported by Dual Messenger, but I have found that all of the following chat apps will work with it.

  • Facebook
  • KakaoTalk
  • LINE
  • Messenger
  • Skype
  • Snapchat
  • Telegram
  • Viber
  • WeChat
  • WhatsApp

To clone any of the apps listed above, first make sure it is installed on your device. Next, open the Settings app and navigate to Advanced Features -> Dual Messenger. A list of all cloneable apps will appear; Tap the app you want to copy.

Next, tap “Install” in the confirmation prompt. If you have never used Dual Messenger before, you will need to read and accept the disclaimer; press “Confirm”. If this is the first app you’re copying, then it should ask if you want to use a separate contact list for the copied app.

If you don’t mind sharing contact lists between apps, you can leave the switch off. However, if your app copies are only for work or school, you can toggle the switch and select work or school contacts only.

Keep in mind that your contacts settings apply to all Dual Messenger apps, so any contacts you separate for a copied app will apply to all copied apps. You can enable or disable the feature at the bottom of the Dual Messenger settings screen, as well as edit contacts for Dual Messenger clones.

To clone more apps, tap their names in Dual Messenger settings and select “Install” when prompted. You should no longer see the disclaimer or contact options.

You can find your new app clones on your apps screen and you can move them to your home screen like any other app. Cloned apps will have the two-circle Dual Messenger icon to distinguish them from the originals.

If you want to uninstall the clones, you can uninstall them like any other app. For example, you can long press the icon on apps or home screen and click “Uninstall”. You can also tap on the app name in Dual Messenger settings and click “Uninstall”.

To use Dual Messenger, make sure you are running the latest software on a dual SIM Galaxy phone. All devices below are supported, but Dual Messenger can also work with other dual SIM models.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro and newer

Method 2: Using Secure Folder

If you don’t want to clone any of the social/chat apps seen above, you can use another built-in Galaxy feature called Secure Folder. It’s a sandboxed environment located in a folder on your apps screen, and you can install copies of any app on your phone there. It’s also useful for hiding apps behind lock and key.

Secure Folder uses Samsung’s defense-grade Knox security platform to protect the isolated folder. So you will need to set up a pattern, PIN or password to unlock it. You can also choose to unlock Secure Folder with biometric data such as fingerprint and iris locks.

I won’t go into setting up Secure Folder here because we have full instructions on setting up and using Secure Folder in another guide. So if you haven’t set it up yet, go check that out to see how.

With Secure Folder enabled on your Galaxy device, you can install copies of apps in the vault. Tap the plus (+) button in the folder, select the apps you want to clone and tap “Add”.

While it’s quicker to select apps from the list and “add” them, you can also install clones from the Play Store or Galaxy Store. Tap any of the options on the “Add apps” screen, then install the apps you want.

This method is more useful if you want to install apps in your Secure Folder only without any other copy outside the folder. If you ever need a clone, you can install the same app from Play Store or Galaxy Store outside the sandbox environment.

Apps cloned in the Secure Folder will be marked with the Secure Folder icon in the app switcher to distinguish them from the other copy.

Secure Folder is available on the following phones and works with most Samsung phones running Android N (7.0) or newer. If you don’t see Secure Folder on your device, you can install it from the Play Store or Galaxy Store.

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 Pro and newer

Other Ways to Clone Apps

The above two methods are the easiest and safest ways to clone apps on Samsung Galaxy device. Still, there are other options like Parallel Space, App Hider and other third party clone apps available on Google Play. However, most of them will cost money to get the most out of them.

There are also third-party apps which are basically clones of the official apps, like Tinder++, only with certain features added or removed. But these can be a security risk since you connect to the official service through a third-party app.

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Cover image and screenshots by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks