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November 25, 2010

Google Chrome and Multiple Profiles

Google Chrome has always supported multiple profiles, but you had to use a command-line flag (--user-data-dir="c:\path\to\the\profile") to associate a profile with a folder where the browser will save its state.

At some point, Google added an option that allowed you to open a new window and use a separate profile, but it was quickly removed. According to a design document from Chromium's site, this feature be available again.

"The multiple profiles feature will allow the user to associate a profile with a specific set of browser windows, rather than with an entire running instance of Chrome. Allowing different windows to run as different Chrome identities means that a user can have different open windows associated with different Google accounts, and correspondingly different sets of preferences, apps, bookmarks, and so on -- all those elements which are bound to a specific user's identity."


Users will be able to associate a profile with a Google account and log in at the browser level. This is a great feature for Chrome OS, but it will also work in Google Chrome.

Google will associate each Chrome window with an identity. "On Windows (and Linux), this is accomplished with a colored and labeled menu-enabled tag at the top of the browser frame, next to the window controls. On Mac OS X, the window frame is too small to accommodate a tag; instead, we add an item to the menu bar, with a special colored background, in the same way the Windows tab is specially colored."


{ spotted by Fran├žois and David.}

15 comments:

  1. Which version is this functionality? I'm already using version 9.0.587.0 dev and it does not.

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  2. The multiple profiles UI is not yet available. The screenshots are only mock-ups.

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  3. Sounds great - much more civilized than opening a bunch of incognito windows - but even that is better than most other browsers.

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  4. I'm impressed with how the Chocolate Factory keeps rolling out ideas. On the other hand, I feel sad for the many consumers who wanted to buy a Chocolate Factory-enabled machine for the holidays . . .

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  5. The icons used in that home screen (and the general level of polish on it) is way above what Google normally produces in terms of UI. I hope that's a sign of things to come...

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  6. Don't just go with the sync process... there's a speculation that a Google cookie is out there scanning out your stuff. And with this sync stuff, you make it even more easier...

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  7. You can control such things (they allowed that many months ago).

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  8. Wow, that little widget really reminded me of something, so I dug around and found it: an old Firefox 4 mockup from over a year ago. https://wiki.mozilla.org/File:Fx-4.0-Direction-Phase-01.png Uncanny resemblance, wouldn't you agree?

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  9. Yeah. a little borrowing going on here. This is clearly a Firefox design.

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  10. Lifted straight from the Firefox 4 designs.

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  11. Please hurry up. Everybody using Google services for both business and personal purposes need this feature (e.g. Google Analytics/AdWord/AdSense for business and Gmail for personal purposes).

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  12. why google chrome introduce multiple profile option.Any particular reason?

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  13. Multiple profile option is not available yet!

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  14. any update on this feature?

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  15. 12.0.741.0 canary build has this feature listed on the about:flags page. Enabling this feature brings up the 'Create New Profile' button in the options menu, but it is greyed out and unclickable.

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