How to Add Multiple Users in Chrome for macOS

You can set up multiple users within Chrome

If you share your computer with other users, it can be difficult to maintain individual settings, such as bookmarks and themes. It can also be a challenge to keep bookmarked sites and sensitive data private.

This tutorial shows how to create multiple accounts within Chrome and integrate those accounts with their respective Google accounts if each user chooses.

Instructions in this article apply to macOS (or Mac OS X) High Sierra and later.

Add Users to Chrome

Google Chrome provides the ability to set up multiple users, each with a separate virtual copy of the browser on the same machine. You can take things a step further by tying your Chrome account to your Google account and syncing bookmarks and apps across multiple devices.

To add individual users to Chrome, do the following:

  1. Open the Chrome browser.​

  2. From the top menu bar, select People > Add Person.

    The Add Person command in Chrome
  3. A new window opens. If you don't have a Google account, select Get Started, otherwise select Already a Chrome user? Sign in.

    Google Chrome is prompting to add a user.
  4. If you selected Sign in, enter your email address or phone number and select Next. Otherwise, create a new account.

    Entering in an email into Chrome.
  5. Enter your password, then select Next.

    Prompt to enter password for Google account.
  6. You're prompted to Turn on sync. Select Yes, I'm in or Settings to fine-tune what you want to sync.

    Prompt to turn on sync in Google Chrome.
  7. Under Sync, select Manage sync to expand the menu of options.

    The Manage Sync menu
  8. To sync everything, turn on the Sync everything toggle switch. Otherwise, select each option individually, such as Apps, Bookmarks, and Extensions.

    The Sync Everything switch
  9. Select Confirm.

    The Confirm button
  10. You may be prompted to set Chrome as the default browser. Select Set as default if you'd like, or select Skip to leave the default browser as is.

    Google prompting to set Chrome as default.

A new window appears. This window represents a new browsing session for the new user you created. Unless you set up an account with the original Google account, the new user is given a random profile name and icon.

Any browser settings that this user modifies, such as installing a new theme, are saved locally to their account. These settings can be synced with your Google Account.

Customize Your Chrome Profile

You may not want to keep the randomly generated username that Chrome chose for you. Typically, Google assigns the generic name, for example, Person 1, Person 2, or Person 3. To personalize the name, do the following:

  1. In Chrome, select People then select the profile you want to edit.

    An account in Chrome
  2. A personalized instance of Chrome opens. Go to People and select Edit.

    The Edit command
  3. Under Edit person, there's a text box containing the name of the profile. Enter the name you'd like for this profile.

    The name field in a profile
  4. Under the name box, select a user icon, if desired.

    Designating an icon makes it easier to distinguish different profiles.

    Selecting an icon for profile in Chrome.
  5. Close the Settings window or select the arrow next to Edit person to complete the process.

    Screenshot showing the profile in Chrome has a new name and icon.

After you create an additional Chrome user, a new menu is added to the browser. In the upper-right corner, you'll find the icon for whichever user is currently active. This is more than an icon. Selecting it presents the Chrome User menu. Within this menu, ​you can view whether a user is signed in to their Google Account, switch active users, edit their name and icon, or create a new user.

Chrome allows individual users to associate their local browser account with their Google Account. The main benefit is the ability to instantly sync bookmarks, apps, extensions, themes, and browser settings to the account. This makes favorite sites, add-ons, and personal preferences available on multiple devices. It can also serve as a backup if your original device is no longer available.

Manage Sync Settings

To sign in to Chrome and enable the sync feature, you must have an active Google Account.

You can also sign in from the Chrome User menu.

  1. Choose your profile icon located next to the address bar and select Turn on sync or Sign in again.

    The profile icon and Turn on sync button
  2. Enter your email address or phone number, then select Next.

    Entering in email into Chrome.
  3. Enter your account password, then select Next.

    Prompt to enter password for Google account.
  4. You may be prompted to protect your account by setting up a recovery phone number or email. You can Update or Confirm details.

    Prompt to setup recovery in Chrome.
  5. Confirm turning on sync by selecting Yes, I'm in if you haven't turned on syncing.

    The Yes, I'm in button
  6. Select the Chrome menu in the upper-right corner indicated by three vertical dots, then select Settings.

    Alternatively, press Command+comma ( , ) on the keyboard to open the Settings menu.

    Chrome with the Settings command highlighted
  7. Under You and Google, expand the Sync and Google services menu.

    The Sync and Google services menu
  8. Under Sync, expand Manage sync.

    The Manage Sync menu
  9. Toggle off or on the items whose sync status you would like to change.

    Expanded sync settings in Chrome.

Confirm Sync Preferences

By default, Chrome syncs everything. A cautious user may not want everything synced, although the data is encrypted in multiple ways. This includes saved passwords being encrypted on both the local device and the Google servers using a cryptographic key.

If you want to sync all of the items, select the Sync everything toggle switch. If you'd like to specify which items get synced and which ones stay local, select the toggle on each item.

The Sync Everything switch

Additional Sync Preferences

Other sync settings allow you to change how your browsing history is used to personalize your Chrome experience and what data can be synced, including hidden data.

The Encryption options in Chrome

Also found in this window is an option to either encrypt synced passwords or encrypt all your synced data. You can take this security a step further by creating an encryption passphrase, instead of using your Google Account password.

Disconnect Google Account

Follow these steps to remove or disconnect a Google Account from your Chrome settings.

  1. Open Chrome and select your profile avatar in the upper-right corner.

    User icon in Chrome
  2. Select Manage People.

    The Manage People icon
  3. Hover the cursor over the profile avatar that you want to delete. Select the menu icon represented by three vertical dots, then select Remove this Person.

    Removing a profile from Chrome.
  4. Select Remove This Person when prompted about the permanent deletion of data.

    Confirming the deletion of a profile in Chrome.