If you’ve updated or relaunched Chrome in the last day or two, you may have noticed a little thing in the top right bar of Chrome that says “Default Profile.” This little dropdown allows profile switching between accounts without logging out and back in again.
Edit: This has evidently been available for some time now, but it’s now been placed where you can find it more easily.
Google realized that people are tired of telling their friends to use a completely different web browser because they don’t want whatever their friend is looking at associated with their profile.
As an example of this is when my wife got a hold of a browser that was associated with my Google/Chrome account a couple of months ago (laptop was signed in as me), and now I get quite the interesting advertising for various sites and products that hold no interest for me, as well as search suggestions that I’m pretty sure are tailored to her. Also, a while back a friend’s little brother managed to cram up my search history with a whole lot of Playboy sites (and associated scam sites), looking for my former roommate’s piece.
In every case, after someone else used my Chrome or Google, I ended up with a lot of weirdly targeted advertising, autofill search suggestions, and in one instance a search history of a 16-year old looking for my former roommate.
While Incognito Mode solved many of these issues, the lack of cookie and history retention can get to be a problem if you’re actually attempting to do work. Switching profiles formerly required signing in and then remembering to sign out so you didn’t end up with someone else logged into your account. It was a bit of a pain.
If you have a work and a personal profile and do not want those two to meet, you can run one in each browser window, and all things you see will be tailored to your individual setup. Google Voice on home profile but not at work? No problem. Want to see both at the same time? No problem.
Whatever your individual needs are, you can now use a guest profile, or another user’s profile in conjunction with your own profile. This is absurdly useful if they want to pop in and use their Chrome profile while yours is still signed in (e.g. you’re writing about Chrome’s new profile switching in one tab and your friend needs to look up something, you can spawn a new tab for their profile without signing out yours).
I don’t know what the profile limit is, but I have my personal, work, and a guest window running now and all are working pretty smoothly.
Now, if Google can just do something about the absurd memory usage of the past year or two, we’ll be golden.
Let us know if you found an upper limit or any bugs on this release/feature.