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GoogleApps_Oct30_CMost of us treat our computers like an extension of ourselves. As such, we’re not too keen on letting other people use our personal devices. Other people using our computer feels kind of weird, that’s why many people like to have different accounts that their friends and colleagues can use. If you work in an environment where you are often sharing your computer, there is a way everyone can have their own personalized browser.

If you use Google Chrome and have more than one Google account, or more than one user on the same computer, you can utilize Chrome’s functionality to access different Google accounts at the same time. Here’s how:

  1. Open Chrome and press the three lines to the right of the URL bar, and select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Users and select Add new user.
  3. Put the account information (user name and password) of the account you want to add and click Sign in.
  4. It will take a few seconds, but you’ll get a note saying that you’ve signed into a new account.
  5. Pressing Ctrl + Shift + M (⌘ + Shift+ M on Mac) will change your profile. Alternatively, you can press the icon at the top right and select the profile to switch to.

You’ll notice that Chrome now has an icon on the top right of the window. Clicking this will allow you to select which account you want to represent the window you have open. The original account you linked with Chrome will be labeled as First User and any other accounts will be randomly named upon setup. To change this, press the face icon on the top right of Chrome and hover your mouse over the account you’d like to change. The name will change to Edit and clicking it will bring up the editing screen. You can change the account name, icon and import settings and bookmarks.

This is a great feature that allows each user of a single computer to have their own customized version of Google, or for you to access your different accounts without needing to have different browsers open. What this doesn’t do is secure your data or settings from other users on the same computer. They can see everything you’ve searched, or even switch to the windows you have open. Think of this as more of a convenience feature than a security feature. If you’re looking for a more secure way to access two accounts at the same time, open another window in incognito mode, it will allow you to access another Google account.

To learn more about using Chrome in your business, please contact us.

Published on 30th October 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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