Be More Efficient Using Chrome Profiles

Managing different profiles in chrome is an easy way to gain time and keep one’s sanity. It can also prevent some embarrassing situations… Here’s how and why I do it.

Chrome has this great feature called «Profiles» where you can create as many identities as you need and confine each to a separate chrome environment.

This helps in many situation. I for example have a personal profile, a development profile, and a project profile for each project I am involved with.

Doing it this way ensures that:

  • I only install extensions relevant to each environment, and don’t suffer from extension bloat
  • I can have a different set of bookmarks and history for each environment
  • Authentication is not shared between profile. So I never have to log out of my personal gmail to connect to a professional google for work account to access a SaaS app which badly implemented social logins
  • When a work colleague shares a google drive or a dropbox link, I can be sure that clicking on it will actually give me access and I won’t get an «access denied» message.
  • I keep a clean profiles for demos. No risk of autocomplete mishaps or NSFW Animated Tabs popping up.

Having a different chrome profile per project also helps in tracking how much time I’m spending on each project.

So how does one create a chrome profile ?

Here’s a short video showing how to

A gif showing how to create a profile

Basically, click on your name on the top right corner of chrome, create a new profile and your good to go.

To switch profiles, just right click on you profile name, and quickly switch between all your profiles

Quick Chrome Profile Switching

Tips for working with profiles

  • Pick a different theme for each browser (here’s an ugly but efficient site if you only want to change the color scheme – I pick a corporate one for each client account)
  • If you’re using selenium or any similar automated testing script, make sure to start chrome in the right profile
  • On a mac, if you click on a link in another app, it will open in whichever chrome profile last had the focus
  • Once chrome has started, you can also pick the profile by right clicking on the chrome icon

I’m starting to share insights on some of the tools and processes we use and love at Kumbu. Let me know what you think.