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05 Nov 11 Google Chrome 16 beta adds multiple user profiles


Google Chrome is set to add yet another geek-friendly feature in its next stable version, and you can check it out early in the Beta channel right now. In Chrome 16, you’ll be able to switch among multiple user profiles.

Getting started is a breeze — just mouse up to the mannequin head icon in the upper left corner of your Chrome window and click it. The profile menu will appear, and you can then add a new user or click the gray pen-on-paper icon to manage user settings. They’re also available by entering chrome://settings/personal in the Omnibar.

To change an account’s name or icon, click once to highlight it and the click the manage button. There are more than two dozen icons to choose from, including a ninja, an alien, and a slice of pizza. Surprisingly, there’s no Android head yet, but I expect one will appear eventually — what with the Gmail theme and all.

Now for a word of caution. While you might be tempted to use this feature to set up multiple Chrome profiles for different users on the same computer, don’t do it.

It’s not made for that type of multi-user use right now. Rather, it’s aimed at folks who want to have separate profiles for browsing for work and browsing for recreational purposes — or signing into two different Google Apps accounts at the same time.

The current set-up isn’t ideal for multiple users because there’s no password protection. If you create three profiles for your housemates, you’ll all be able to switch back and forth among accounts at will. Your browsing history, bookmarks, and other Chrome data will be there for all to see.

If you do share a computer — whether it’s running Windows, OS X, or Linux — do the smart thing and create separate user accounts in your operating system. Those can be locked down with a password, and your Chrome profiles will be safely isolated.

Some day, Google might add a master password option to Chrome (like the one in Firefox). Until that happens, rely on your OS for multiple user set ups.

More at Google


Article source: http://www.geek.com/articles/news/google-chrome-16-beta-adds-multiple-user-profiles-2011114/

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