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Leveraging Multiple Chrome Users for Ultra-Fast Session Swapping

Let me start by saying that I love Google Chrome, and I love doing web development with it. It’s lightning fast, ultra-secure, simple to use, auto-updates to the latest and coolest standards, and it has a ton amazing third-party web apps and plugins via the Chrome Store (although I usually prefer a plain vanilla install). With that being said, I’ve decided to put together as many of the different features, tips, and tricks I could think of that can help improve web development – ultimately, making you a Chrome All-Star. This is the first part to the series.

Full Disclosure: This article has nothing to do with Super Mario besides the fact that the title reminded me of the Super Mario All-Stars game when making the banner and share graphic for it. I couldn’t resist.

Quick Demo

To get this started, I’d like to share this demo called rumpetroll. Rumpetroll is an awesome demonstration of HTML5 web sockets. By using Google Chrome’s users, we will create 4 separate sessions and have them interact with each other in real time via web sockets. Watch the video below:

Use Cases

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For Development

Sometimes during development you’ll need control over more than one user. For example, having an account logged-in and not logged-in, two users on the same page interacting, etc. Usually, I’ll just pop-open an incognito window to spin-up a fresh blank session. The problem with this method is that you’re limited to just the two separate sessions, and the icognito session doesn’t persist after the window is closed. Using Google Chrome accounts can rapidly improve these issues.

For Efficiency

Another good reason to start using these Chrome Users is for pure uninterrupted web browsing speed. For example, let’s say you have 4 separate Google Accounts setup. There’s one for your school, one for work, one that’s your personal account, and one for a non-profit that you volunteer for. It gets pretty darn tedious to keep using Google services like Drive, Gmail, or Analytics with the constant switching back and forth between the different accounts and sessions. Making separate Chrome Accounts for school, work, personal, and the non-profit will let you multitask tremendously quicker.

For Multiple People on the Same Computer

Another real quick use case is when people are sharing a computer. This is great if you’re younger and sharing a computer with your family or siblings, if you have a significant other who is constantly logging you out of your email, social media, and other accounts to check theirs, etc. Chrome Users also allow for supervised control over other accounts.

How to Setup and Access Chrome Accounts

Setting up Chrome Accounts is ridiculously easy. Just go into Chrome’s settings (chrome://settings) and scroll down to Users. It’s pretty straight forward from there on adding, editing, and removing new users.

Switching accounts is also a breeze. All you have to do is click avatar icon that is now appeared in the top-right hand corner of the browser. Alternatively, you can simply just use these keyboard shortcuts to get a nice window of options:

  • Mac: ⌘-Shift-M
  • Windows: Ctrl+Shift+M

Additional Resources and Information

Here’s some links for additional information regarding this:

Becoming a Chrome All-Star Series

The series will be broken into these parts (I may change or combine some of these!):


Leveraging Multiple Chrome Users for Ultra-Fast Session Swapping

Useful Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Be Using Now

Nightly Builds with Chrome Canary

Chrome Developer Tools

Chrome Console Tips and Tricks

Chrome Settings You Should Care About

Tricks with the Chrome Address Bar

chrome:// Commands

The Best Plugins and Extensions

Nicholas Cerminara

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  • Christopher Watson

    Can’t wait for the next entries in this series!

  • EnvyAndroid

    Thanks for the tip! :)
    Makes it easier to juggle several accounts!