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How to Use Multiple Browser Profiles in Any Browser

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Web browsers store all types of personal data. It could be extensions, settings, history, bookmarks, credit card information, personal emails and more in a profile. Separate profiles can be created to split things up to enhance privacy and management. For instance, one profile could be for work and the other for play.

Normally, every user account has a single profile for each of the browser. However, the majority of web browsers allow you to create multiple profiles. Multiple profiles can even be used at the same time by simply being logged into different accounts for each of them.

Google Chrome

Using multiple browser profiles for Chrome is easy. The process for using multiple browser profiles is fairly simple. Additional browser profiles can be created by opening the Settings page. Click on the menu button and choose Settings. Then, click on "Add new user" that would appear under Users. In the newer version of Google Chrome, each profile has an icon in the toolbar area, and profile manager can be easily accessed from the button.

Now, all one has to do is select a user icon and enter a name for it. In addition to their history, bookmarks and other settings, each of the users even has its own Google Sync settings and these can be logged into whenever using the Google account.

One can switch between profiles by clicking on the icon that is at the top-left corner of the browser window.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox comes with built-in support for multiple profiles. However, the feature is somewhat hidden, unlike Google Chrome which has easy access to the multiple profiles options. In order to access the Profile Manager for Firefox, one will have to first need all of the Firefox windows to be closed. Once, Firefox has been closed, hold on the Windows key so as to open the Start menu, then type the following line after which Enter will need to be pressed.

Firefox.exe -p

In case this does not work, the full path to Firefox will need to be entered instead. For a 64-bit Windows system, the following line will need to be entered.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" –p

As for a 32-bit Windows system, the following line would need to be entered instead.

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p

After this, the Profile Manager should open up. Click on the Create Profile button in order to create a new browser profile. Uncheck the "don’t ask at startup option" if you want to be prompted to choose a profile each time you use Firefox.

A single browser profile is only allowed to be run by Firefox at a time by default. However, if you want to use multiple Firefox profiles to be run at the same time, the Firefox with the –no-remote switch would need to be launched. For instance, in order to launch the Profile Manager for Firefox using the –no-remote switch, the following command would need to be used.

firefox.exe –p -no-remote

The –no-remote option is used every time you launch Firefox. In case, Firefox is already running then you would need to completely close it and have it launched using the –no-remote option. This option can be added to the Firefox shortcuts in order to make it easy to do so. Furthermore, a Profile Switcher extension can be installed so as to easily switch between multiple Firefox profiles at a time.

Internet Explorer

Separate browser profiles are not allowed to be used on Internet Explorer. However, there is a feature which can be used for creating browser windows in which they have their own separate cookies. Press on the Alt key to show the hidden menu bar in order to use this feature. Click on File and simply choose New Session. This new browser window share your history, favorites, and other settings, but it would have its own separate cookies. What this means is that the feature can be used to log into multiple accounts for the same website just like how the profile feature allows you to do so for Firefox and Chrome.

One thing about Internet Explorer is that it does not like the Run As a tool that has been built into Windows. The tools allow one to run a program just like another Windows user account and check it on their desktop. A new Windows user account can be created and switched between from if it is important for you to use completely separate Internet Explorer profiles.

Opera

A great thing about Opera is that it does support multiple profiles. Multiple Opera profiles can be run at the same time and each would have their own unique profile and options. However, in order to achieve this, one would have to edit the .ini files of Opera manually and launch Opera with the /settings command-line switch. Wikipedia provides one of the best instructions to help you do this manually. But, if you do not want to do all the work by hand, then, in that case, you can simply download the 3rd party Opera Profile Creator application. It does all of the tedious work for you and it will help create new shortcuts which would be used to open separate profiles for Opera.

Safari

One of the things that users dislike about Safari is the fact that it does not appear to support multiple profiles. However, the closest that one could get is by having several user accounts and using the fast user switch in order to switch between the profiles. Each of the users has a personal Safari profile after all. Safari does not offer users with the option of multiple profiles and if you are looking to have a great browsing experience, then it might be a better idea to simply use a different browser such as Google Chrome as it offers easy set up for multiple browsers.

Conclusion

Just about every browser offers some type multiple browser profiles options. You can go through the above browser option in order to decide which browser you want to use. It is recommended to use Google Chrome as it has been built for multiple profiles.