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Are multiple browser profiles possible in Safari?

7040 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2013 7:01 AM by SevenZark RSS
WankerWeasel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 15, 2011 8:11 AM

What I'd like to do is have multiple profiles in Safari.  Basically I'd select my personal profile and it would load my personal bookmarks and cookies.  Select my work profile and it loads the work stuff.  Basically allows you to goto sites you have personal and work accounts on without having to logout of the one account and in with the other.



I know it can be done in FF but it requires a bunch of command line garbage to make it happen and other crap.  Chrome can do it too but you have to create an AppleScript that you launch every time you run the app and it allows you to select the profile you want on launch.  I'm not looking to use either of those browsers and I'd much rather have a simple drop down menu option or something to switch between the two.  I understand that Opera may have something like this but once again I don't want to use Opera.



I'm almost 100% certain such a thing doesn't exist but I wanted to make sure no one knows of some special app that would allow me to do so in Safari?

Mac OS X (10.7)
  • QuickTimeKirk Level 8 Level 8 (47,350 points)

    User account.

    Make a new one called "Work" (or any name) and it will keep things separate.

    Fast User Switching to toggle between accounts.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,850 points)

    With fast user switching, you can switch between accounts instantly without having to log out. That's the right solution to your problem. Anything else would be a hack.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,850 points)

    Then you're right, Safari is not the right browser for you.

  • Tamper Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 22, 2012 1:26 AM (in response to Linc Davis)

    Whoa there buddy!  While I admire your confidence - and I bet your boss does too! - maybe slow down a little bit when it comes to asserting total and complete objective rightness. 


    There are plenty of instances where multiple profiles are necessary in a big way.  For instance, running social media campaigns for multiple clients.

  • mghali Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2012 12:26 PM (in response to Tamper)

    I agree! That sort of blanket generalization is never (See what I did there?) a productive contribution to discussions. If you're replying and don't have suggestions for the OP on how to solve his problem, maybe he could move on to another issue rather than making an irrelevant point. Especially when he's rejecting the browser distributed with the OS.


    For the original poster: this does seem to be a sorely missing feature when comparing Safari to Firefox. There are tons of questions on Google but no neat, simple answers like Firefox's user profiles.


    One thing you could do somewhat easily, depending on your proficiency, is to have multiple Safari state directories. I spent only a few minutes looking around, but it is possible all you'd need to do is have several ~/Library/Safari directories. You could do, for instance;


    • cp -rp ~/Library/Safari ~/Library/Safari-work
    • mv ~/Library/Safari ~/Library/Safari-home


    And then, before launching Safari, at work for example, create an apropriate symlink:


    • ln -s ~/Library/Safari-work ~/Library/Safari


    If we're very lucky might have a command line argument allowing you to switch state directories. Unfortunately Apple is very user-hostile in their policy of documenting command line arguments. I googled for hints and aside from ANOTHER post from our friend "Linc" stating that Safari takes no arguments at all (which is clearly wrong; at the least it takes a location to open) there doesn't seem to be much available besides window size controls.


    Good luck and please come back to share your results!




    PS: Mr. Linc- it's OK to say "I don't know" or simply not post an answer that is incorrect. Stating a fact as categorically true when you aren't actually aware of its veracity isn't very considerate.

  • ChrizDee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    exactly what i was asking myself today.This would be a great idea. I need seperate bookmarks for my study then for private and it would be great if i could choose in the settings 2 different accounts with 2 seperate favorite links.

    This would help a lot to get right started.

    @mghali thx for the time you wrote that, but wouldn´t it be great if it would work right from the start.

    Thats the reason why i now use the mac and not linux ;-)

  • Thor HoG Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 21, 2012 5:20 PM (in response to mghali)

    I was looking for the exact same thing as WankerWeasle, and come upon this thread.  I too didn't want to have to use Fast User Switching and would rather launch Safari either in the context of a different user (different than switching desktops) or use a different configuration file - particularly for cookies and such.  My use-case is to be able to immediately go into specific profiles for different facebook accounts that stay logged in.  Windows lets you do this with a "RUNAS /user /password" command which launches that instance of the program as that user within the existing desktop.  I'm curious if there is a way to do this in OSX, similar to sudo for a different user.  There must be.


    I'll look at the Firefox solution, but now that I've thought about it, the FUS may indeed be the best way to go, particularly from a security standpoint.  With profiles running under the context of the logged on user, any vulnerability would be able to access all documents - where if I switched over to a minimal user, it would only be able to affect that user's logon. 


    Did anyone try mghali's solution?  I'm just curious.  Thanks.



  • SevenZark Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have this setup in Chrome and I didn't have to run any Applescript. It's just there in the settings, under Users. This does, I think, exactly what you want.


    I know what you mean, though; I'd rather do this in Safari. Chrome seems to be getting to be a beast and eating a lot of cycles on my computer, and Safari is lighter.


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