How To: Clone Any Android App on Your Samsung Galaxy Phone Without Using Any Third-Party Tools

Clone Any Android App on Your Samsung Galaxy Phone Without Using Any Third-Party Tools

Samsung has a cool security feature built into One UI that has an interesting side effect, one that lets you have two separate copies of any Android app on your Galaxy phone. And that's not the only integrated Samsung tool for cloning apps.

Some mobile apps have built-in account switching so that 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 the Android apps that don't provide account switching?

If you have two or three Facebook accounts, you can switch between them easily on a computer, but not in the mobile app. To switch Facebook accounts on your phone, you'll 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 has two easy ways to clone apps on your Galaxy device, but which method you should use depends on which apps you want to duplicate.

Method 1: Using Dual Messenger

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

There is no official list of apps that Dual Messenger supports, but I've found that all of the following chat apps will work with it.

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

To clone one of the apps listed above, make sure it's installed on your device first. Then, open the Settings app and go to Advanced features –> Dual Messenger. A list of all the clonable apps will appear; Tap the app you want to copy.

Next, hit "Install" on the confirmation prompt. If you've never used Dual Messenger before, you'll have to read and agree to the disclaimer; tap "Confirm." If it's the first app you're copying, it should then ask you 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 solely for work or school, you might want to toggle the switch on and select only work or school contacts.

Keep in mind that your contacts settings apply for all Dual Messenger apps, so any contacts you split off 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 change the contacts for Dual Messenger clones.

To clone more apps, tap their names from the Dual Messenger settings, and select "Install" on the prompt. You should not see the disclaimer or contacts options again.

You can find your new app clones on your Apps screen, and you can move them to your Home screen just like any other app. Cloned apps will have the two-circle Dual Messenger icon to tell them apart 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 the Apps or Home screen and hit "Uninstall." You can also tap on the app's name in the Dual Messenger settings and hit "Uninstall."

To use Dual Messenger, make sure you're running the latest software on a dual-SIM Galaxy phone. All of the devices below are supported, but Dual Messenger may 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 one of the social/chat apps seen above, you can use another built-in Galaxy feature called Secure Folder. It's a sandboxed environment located inside a folder on your Apps screen, and you can install copies of any app on your phone in it. 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'll need to set up a pattern, PIN, or passcode to unlock it. You can also choose to unlock Secure Folder with biometrics like fingerprint and iris locks.

I won't get into setting up Secure Folder here since 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 activated on your Galaxy device, you can install copies of apps inside the vault. Tap the plus (+) button in the folder, select the apps you want to clone, and hit "Add."

While it's faster to select the apps from the list and "Add" them, you could also install clones from the Play Store or Galaxy Store. Tap either option from the "Add apps" screen, then install the apps you want.

This way is more useful if you're going to install apps in your Secure Folder only without another copy outside the folder. If you ever need a clone, you can install the same app from the Play Store or Galaxy Store outside of the sandboxed environment.

Cloned apps within 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 it 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 a Samsung Galaxy device. Still, there are other options such as Parallel Space, App Hider, and other third-party cloning apps available on Google Play. However, most of those will cost money to get the most out of them.

There are also third-party apps that are essentially clones of the official apps, like Tinder++, only with some features added or removed. But these can be a security risk since you're logging into the official service via a third-party app.

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Cover image and screenshots by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

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