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Want to separate work and play on your browser? Set up different profiles

Handy if you want to keep certain information separate from each other.

Image: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

UNLESS YOU’RE A HEAVY private/incognito mode user, your browser is going to store info on your history, cookies, autocomplete and so on anytime you use it.

This is convenient for a number of reasons, but if you use the same computer for both work and personal accounts, then it can be a good idea to use separate profiles for each purpose.

While it’s mainly for those who share a computer (especially if you have someone younger using it), it’s handy for separating your info so there’s no overlap. Here’s how you can do this for some of the main browsers.

Chrome

The easiest way to access this is (if you’re signed in) to click your name up at the top right-hand corner of the window. You will be asked whether you want to switch user or browse incognito.

Alternatively, go into settings and scroll down until you see ‘people’.

Chrome profiles Source: Chrome

Firefox

You wouldn’t realise it at first, but Firefox has this setting hidden away.

It’s not hard to access once you know how. To start, you need to close all Firefox windows you may have open. When that’s done, go to Run in Windows (Windows key + R) and type in firefox.exe -p.

This will bring up the profiles window, allowing you to create, rename or delete profiles.

If you want to choose which profile to use each time you start up, untick “Use the selected profile without asking at startup” otherwise it will stick to the same profile each time.

Firefox profiles Source: Firefox

Opera

The most complicated example here, Opera requires you to delve into your C:\ drive and modify certain paths so you create two different shortcuts, one with the original profile and a second one with the new profile.

The OperaWiki site gives further details for those willing to give it a try, but like all things, if you’re unsure as to what you’re doing, it’s best to leave it alone.

Internet Explorer

If you’re still relying on IE, there is a way to (kinda) create a new profile. When it’s open, go to file (hit Alt if the toolbar doesn’t show up) and select ‘new session’.

Everything will be shared with the original user’s history, but it will allow you to log in to different accounts without kicking anyone out.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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