SD card and 2 user accounts

When I switch to a second user account on my phone and back to the primary account the external sd card (exfat) gets unreadable. In this case only a reboot fixes the problem.
Is there any one else having this problem? What could I do to fix this behavior on A12?

EDIT: I my frustration about this behavior I bright up the following question here: And why can’t I use ext4 as filesystem for the sdcard anyway? Of course, this should be discussed in the linked thread below… Sorry!

Maybe you could proceed with the formatting question in the following topic to not have it spread too much over different Topics?

You are absolutely right, The ext4 topic is should not be discussed here, sorry!

Regarding the main question: Does anyone here have the same experience with 2 accounts and the external SD?

The topic has not yet been resolved and also exists with A13. I have created a support ticket for this at FP in the meantime (1097212).
I am wondering what could be the root cause that the filesystem is not recognized after switching back to the main user. Can any one else here confirm that this is happening on her/his device, too?

Today I noticed that with A13 this also happens on the switch to the secondary user. This is new in A13 as before it only happened on the way back to the main user. Still, I did not get any info/idea from Fairphone how they suppose to solve this.

BTW, am I really the only person with this problem?

The support answered ,y request with

This behaviour seem to be expected as Android sets restrictions on the access of the SD card to have it accessible only by one user. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do, I would suggest to reach out to Google’s support.

Something I definitely cannot accept as this setup works with other A13 phones.

Some potentially related info: Android does have some difficulties handling storage, last month there was this nasty A14 bug where people having multiple accounts got definitely locked out of their device’s local storage after switching to a secondary account!

Not saying this is anyway related to your problem, just saying using Android user accounts is risky…

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Thanks @KurtF
In my case here is a message that the portable storage configured sd card is corrupted, when I switch to the secondary account. With A11 and A12 this was only happening once I switched back to the main account.

Anyway, if I cannot access the external sd with my secondary user, I do not really care. But what I am not willing to accept is, that I have to reboot to make the portable storage work again for the main user.

How did you set up the second account, standard way via settings-system? If so I can check on the FP5 if I can reproduce…

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Yes. In the quicksettings dropdown I added the additional account. But I did that already with A11. Maybe I try to delete it completely an regenerate it from scratch.

EDIT: So I backed up data from my secondary account and deleted it completely (including caring about remains in the internal storage and disposing of everything manually).
After that I created a new secondary user account and linked my second Google account to it, installed apps and recovered some backup data.

The invest in time was absolutely worth it: The problem with the error message regarding data corruption on the external sd card seems to be gone, even after a reboot!


Unfortunately the solution did not last for very long. Yesterday the problem occurred again. After switching to the user secondary account I get an error that the external SD is not accessible, which is ok. as it is as the permissions are designed.
But after switching back to the main account, the sdcard is not available until a reboot without any error message or something similar.

I opened a follow-up ticket @support as Request #1104282

Uh-oh. That sounds more and more like the aforementioned A14 bug, the symptoms are very similar: Switching to a secondary account makes the primary account lose storage access.
At least you can get it back by rebooting, in the original A14 bug the data were forever lost since you had to factory reset the phone to fix the problem…

(Yes, I know that doesn’t help, but it’s a potential lead)


That sounds pretty bad. But fortunately this only occurred on my FP4 with A11-13. With other phones this worked reliably. Im am not very confident, that the FP support will find the root cause and even more fix the problem.

I received an update on my support ticket @Fairphone. But the usual proposed “solution” is only to do a factory reset.
Something I do not see as necessary in that case. It seems that putting the first account to sleep does not suspend the sd access correctly and the secondary user, should not have access to it anyways but obviously breaks something that makes access with the main user impossible, In my opinion this should be handled by the OS correctly and I do not see any chance that a factory reset really resolve the issue.
Any opinion from someone?

I can put my SD card in the FP4 and create a second account and see if I can somehow reproduce this…my FP is not rooted and my SD card was formatted I think in my FP2 several years ago.

Else have you ever tested another SD card since you have the problem?
How is your SD card formatted, is this still correct

In the meantime I upgraded the sdcard to a Samsung PRO 512 GB and that works fine. I guess I formatted it in the FP4 when I started using it, as external storage.
Both the EVO and the PRO card worked fine besides the described problem. My Sandisk 512 GB card that I used in my previous phone did not.
I guess this problem occurs when switching to another account on the phone because the processes of the original account are not being suspended correctly and interfere with the active secondary user once in a while.
With A11 this worked fine and I only saw the problem since the upgrade to A12 and subsequently to A13.
In Safe Mode I could not reproduce the error, so probably something I installed does trigger the error. However I believe that the OS should take care of this correctly. The usecase is offered by Android and Android should make sure,it is working fine, what conflict ever appears during this.

I inserted my SD card in my FP4 yesterday and switched a few times back and forth s far, without real issues atnthr moment, only the first time a switched back to my prim. user I saw a notification saying something about “SD card was ejected…” although stil accessible.

My 2nd user has access to the card and I dont find a setting to revoke this. Nor have I added any Google account.

I’m wondering if any of your rooting settings might somhow interfere or the fact that your 2nd account has no access to the SD card?