Introduction to Android work profile

A work profile is set up on an Android device to separate work apps and data from personal apps and data. The work profile lives on a separate part of the device so that your personal things stay private and unaffected by work. In this article, you'll learn how to:

  • Find your work profile.
  • Tell the difference between work apps and personal apps.
  • Get more apps for work.
  • Pause your work profile.

Your IT support person can only manage the work-related email, apps, settings, and data on your device. They can’t access the personal email, apps, settings, and data. They also can’t reset or wipe your device.

To learn how to set up a work profile, see Create a work profile and enroll your device.

Identify work apps

Work apps are marked with a briefcase badge, while personal apps do not have a briefcase badge. Some screen readers and voice assistants identify work apps by saying "work" before the app name.

Personal app (no briefcase) Work app (briefcase)
Screenshot of typical Outlook app icon with no work profile briefcase. Screenshot of Outlook app icon with work profile briefcase.

After you've set up the work profile, you may see duplicate apps on your device. For example, you could have two Outlook apps. Use the version that's marked with the briefcase for work-related tasks.

Tip

For the best experience, always sign in to work apps with your work account, and sign in to personal apps with your personal account.

The appearance of the briefcase can vary slightly from device to device. To see how it appears on other Android devices, see the examples at the bottom of this article.

Find your work profile

Once you've set up a work profile, your organization can automatically install work apps on your device.

The location of the work profile varies by device manufacturer and Android version. This section describes where to find the work profile in the app drawer and on the home screen.

Note

If you're using a custom launcher, work apps can appear in places other than the app drawer or home screen folder.

App drawer

Swipe up on the home screen or select Apps to access the app drawer. Work apps appear alongside your personal apps or within a Work tab in your app drawer.

Screenshot of work tab in Google Pixel 4 app drawer.

To see how it appears on other Android devices, see the examples at the bottom of this article.

Folder

On some devices, work apps are in a work-designated folder on the home screen. This folder is automatically created during setup.

Screenshot of the Samsung Galaxy S20 work profile folder.

To see how it appears on other Android devices, see the examples at the bottom of this article.

Get more work apps

Open the work version of the Google Play Store to see all of the apps your organization has made available to you.

Screenshot of Google Play Store icon with briefcase badge.

Continue to use the work version of the Play Store to search for and install other apps for work. If you don’t see an app you need for work, you can request it from your IT support person.

The appearance of the Play Store app varies by device manufacturer and Android version, but the work version is always marked with a briefcase.

Pause the work profile

Pause the work profile to take a break from work apps and notifications. Pausing effectively turns off the work profile by disabling work apps and work notifications.

The location of the pause setting varies by device manufacturer and Android version (Android 7 and later is required). It's commonly found in quick settings, the Settings app, or the app drawer.

Quick settings pause option

Swipe down on your screen to access the quick settings menu. Tap Work profile to pause the work profile.

Screenshot of inactive work profile icon in Google Pixel 4 quick settings.

To see how quick settings appear on other Android devices, see the examples at the bottom of this article.

Settings app pause option

Open the Settings app and go to Work profile settings. Switch the Work profile toggle off.

Screenshot of Work profile toggle switch turned off in Google Pixel 4 device settings.

To see how work profile settings appear on other Android devices, see the examples at the bottom of this article.

App drawer pause option

Swipe up on the home screen or select Apps to access the app drawer. Tap the Work tab and then switch the Work profile toggle off.

Screenshot of Work profile toggle switch turned off in Samsung Galaxy S20 app drawer.

Examples

This section shows examples of how the work profile and its features appear on common Android devices. Those devices are:

  • Surface Duo (Android 10)
  • Google Pixel 4 (Android 11)
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 (Android 10)
  • Nexus 5X (Android 8.1.0)

Some features are not available on all devices.

Briefcase badge

These tables show examples of the briefcase badge that's used on work apps. For more information, see Identify your work apps.

Surface Duo (Android 10) Google Pixel 4 (Android 11)
Screenshot of Outlook work app on a Surface Duo device. Screenshot of Outlook work app on a Google Pixel 4 device.
Samsung Galaxy S20 (Android 10) Nexus 5X (Android 8.1.0)
Screenshot of Outlook work app on a Samsung Galaxy S20 device. Screenshot of Outlook work app on a Nexus 5X device.

Work profile in app drawer

These images show where the work profile appears in the app drawer. For more information, see Find your work profile.

Surface Duo (Android 10)

Screenshot of work tab in Surface Duo app drawer.

Google Pixel 4 (Android 11)

Screenshot of work tab in Google Pixel 4 app drawer.

Samsung Galaxy S20 (Android 10)

Screenshot of work tab in Samsung Galaxy S20 app drawer.

Nexus 5X (Android 8.1.0)

Screenshot of work apps and personal apps together in Nexus 5X app drawer.

Work profile folder

The following table shows examples of the work profile folder. For more information, see Find your work profile.

Surface Duo (Android 10) Samsung Galaxy S20 (Android 10) Nexus 5X (Android 8.1.0)
Screenshot of the Surface Duo work profile folder. Screenshot of the Samsung Galaxy S20 work profile folder on the device. Screenshot of the Nexus 5X work profile folder.

Pause in quick settings

These images show where the pause option appears in the quick settings menu. For more information, see Pause the work profile.

Surface Duo (Android 10)

Screenshot of activated work profile icon in Surface Duo quick settings.

Google Pixel 4 (Android 11)

Screenshot of inactive work profile icon in Google Pixel 4 quick settings.

Samsung Galaxy S20 (Android 10)

Screenshot of activated work profile icon in Samsung Galaxy S20 quick settings.

Nexus 5X (Android 8.1.0)

Screenshot of inactive work mode icon in Nexus 5X quick settings.

Pause in Settings app

These images show where the pause option appears in the Settings app. For more information, see Pause the work profile.

Surface Duo (Android 10)

Screenshot of Work profile toggle switch turned off in Surface Duo device settings.

Google Pixel 4 (Android 11)

Screenshot of Work profile toggle switch turned off in Google Pixel 4 device settings.

Samsung Galaxy S20 (Android 10)

Screenshot of Work profile toggle switch turned on in Samsung Galaxy S20 device settings.

Nexus 5X (Android 8.1.0)

Screenshot of Work profile toggle switch turned on in Nexus 5X device settings.

Pause in app drawer

These images show where the pause option appears in the app drawer on a Google Pixel 4 (Android 11). For more information, see Pause the work profile.

Screenshot of Work profile toggle switch turned off in Samsung Galaxy S20 app drawer.

Next steps

Need more help figuring out the work profile? Contact your IT support person. For contact information, check the Company Portal website.