1.72K reviews
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About this app

This app requires Device Admin permissions to work. If you question what it does with the permission, please read or audit the source code, you can also build from the source code on your own.

Shelter is a Free and Open-Source (FOSS) app that leverages the “Work Profile” feature of Android to provide an isolated space that you can install or clone apps into.

Shelter comes with absolutely no advertisement / statistics / tracking SDKs bundled with it. All source code is available in at https://git.angry.im/PeterCxy/Shelter or mirror https://github.com/PeterCxy/Shelter and the sources are licensed under WTFPL.

This app depends on your Android system’s implementation of Work Profile. Some vendor / custom ROMs may have a broken implementation that may cause crashes and even bricking of your device. One such example is MIUI from Xiaomi. I currently provide no support for such ROMs because I personally do not own any of these devices. If you are running Shelter on these ROMs, you are on your own. If any developer out there own these devices and could make Shelter run on these ROMs, please send pull requests and I’ll be happy to merge them.

Features / Use Cases

- Run apps inside the isolated profile so they cannot access your data outside the profile
- “Freeze” (disable) background-heavy or seldom-used apps when you don’t need them. This is especially true if you use apps from "some company".
- Clone apps to use two accounts on one device


Shelter is not a full sandbox implementation. It cannot protect you from:

- Security bugs of the Android system or Linux kernel
- Backdoors installed in your Android system (so please use an open-source ROM if you are concerned about this)
- Backdoors installed into the firmwares (no way to work around this)
- Any other bugs or limitations imposed by the Android system.

Also, Shelter cannot create more than 1 work profile on one Android device, and cannot co-exist with any other apps that manages a Work Profile. This is due to the limitations of the Android system, and I can do nothing about this.


Q: Why not use Island by OasisFeng, the creator of Greenify?
A: Simply because it is not an FOSS app and it bundles with non-free SDKs. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Island has anti-features like tracking (and I don’t think it has either), it’s just that I wrote Shelter as an FOSS replacement of it. There is no other reason why one would prefer Shelter over Island except for this one.

Q: Why does Shelter always run in background?
A: Please try removing Shelter from “Recent Apps” every time you close it. If it still persists in your notifications and eating up battery, you might have encountered a bug. Please file a bug report.

Q: How do I uninstall Shelter from my device?
A: 1) Go to Settings -> Accounts to remove the work profile; 2) Go to Settings -> Security -> Advanced -> Device admin apps to remove Shelter from Device Admin apps; 3) Uninstall Shelter normally.

Q: If I encounter bugs, how do I report them?
A: You could file an issue on either the main repository at https://git.angry.im/PeterCxy/Shelter or the mirror repository at https://github.com/PeterCxy/Shelter. Please include your system information as well as a logcat if possible.
Updated on
Sep 28, 2020

Data safety

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1.72K reviews
A Google user
October 9, 2018
Shelter is awesome (not flawless but awesome) I have tried a few other apps of this nature and could not always get them to behave 100% of the time. Shelter so far has been flawless. The UI is pretty minimal but does make it easy to understand what is going on. The Dev(s) have added features and fixed bugs since I started using it and I'm hopeful will continue to as well.
106 people found this review helpful
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Aaron S.
August 8, 2020
I should have reviewed this app sooner because it's absolutely incredible. It's a ram hog, but running a second set of Google apps is going to be no matter what. But whatever they did it's 100% usable even on older phones. Make sure you turn is off when not using it. It's eats battery life. Again that last statement is not a negative it's just the way an application like this needs to work. Fantastic!!!!!!
94 people found this review helpful
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A Google user
May 10, 2019
This app is great! I can't overstate that. It can be a little tricky to figure out at first (took me maybe 5 minutes), but once you get the jist of how it works it's amazing. Let's you create a whole different atmosphere that you can build how you want to build. Tip: Make sure you put everything needed in workspace like Chrome, email, etc etc Took me a while to find this, but it's perfect!
25 people found this review helpful
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What's new

- Added support for Android 11
- Allows blocking contacts access across profile boundary
- More translations; you can now participate in translating Shelter at https://weblate.typeblog.net
- For the full changelog, please see https://cgit.typeblog.net/Shelter/tree/CHANGELOG.md