If you have more than one Microsoft account, you’ve faced the problem of either signing in and out to switch accounts or using Sign in with a different account to switch accounts and discovering you were switched back to the original account. The solution: browser profiles. All major browsers support separate profiles, and they are easy to set up and switch between in Edge and Chrome.
While you can use private browser windows, you’ll be able to stay signed in to your account when you use browser profiles.
When you use separate profiles, cookies, passwords, history and other properties cached in the browser are kept separate. The advantage over using a different browser: you can open another profile from the browser window.
To create a profile in Edge or Chrome:
- Click on your avatar in the address bar area, in Chrome and some versions of Edge, it’s on the right, but may be on the left.
- Click the avatar to expand the menu and at the bottom of the menu, click Add (Chrome) or Set up new personal profile (Edge).
- Name your profile. You can sign into the account you’ll be using with the profile, to sync history and passwords. Or use it without signing in.
- When you want to use the profile, click on the avatar and select the profile name from the menu. This will open a new browser for your profile.
If you want to pin a shortcut for the profile to your taskbar, create a shortcut for Edge, using this command as the target (with the correct profile name).
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe" --profile-directory="Profile 2"
To create profile shortcuts in Chrome, open Settings > You and Google > Customize profile. Under the Pick an avatar section is a switch to create a desktop shortcut for the profile. This will open the correct settings page in Chrome: chrome://settings/manageProfile
Edge has an option that will open the profile an email account is signed into (for syncing) when you open links in that email account. You can also configure Edge so specific links always open in a specific profile. I find it annoying, but it might be useful if you use work and personal Microsoft accounts and want to keep everything to separate.