One of the most useful Google Chrome features is the ability to restore and sync all your browser information and settings across multiple devices. You can easily sync activities once you sign in to the browser with your Google account. Besides that, logging into Chrome also signs you into other Google services such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Drive based on your settings.
Why You May Need Profiles in Chrome?
Another problem is that some users may modify your preferred Chrome settings or even delete your important data. Fortunately, Chrome supports multiple user profiles, enabling several users to share the browser without having to log in and out the profiles. In other words, you can separate profiles for the various users and maintain a set of browser settings, bookmarks, history, themes and apps for each. They are an ideal solution when:
- Sharing the browser on the same device (with family or friends).
- You want to maintain browser data for two account (Job and Personal accounts).
Note: This does not guarantee privacy as other users can switch to any profile signed in on the computer and gain access to browser history, so it is important to avoid sharing your PC with untrusted persons.
Adding a User Profile in Chrome
- Open Google Chrome on your PC and click the profile (avatar) icon on the right edge of the address bar.
- Select the “Manage people” link to open the user / people management window.
- To create a new profile, click the “Add person” button located at the bottom of the window.
- Enter the name of the profile and select an icon for the user. If you want to create a desktop shortcut for the user, click to tick the option and then click the “Add” button.
- This will open a new browser window prompting you to set up the browser for the new user profile.
- Click the “Get Started” link.
- You may add bookmarks from the Chrome suggestions and click “Next” or click “Skip” to avoid the setup.
- Chrome will then prompt you to sign in to restore and sync Chrome settings saved in your Google account. Click “Continue” to sign in.
- Enter an email address and password for the user and click “Next”.
- Click “Turn on” to activate sync across your other devices.
- Now you have set up the new user profile and it will maintain its settings and data separately.
Managing User Profiles in Chrome
- To switch from one user profile to the other, click the profile icon and choose the account you want to open.
- You can also remove a user profile. Go back to the user management window, click the three vertical dots on the profile icon and select “Remove this person” and then close the window.
- This will permanently delete the profile’s browsing history, passwords another other data.
Changing the Profile Name or Icon
- You can modify the user profile’s name and icon.
- Switch to the target profile and expand the Chrome customization menu (three vertical dots) at the upper-right corner of the browser window.
- Select “Settings” or type “chrome://settings/” in the address bar to open the Chrome Settings page.
- On the “People” section, click the “Chrome name and picture” right-facing arrow to edit the profile name.
- Edit the name and select a different picture for the user and close the settings tab. This will automatically save the changes.
Pros and Cons
Chrome profiles allow you to separate browser data and settings like themes, passwords, autofill and browsing history for different users. This is a useful feature, especially when you are sharing Chrome with other users or you want to maintain your private and work browser data separately. You can easily switch from one user profile to the other, as well as use multiple profiles simultaneously. You can create a desktop shortcut for a specific Chrome profile and use it to launch the browser with profile settings. Additionally, managing multiple Chrome profiles is straightforward so you can easily add a profile, remove or modify any existing profile.
The only major limitation of using Chrome profiles is that any user can access information on other profiles by switching to the account. Therefore, separating the profiles does not protect the privacy of the browser data. If privacy is a major concern, it is advisable to control access at the PC login level.