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Here's my situation: I use various web applications like, say, Google calendar, so I log into Google and it remembers me. But my wife also does things with Google apps, like, say, Blogger. I help her out a lot, but to do this I have to log out as me, log in as her, do the work, and then log out and in again. This is very annoying. Is there some way to have Firefox profiles, and switch between them so that each profile has the cookies to remain logged in, so I can work as my wife without having to log in and out all the time.

(I know there is the concept of profiles, but I can't find a way to switch between them in any straightforward way.)

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4 Answers 4

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Instead of switching the whole profile it might be more convenient to just switch the stored cookies. The extension CookieSwap exactly does this for you.

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I'd never done this but I actually switched my answer from ProfileSwitcher to this. ProfileSwitcher caused all kinds of problems: it would get horribly confused when clicking on an email link, opening new instances of the browser, always getting confused about which was the current profile, and generally causing more problems for me than it fixed. CookieSwap is just what I need: I can just swap cookies, reload a page, and use the new profile, and then easily switch back, all on a per-tab basis. –  Joshua Frank Oct 23 '12 at 12:29
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ProfileSwitcher can do this for you. It adds a new option to the browser menu from where you can easily select and switch between profiles. You can also run multiple Firefox profiles simultaneously.

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Use Profile Manager to create profiles.

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I installed this and it works pretty well. I have some quibbles about things it could do better, but it solves my basic problem. Thanks. –  Joshua Frank Jul 6 '12 at 13:53
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A bit more elaborate answer about Firefox's profile manager:

You can use command line arguments to perform various things. This has such an advantage that you can create several shortcuts on your desktop with those parameters.

So, first

  • firefox.exe -p

will open profile manager. You can create profiles here, and choose the one you want to use, at startup time.

About -no-remote switch

  • There's another parameter -no-remote which you can use to have more than one profile opened at the same time.
  • There can be max one Firefox instance opened without this parameter, and infinitely many opened with this parameter
  • You can also open Firefox always with -no-remote switch. However, this comes with a drawback. Read below.

Keep mind that if:

  • Firefox is your default browser
  • you click a link in an external application (say, Word, PDF reader, or IM),

then:

  • it will be opened in the Firefox instance opened without -no-remote.
  • If you opened all instances of Firefox with -no-remote, you'll get an error message and the link will not be opened.

Creating shortcuts to different profiles

After you've issued firefox.exe -p and created profiles named, say, Alice and Bob, you can then create separate links on your desktop / quick launch / start menu:

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p Alice -no-remote
"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p Bob -no-remote

(or perhaps without -no-remote for one of them).

You can also just make it

"C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -p

and each time you open Firefox, you'll be prompted to choose the profile you want. Just make sure to update all the shortcuts you have on desktop / quick launch / start menu.

Why at all complicating life so much with the command line args instead of installing an add-on?

I already use >30 add-ons. If I used add-on for everything I wanted to configure, I'd end up with twice as many ;) but of course, YMMV.

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I could add to the list the -new-instance switch which apparently does the same thing as -no-remote. For some reason however, -new-instance is not available on Windows, but I can use it on my Linux Mint... –  jadkik94 Aug 7 '12 at 12:37
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Firefox comes with an inbuilt Profile Manager. Try it.

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