If you've got a family computer, or one you share with your roommates or significant other, you've probably run into the trouble of sharing a web browser. You have to log out of your Gmail, Facebook and other accounts just to let someone else log in. The latest version of Google Chrome solves that problem with multiple user accounts. Here's how this handy new feature works and how to set it up.
Be sure to watch the video above if you'd prefer to watch rather than read.
How To Set Up Multiple Users In Chrome
Multiple user accounts are really easy to set up. Just follow these steps:
- Open up Chrome and navigate to the personal settings page.
- Locate the section called Users and click the Add New User button.
- A new window will open with an icon in the upper right corner. This is a session created for the new user, which is a little confusing because you didn't actually do anything yet. Go ahead and close this window and you'll be back on the personal settings page. You'll now see one creepy white blank-faced user called the default profile and some other user that Chrome named for you. Double-click on the default profile and rename it to your name (unless you're setting this up on someone else's machine, in which case name it for them). Choose a new icon if you want and click OK.
- Repeat the previous step to change the name and icon of the new user.
You can repeat this entire process for as many users as you'd like.
How Multiple User Accounts Work
Now that you've got your accounts set up, it might not be entirely clear how this new feature works because it's almost too simple. With multiple users active, you'll now see your user icon actively displayed in the upper-right hand corner of your browser window. To start a new session for a different user, just click that icon and select the user's name. A window will open with their icon in the upper right corner and they'll be able to browse separately from you. They'll also be able to log in to their Google account just like they normally would on their own computer and sync all their stuff.
This way you can use multiple accounts on the same machine without the hassle of logging in and out. Moving between accounts is as simple as making that user's Chrome window the front window. Doing so will automatically switch that person's account to the currently active account.
It's important to note, however, that despite the separation this doesn't keep your data hidden from another user. This should be pretty obvious when you start using multiple accounts in Chrome, but we wanted to point it out just in case. This feature simply exists to help multiple people use Chrome together without any account conflicts. If you have any browsing data you want to keep hidden, be sure to clear it when you're done.