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Keep work and home life separate by setting up browser profiles

If you’re working from home, it can be tough to separate the web browsing you do for work and play. Part of the issue is that in many cases, your computer is going to be used for both business and pleasure — at least until you’re back in the office and using your work desktop again.

And it’s probably a hassle when you’re forced to switch between work and personal accounts, especially if you’re sharing your computer with kids, roommates, or spouses right now, all of whom are also slowing down your internet service. Tap or click here to find out how to speed up your internet connection now.

It’s important to keep your work and personal life separate and luckily, several popular internet browsers allow you to set up individual profiles for different users and your different needs. Let’s take a look at how you can set up individual browser profiles — and why.

What are browser profiles and why should I use them?

Browser profiles are pretty much what they sound like: separate browsing profiles on your web browser that you can use for different purposes or different people. Having separate browser profiles not only keeps your digital work and personal life separate, but also allows you to optimize each browser profile for its specific uses.

You can bookmark, change your settings, use add-ons or any variety of things to make each profile a useful tool for your needs. If you mainly use your personal profile for browsing the web and online shopping, you can optimize your browser to make both of those tasks simple.

If you’ve wanted to use certain add-ons for work but have avoided them because they aren’t relevant to your personal life, you can set up your work profile to include all of those add-ons. Doing so will keep those add-ons from interfering with your leisure time while optimizing your work browser with everything you need to get the job done.

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How to create browser profiles

There are different ways to set up browser profiles, and how you do this will depend on what browser you prefer to use.

Google Chrome

To add individual profiles to Chrome:

  1. Open the Chrome browser on your computer.
  2. At the top right, click Profile.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Choose a name and a photo.
  5. Click Add. A new window will open and ask you to turn on sync.
  6. Optional: Turn sync on in Chrome with a Google Account for the new profile and their bookmarks, history, passwords, and other settings will automatically sync when you’re logged in on other devices.

Once you have individual profiles set up, you can toggle between users. To do this:

  1. Open Chrome on your computer.
  2. At the top right, click Profile.
  3. Choose the person or profile you want to switch to.

Mozilla Firefox

To create a browser profile through the Profile Manager:

  1. To start the Create Profile Wizard, click Profile Manager > Create Profile > Next.
  2. Enter the name of the profile. Use a profile name that is descriptive, such as your personal name — this user name will not be visible to anyone but you.
  3. You can also choose where to store the profile on your computer. To select a storage location, click Choose Folder.
  4. If you choose your folder location for the profile, select a new or empty folder. Please note that if you choose a folder that isn’t empty and you later remove the profile and choose the \”Delete Files\” option, everything inside that folder will be deleted.
  5. To create the new profile, click Finish.

To create a browser profile through the Firefox browser:

  1. Type about:profiles into the browser URL search bar.
  2. On the page, click Create a New Profile.
  3. Read the introduction, and click Next.
  4. Enter a profile name for your new Profile. Use a profile name that is descriptive, such as your personal name — this user name will not be visible to anyone but you.
  5. To create the new profile, click Finish.

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Microsoft Edge

Create multiple profiles in Microsoft Edge:

  1. Select Profile, then choose Manage profile settings.
  2. Select + Add profile.
  3. Select Add.
  4. Sign in to sync data, to connect to an existing account, then select Continue.
  5. Use the slider to toggle to Yes > Confirm.

Safari

If Safari is your browser of choice, we have some bad news. Safari doesn’t offer the option to create individual browser profiles. There is one way to get around, it though: If you use Safari on a Mac, you can set up different user profiles and use the different profiles for work and personal browsing. If you’re not using Safari on a Mac, you can’t separate your work and personal browsing unless you choose one of the other browser options above.

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