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I often need multiple browsing sessions for logging into multiple services with different accounts at one time. I don't want to have to use multiple browsers, nor do I want to use a different release of Google Chrome. I would be open to running multiple instances of Google Chrome. However, I've tried using open -na Google\ Chrome and it won't open a second instance. Is there a way to do this on a Mac with Google Chrome?

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up vote 28 down vote accepted

Chrome supports multiple user profiles, you can make use of this to have multiple browsing sessions.

Click on the Chrome Menu (Mac users: Chrome-Preferences) → Click on Add New User. Now, there's a new instance of Chrome with a entirely different profile from the current user, so the cookies and the like are not shared.

Now, when you launch a new window, you can select a user profile to switch between & hence have multiple sessions.

enter image description here

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Thanks! Sorry it took me so long to accept. I forgot about the question :-) – daviesgeek Sep 14 '12 at 16:26
@daviesgeek hehe, not a problem – Sathya Sep 15 '12 at 6:20
+1 This answer perfectly solves my needs! Too bad I didn't know about this feature before... – pedromanoel Nov 7 '12 at 18:14
For me, on a Mac, I had to choose the following from the menu: "Chrome | Preferences" then look for "Users" and click "Add New User", using Chrome Version 24.0.1312.52 ("Chrome | About Google Chrome") – Brad Parks Jan 15 '13 at 13:24
@Howie yes, that's possible. – Sathya Jul 11 '13 at 9:51

I don't know about the MAC, but

mkdir newProfile
chrome --user-data-dir=newProfile

Works great here on Linux!

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And on osx /Applications/Google\\ Chrome --user-data-dir=my-profile-dir (…) – Drew LeSueur Feb 11 '14 at 17:36

Try using an Incognito window.

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Thanks for your answer. I have used an incognito window, but I can't run more than two sessions at one time. I need several sessions open at one time. – daviesgeek Apr 23 '12 at 5:16

Found this marvellous solution:

I would probably alter the solution a bit by having the chrome function point to a time stamped directory in /tmp/. That way a new instance could be created each time by typing in only chrome rather than chrome /tmp/junk/.

I've also been using which launches new Chrome instances. Would be nice to look into watir's source to see how they do it.

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This one: allows you to set up a full-fledged Application for multiple instances of chrome.

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Avoid simply linking to the solution as links can sometimes disappear over time. Post an excerpt or key parts instead. – Will.Beninger May 29 '13 at 18:44

If you do not want to use google account for loggin in, then use this plugin

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