How to Set Up and Use Multiple Profiles (User Accounts) in Firefox

Firefox has its own profile system that functions as the Chrome User Account Selector . Each profile has its own favorites, settings, add-ons, browser history, cookies and other data. For example, you can create a profile for the job and a separate profile for personal use, keeping them separate.

Mozilla hides the Firefox profile manager, not making it a very visible part of the interface as does Chrome. But, if you want to use different browser profiles with their own settings and data, Firefox will make it possible.

Consider Firefox multi-account containers instead

Mozilla offers another, simpler solution, if you simply want to separate parts of your navigation from one another. It is named "Extension" Firefox Multi-Account Containers ", and it is made by Mozilla themselves. This extension allows you to choose a "container" for each tab you have opened. For example, you can launch tabs in the "Work" container when you work and the "Personal" container when you are not working. So, if you have a separate set of business accounts and personal accounts, you can simply switch from one container to the other without logging in or leaving your website.

Although this does not completely replace the need for profiles (bookmarks, browser history and add-ons are shared between containers), it leaves you a separate login status and cookies for each container .

How to create profiles and switch between them

Mozilla Firefox now allows you to manage running profiles, without the need to use the profile manager found in older versions. To access this feature, type "about: profiles" in the Firefox address bar, then press Enter. You can mark this page for easier access in the future, if you wish.

If you have never used Firefox profiles before, you will probably use the "default" profile.

To create a new profile, click on the "Create a new profile" button.

Click in the "Create Profile Wizard" window that appears and give a descriptive name to the new profile so that you can remember what it is for. For example, you could call it "work profile" if it's for work.

To restart Firefox with your new profile, first click on the "Set as Default Profile" button under the profile here. Once this is your default profile, close all open windows of the Firefox browser, then restart Firefox. It launches with the default profile you have chosen.

To go back to another profile, go to: profiles again, click "Set as Default Profile" for the profile you want to use, then close and restart Firefox.

If you no longer need a profile, you can click the "Delete" button to remove it from your system. Keep in mind that this will delete all the data saved with the profile, including its favorites, saved passwords and add-ons.

How to use multiple profiles at once

You may have noticed that there is a "Start Profile in New Browser" button on the "About Profiles" page. However, this button does nothing when you use Firefox's default configuration to manage profiles. By default, Firefox only runs one profile at a time. You must close and restart your browser to switch between profiles. But, with a small modification of the shortcut you use to launch it, Firefox can run multiple profiles at the same time.

To enable multiple Firefox profiles at once, you must launch Firefox with the -no-remote command-line option. To do this, you need to change the taskbar, the desktop, or the Start menu shortcut that you normally use to launch Firefox.

For example, if you use the taskbar shortcut to launch Firefox, right-click the Firefox icon on the taskbar, right-click Mozilla Firefox on the shortcut menu , then select the "Properties" option.

In the Properties window, in the "Shortcut" tab, place your cursor at the very end of the text in the "Target" area, and then add -no-remote at the end of the text. The target area should look something like:

"C: Programs Mozilla Firefox firefox.exe" -no-remote

Click "OK" to save your changes.

Close all open Firefox browser windows and restart Firefox using the shortcut you just edited. When you do this, you can go back to the about: profiles page and click on the "Start profile in a new browser" button. Firefox opens a new browser window with the profile you selected.

If you need help to know which one is, you can always go to the menu> Add-ons> Themes and set a different theme for each profile.

How to use the old profile manager instead

You can also do everything we talked about with the old Firefox profile manager, if you prefer. It also allows you to create special shortcuts that open the Firefox profile manager and launch Firefox with specific profiles, if you wish.

First, you must close Firefox completely. Then you will have to launch Firefox with the -p switch.

Windows : Press Windows + R, type firefox.exe -p in the Run box that appears, and then press Enter.
On Mac : Open a Terminal window – press Command + Space, type Terminal and press Enter to do it from Spotlight . At the prompt, type /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin-profilemanager, and then press Enter.
On Linux : Open a terminal and run the firefox -profilemanager command.

The Choose User Profile dialog box appears. By default, there will be a single user profile named "default". You can use this window to create additional profiles, rename existing ones, and delete them.

If you still want to see the profile selector when you start Firefox – this allows you to choose a profile each time you click your Firefox shortcut without requiring special command – you can disable the "Use selected profile without asking at startup "option. This causes Firefox to ask which profile you want each time you launch it – at least until you re-enable this option.

You need at least one profile to use Firefox. Each profile has its own settings, extensions, bookmarks, history, cookies and everything else. Keep this in mind. If you delete the "default" profile, you will lose all data from your Firefox browser (unless you use Firefox Sync and can recover it from there.)

When you create a new profile, you can give it the name you want. The assistant shows you where the profile will be stored. By default, they are placed in the Firefox profiles folder of your user account, preceded by eight random letters and numbers.

Select a profile, then click "Start Firefox" to launch Firefox with the selected profile. When you start Firefox for the first time with a new profile, the welcome experience will display again.

Quit Firefox and restart it to switch from one profile to the other. Assuming you have turned off the "Use the selected profile without asking at startup" option, Firefox asks you which profile you want to use before launching it. You can also leave this box checked and launch Firefox with the -p or -profilemanager switch to access the hidden profile manager whenever you want.

For ease of use, you can create a shortcut that also opens Firefox with the profile manager. For example, on Windows, you can create a copy of the Mozilla Firefox shortcut on your desktop, rename something like "Mozilla Firefox – Profile Manager", then add a space and a -p at the end of the text in the "target" This shortcut would now open Firefox with the profile manager, assuming that Firefox is completely closed when you launch the shortcut.

Firefox is not set to work as Chrome by default. He only wants you to use one profile at a time. However, you can use multiple profiles at once, if you wish.

To do this, you just have to launch Firefox with the -no-remote switch. You can do this from the Run dialog box or the terminal, or simply edit an existing Firefox shortcut. For example, if you created the Profile Manager shortcut above, you can simply add -no-remote so that it reads -p -no-remote at the end of the Target box.

Start Firefox with this switch. In other words, double-click the shortcut you just created. It does not check if Firefox is already running. Instead, it will ask you which profile you want to use and will create a new Firefox process with this profile.

You can use this process to open Firefox with as many different profiles as you like, although each profile can only be used by one copy of Firefox at a time. If you try to open the same profile a second time while it is already running, a "Profile Used" error is displayed.

Note: If you see a profile error in progress while Firefox seems to be closed, you may need to visit Task Manager and kill the firefox.exe process from there, the Forcibly close when he is stuck running in the background.

Everything should work as expected. However, while Chrome makes it easier to see the profile you use in its interface, Firefox does not make this information very visible. For this, you can install a different theme for each profile or distinguish them visually in another way.

If you need to know which profile you are using, you can find this information in the "about: profiles" page.

You do not need to use Profile Manager to troubleshoot your Firefox profile. Instead, you can use the "Refresh Firefox" function to get a new Firefox browser without manipulating profiles and losing your important items.

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