November 3rd, 2011
If you’ve used Chrome on more than one device, you’ve probably noticed that Chrome just isn’t the same when you’re not on your main computer. You don’t have all your bookmarks, apps, and extensions. Your settings aren’t quite right, you have to retype all your saved passwords, and your omnibox doesn’t know which sites you visit often.
Today’s Beta release fixes all that. Signing in to Chrome enables sync and brings your Chrome bookmarks and other personalized settings to all of your computers. Anything you update on one device instantly updates everywhere else, and your stuff is safe in case a truck runs over your laptop. Just go to the Wrench menu and select “Sign in to Chrome.”
But what if you share a computer with family or friends? You may not want your bookmarks and settings mixing with your brother’s or your roommate’s bookmarks and settings, and you wouldn’t want their Chrome stuff syncing to your other devices.
In today’s Beta release, we’ve added a new feature that lets people who use a shared computer each have their own personalized Chrome, and lets them each sign in to Chrome to sync their stuff.
To try it out, go to Options (Preferences on Mac), click Personal Stuff, and click “Add new user.” A fresh instance of Chrome will open, ready to be customized with its own set of apps, bookmarks, extensions, and other settings. A badge in the upper corner lets you know at a glance that this new Chrome browser belongs to you, and you can customize the name and badge as you like. Clicking this badge drops down a menu of all the users on that computer, so you can easily switch between them. In addition, each user can sign in to Chrome to access their own personalized Chrome across all their computers.
One thing to keep in mind is that this feature isn’t intended to secure your data against other people using your computer, since all it takes is a couple of clicks to switch between users. We want to provide this functionality as a quick and simple user interface convenience for people who are already sharing Chrome on the same computer today. To truly protect your data from being seen by others, please use the built-in user accounts in your operating system of choice.
We’d love to hear your feedback on this new feature. Give it a spin and let us know what you think.
Posted by Miranda Callahan, Software Engineer