Use Multiple Profiles in Chrome and Quit Logging in and Out

Call me lazy, but I hate having to log in and out of multiple accounts online. I know it only takes 2 seconds to log out of my personal account and then in to a work account… but it’s just one of those things that bugs me.

I started using Chrome personally, and IE9 whenever I wanted to use work accounts. I’d rather stick with just one browser though, so I decided to take a moment today to see if you could set up the equivalent of two Chrome installations, one for personal browsing and one for work browsing.

I found that in FireFox, the solution is to create multiple profiles. I didn’t explore that further because I don’t use FireFox (side note… isn’t it weird that FireFox has suddenly become the crappiest browser?). Fortunately, you can do the same thing in Chrome, but it’s not built in.

Here’s how it’s done in Windows 7 (I assume it’s similar for other versions of Windows)

  1. Open Windows Explorer and go to the ChromeUser Data> folder. In Windows 7 it’s at C:Users[username]AppDataLocalGoogleChromeUser Data
  2. You’ll see a folder in their called Default. Make a copy of that folder and name it whatever you want. I’ll refer to it as [foldername].
  3. Now go to C:Users[username]AppDataLocalGoogleChromeApplication
  4. Right click chrome.exe and choose Send To > Desktop (create shortcut)
  5. If you want to use factory settings to start this new profile off fresh, do the steps at the end of this post at this point.
  6. Go to your desktop and right click the Chrome shortcut and choose properties
  7. Where it says target type this: C:Users[username]AppDataLocalGoogleChromeApplicationchrome.exe --user-data-dir="..User Data[foldername]

Now it’s kind of like having two installations of Chrome. You might name this new shortcut “Chrome – Work” or something, where you’re signed in to all your work accounts and have all your work bookmarks set up. Of course you can pin that to your start menu or wherever you like.

If you want, you can reset your new chrome to factory defaults. After step 3 above, do this:

  1. open your command prompt (click your start menu, type cmd and hit enter)
  2. type cd Appdatalocalgooglechromeapplication
  3. type chrome.exe --user-data-dir="..User Data[foldername]" -first-run

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