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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?

5 Answers 5

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According to this 2015 thread on the Google Product Forum (now Google Support) 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.

This appears to still be accurate as of January 2022.

You have several alternatives:

  1. Create a second "dummy" Google account, as suggested in this answer by David D.
    • Note: make sure to keep it secure and up to date with your 2FA, as it would potentially contain critical information.
  2. Use an external syncing tools to work around that problem, such as xbrowsersync.org
    • Disclaimer: I have not reviewed or used this product personally and am not affiliated to this website).
  3. Backup and sync (manually or via scripts) the chrome profile folder as suggested in this answer by Shep.
    • Note: this may yield weird issues with anything related to encryption and permissions on the folder itself.
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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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  • 1
    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. Aug 12, 2015 at 15:05
  • 1
    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, 2020 at 22:47
  • There is not "such People" setting now. Also, I did not find any "Add Person" item using "Search Setings". Checked on the latest version (95.0.4638.54).Probably this functionality was removed in the meantime. Oct 26, 2021 at 8:36
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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 Apr 17, 2021 at 5:00
  • 1
    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, 2021 at 17:16
  • On some systems like MacOS and Linux you can just move the directory to something that can sync like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, One Drive etc, and then just symbolically link the directory. Then there is nothing you ever need to do. "ln -s dir1 dir2"
    – jordan2175
    Nov 30, 2021 at 4:33
  • @jordan2175, does that actually work? Or is this a hypothetical solution? Specifically, how are permissions and sync conflicts handled? Mar 14 at 10:29
  • @ThomasBinBDX Yes it works. I do this for several things. The OS and application do not know the difference. This helps me sync things like development environments across systems. In my home I do not assign computer to family members, there is just a stack of MacBook Pros and you just grab one. But I need things to work everywhere. The first thing I did was map my Golang Path stuff, and have just moved everything to this method. It works great.
    – jordan2175
    Mar 15 at 16:46
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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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It's frustrating that Chrome doesn't allow you to sync to two different profiles on the same device. Firefox does allow this, and it works well. I use it to set up separate "projects", each with their own set of tabs, but syncing passwords and settings across profiles. It works pretty well, even to the point that if you are working in two profiles, and you exit from one, the other stays open. In Chrome, if you exit from a profile, Chrome shuts down other profiles too.

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