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I want to be able to optionally run the stable builds of Chrome to test websites in, but keep the dev version for daily use.

How do I do that?

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I would install the stable in /Applications and the dev version in /Users/{username}/Applications. As long as you have two separate copies you should be good. Be careful not to run them both at the same time. You may run into problems where the dev version changes preferences in a non-backwards compatible way. I have run into this problem with other programs, but I haven't tried it with Chrome.

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  • Just recently someone on this site killed his custom search engines by doing this, because both versions share a configuration file.
    – Daniel Beck
    Dec 20, 2010 at 18:09
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You can try using rooSwitch, it's specifically designed for multiple sets of preferences for a single application. I don't know however if it'll work with Chrome.


You can also set up a second user account for your testing. User Fast User Switching it's not that inconvenient to do.

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