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How to create additional profiles in Google Chrome

Most people who use Google Chrome love it and they have it as their default Web browsing application, because it is very easy to use to surf the web, it is a feature rich web browser and best of all it is super-fast. But there is one feature that I think a lot of you will agree is missing, that is the ability to stay signed-in on an online service (e.g. Facebook and Email) with different accounts.

While this is not a feature in Google Chrome, there is one way that you can make this possible and this is by creating additional profiles — Google Chrome doesn’t ship with a profile manager either, but it is quite simple to create them manually–. And because when you have created a new profile in Google Chrome is like having a brand new installation of the web browser, this not only allows you to stay signed-in on an online service with different accounts, let’s say two different Facebook’s accounts, but also is useful when you have to share your computer with different people around the house; each profile has its own web browsing history, cookies, bookmarks, search terms and other settings, information which is not shared from profile to profile.

You could be thinking: “Well, I can use a new incognito window and I could accomplish the same thing”, the answer is yes to a point, because the incognito feature in Google Chrome doesn’t save anything from the browsing session. But by creating additional profiles will be like having installed multiple independent instances of the Google Chrome.

Now let’s learn! How to create additional profiles in Google Chrome

1  Launch Google Chrome and clear browsing data. This way you don’t transfer all your private date to the new profile.

2  Next step is to open Google Chrome installation folder.

  • For Windows Vista and Windows 7 would be:  C:\Users\Your-Username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome
  • For the good old Windows XP would be: C:\Documents and Settings\Your-Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome

Note: If you are using Windows Explorer to navigate to these locations you may not be able to see some of these folders, this is because they are hidden; How to show hidden files and folders in Microsoft Windows article will show you how to fix this.

3  While in the Chrome folder, go inside the User Data folder, make a copy of the default folder right inside the User Data folder and rename it (e.g. Your-Name).

Google Chrome new profile folder

4  Now we need to initialize Google Chrome with the new profile name (the name that you have renamed the copied default folder) with all the default settings. Open the Windows’ Command Prompt and type the following:

  • For Windows Vista and Windows 7 would be: C:\Users\Your-Username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\” -first-run
  • For the good old Windows XP would be: C:\Documents and Settings\Your-Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\” -first-run

5  The new profile has now been created and it is ready.

To launch Google Chrome using the newly created profile instead of the default one, you simply are going to need to create a shortcut on your desktop.

  • Right-click anywhere in your desktop, select New, then Shortcut. In the Windows Shortcut wizard type the following for Windows Vista and Windows 7: C:\Users\Your-Username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\”
  • And for Windows XP type: C:\Documents and Settings\Your-Username\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\”

Create Shortcut in Windows 7

  • Type a name for the Windows shortcut and finally click Finish.

You can now run a new independent instance of Google Chrome with a new profile and be signed-in with multiple accounts of a same online service. Lastly, like I mentioned before, this can also be useful to let other people you share the computer with to have a personalized Google Chrome experience.

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  • RevWaldo

    That didn’t work for me, but this did, and it’s a lot simpler.

    http://www.chromium.org/developers/creating-and-using-profiles

    • Mauro

      This is the old way. Now you can easily go to Chrome settings (chrome://settings/) under Users, click the Add new users button.

      From here you can create and delete user profiles easily.

      Thanks,

      • RevWaldo

        Cheers, that works. Went casting about for a solution when I tried to use two separate Google sites on Chrome with different account IDs (one personal, one for work) and they started de-authorizing each other. Started looking for a way to open a second instance of Chrome in Windows 7 and wound up here.

        Google sure doesn’t go out of its way to tell you about the solution though. Terminology may be the key here, since they refer to adding another account to Chrome as adding another user as opposed to adding another profile. Probably willful blindness to the idea of one person having more than one Google account. Thanks for your help!

        • Mauro

          No problem, I am glad it helped.

          Thanks,

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