How to: Efficient Account Management in Chrome

This post has been on the back burner for a long time, but I finally have a little time to sit down and finish it.

I use Chrome exclusively. There are a few little hiccups (like Java plugins not running, but really, in the age of HTML5, who uses Java plugins? Get with it, people.) but for the most part, Chrome is the most reliable and most customizable browser available.

One thing I really struggled with was having multiple Google accounts. I have my personal account, but I also had one for work. If you're in a GAFE school, you know what I'm talking about. It really drove me nuts when I would click on a document link only to have it open in the wrong account.

I've discovered a really interesting little tidbit about Chrome that has changed my life forever. Chrome does this neat thing called "sandboxing." Essentially, what happens in one tab doesn't affect what happens in another. The same is true for one Chrome window in relation to another. This is the key.

So, to manage your Google life like a boss, you need to do a couple things. First, go into your Chrome settings.

Now, find the part on the page that says Users.

Then, click on Add new user. Once you name the user (and choose a sweet avatar) you'll get a sign in page.

This sign in page is where you choose which account you want to use for this particular user. So, I have a personal user as well as a work user. Each user is linked to that specific Google account. So, I don't have to deal with the annoying "multiple sign in" option any more.

The other awesome thing about this method is that all of your apps and extensions are kept separate (which makes sense, because they're linked to accounts). I can have extensions associated with my personal Google account (RSS reader, calendar, etc) as well as extensions for my work account. The same is true for passwords, name it.

If you're a Chrome user, this is definitely the most efficient I've ever been with the web. I do have to keep two windows open at times, but the amount of time that is saved from not having to sign in and out of accounts has been well worth a slightly more cluttered desktop.

Do you have any other Chrome power user tips? Leave them in the comments.

3 thoughts on “How to: Efficient Account Management in Chrome

  1. Kirsten Hansen says:

    Thank you for this! That’s going to make life easier.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Hello Mr. Bennett! My name is Stephanie Faison, and I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama.

    I recently discovered the User function of Chrome and it has changed my life! I have a personal/school account, a work account, and a secondary work account that is only associated with one client. I used to have a gigantic list of bookmarks, and more logins stored on one browser than I care to admit. Now they are all neatly corralled into the appropriate user. I hate having so many tabs open that I can barely read the webpage they lead to.

    I did find a function within the settings that automatically loads certain web pages every time you open that Chrome user. So now, when I click on my work user, it automatically loads up Harvest and Gmail. And that setting is user-specific! I love Chrome!

  3. JR Ginex-Orinion says:

    Can’t live without multiple users in Chrome. Here are some ideas:

    New Incognito Window is helpful when trying to determine how my students will see a webpage when loaded (command+shift+N). The OneTab Extension helps cut down on RAM usage and organizes tab clutter. Pin tabs by right-clicking the tab, and these sites will open every time Chrome opens.

    Hope that helps!

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