Google Chrome is one of the most popular and widely used browsers among internet users. This is mainly because of its many features that allow us to enjoy a convenient and personalized browsing. It allows us to sync the customized browser settings and other data with our Google account and import them across devices. However, this can be a problem, especially if you are using Chrome on a shared computer as other users can access your data or modify your preferences. In order to prevent this, you can use the “Guest Account” in Chrome browser.
What is a Guest Account in Chrome?
A “Guest Account as the name suggests is a separate temporary profile for a user browsing on a borrowed or public computer. It can be a person using a computer in a college library, public cyber cafe or a friend’s computer. When using the guest account, Chrome will delete all the browsing activities such as browsing history, cookies or other data from the device once you exit the guest mode.
Besides, you cannot view or modify other Chrome profiles on the device. The guest account enhances browsing privacy in that other users or the owner of the computer will not see the pages you visited or anything about your browsing session.
How to Switch to Guest Account in Chrome?
To enable the Chrome “Guest browsing mode”,
- Open the Google Chrome browser on the computer and on the top-right corner click on the menu icon. Select “Settings” on the drop-down options near the bottom of the list.
- Under “People” click on “Manage other people”.
- Click the “Browse as Guest” button from the resulting screen.
- This will open a new browser window in the “Guest mode”.
- As you can see the new window has no bookmarks of page shortcuts.
- Alternatively, you can switch to a guest account by clicking the chrome profile icon on the left-top corner of the window.
- Select “Open Guest window” from the option. It will open a blank window in guest browsing mode.
- To exit the “Guest Mode”, click on the profile icon at the top-right corner and click on “Exit Guest”.
Launch Google Chrome Directly in Guest Account Mode
You can also set Chrome to start in guest browsing mode as a default by following the steps below.
- Right-click the “Chrome” shortcut on your desktop and select “Properties” at the bottom of the menu.
- Under the “Shortcut” tab, in the “Target” text box add and space followed by –profile-directory= “Guest Profile” after the existing text.
- Click the “Apply” button and then “OK” to save the changes.
- Whenever you open Chrome from the shortcut, it will open the profile manager window, then you can click the “Browse as Guest” button.
Why and When to Use Guest Account?
The Google Chrome guest account can be useful:
- When lending your computers to your friends.
- When browsing from a shared computer like the school computer lab or cyber café.
- In your private PC as an alternative to the “incognito mode”.
When browsing using the guest account, Chrome will delete all your browsing information including, cache, cookies and history among others once you exit guest browsing. The benefits of using a guest account are:
- When you give out your computer to other users, they can browse without changing any your browser settings. Moreover, the guest user cannot access your private browsing data such as passwords, bookmarks and so on.
- Guest users cannot install new apps.
- It enhances the browsing privacy for the guest user, as chrome will keep no trace of the browsing session.
Incognito Vs. Guest Account
In-private or incognito mode offers similar features that of guest account mode. However, the purpose of these two are different. Use incognito mode when you want to use your own computer in private mode. Use guest account when you want to borrow other’s computer for short-term use.
In both modes, Chrome will not save historical activities. Learn more on incognito Vs. guest mode in Chrome.
A guest browsing improves browsing privacy for both the device owner and guest users. It also makes it makes sharing manageable by preventing every user crowding the browser with their own bookmarks, cookies and other save information. However, it is important to note that your guest browsing activities may be visible to the sites you visit, the network admin and your ISP.