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I essentially want to have different environments set up such as a profile for general browsing with personal bookmarks, a work profile, and one profile for every clients websites I work on.

The problem I am finding is that I cannot use a Google Account for more than one profile. This means I can't have all my profiles synced with my other browsers which is a problem as sometimes I would need my work profile at home, or my personal profile at work.

Is there any workaround to be able to get this setup?

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chrome://settings/

Under "People," pick "Add Person."

To use the same gmail account for this "person," tick the option to "Control and view the websites this person visits from ."

You will now see a button with the current Person's name. Pick on it and you can switch to a different one.

The only caveat here is that the bookmarks etc. will not sync. So, if you use more than one device on a regular basis, this may not solve your issue.

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    While I guess this does solve some of the problem, it doesn't solve the whole sync issue. Having the bookmarks still there is one of the main reasons I'm looking for the sync. – ComputerLocus Aug 12 '15 at 15:05
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    March 2020: Whilst a fine answer at the time, Google have moved the cheese making this answer not as useful as it once was – MickyD Mar 4 '20 at 22:47
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Base on this Google Product Forum answer to the question: "Can Chrome sync 2 Different PROFILES using 1 GMAIL account?", it is not possible to use the same google account to sync more than one profile on different devices.

You would have to use external syncing tools to work around that problem, such as xbrowsersync.org.

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Another workaround...Since Google stores Chrome profiles locally on the computer, you can manually copy your alternate profiles (out to Google Drive or OneDrive) and paste into your computer at work/home. (or write a script to do that for you)

Each Chrome profile you add is stored in a users profile in the AppData directory. This directory is normally hidden. On Windows, you can access your hidden data using the following path:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data

Additional profile(s) are named [Profile 1], [Profile 2], etc.

The default profile (the one first created when Chrome is installed) is in the [Default] directory. Bookmarks are stored in the file named [Bookmarks]. Simply copy and paste the file into the same directory and you're good to go.

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  • This is a helpful answer, but unfortunately it does mean a lot of manual work whenever you change things like the bookmarks. Maybe someday Google will support this in Chrome – ComputerLocus Apr 17 at 5:00
  • Yes. As of today, Google hasn't enabled Chrome syncing of multiple profiles using one (login) account. There are 3 options to accomplish what you want: 1. Manually copy/paste 2. Write a script to automate copying/ pasting 3. Create an additional Google (login) account and enable automatic syncing – Shep Apr 27 at 17:16
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Here is my workaround: I created another "useless" google account just to take care of the synchronisation of both profiles. Then you have 2 options:

  • If you need to access your Google accounts (gmail, drive, etc.) from one profile only, then keep the other profile logged on the "useless" account. This will allow to keep sync between devices for all your profiles.

  • If you need to access your Google accounts from both profiles, logout from the second profile once synchronisation is finished (then log in/log out again to re-sync when you need to). This one if quite tedious.

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