Previous 1 2 Next 20 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2015 12:53 PM by theCookra
WankerWeasel Level 1 Level 1

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 9 Level 9

    User account.

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

    Fast User Switching to toggle between accounts.

  • WankerWeasel Level 1 Level 1

    I don't want to have to switch all the other apps running.  I'd be better off running a second instance of Safari at that rate.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    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.

  • WankerWeasel Level 1 Level 1

    I'm not looking to switch email, TweetDeck, etc and all my other apps.  Just Safari and Safari only.  I don't want to have to have to switch users to another account where I'd have to relaunch everything again and wouldn't have access to the same documents and files across both accounts.


    If I can't do it within Safari and for Safari only, I don't want it.  I'm well aware of Fast User Switching but it's not a solution for me.  Other browsers can do it.  Safari just can't.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

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

  • Tamper Level 1 Level 1

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • ijamessaxon Level 1 Level 1

    Both Firefox and Chrome have ways of having a single login have multiple "profiles" that have their own bookmarks, cookies, passwords, extensions, etcetera.


    The benefits is that you can have all your "personal" stuff in one browser and your "work" stuff in another one.  I think it's a critical part of browsing at this point. 


    Additionally you can have the "Anonymous" or "Incognito" for a quick login without worrying about cookies.


    On Chrome it's in "Settings".  You can create as many users as you want and switch with an avatar in the top right hand corner of the browser.


    In Firefox, you can do it through the profile manager, (Google it), additionally there's a Firefox Extension that allows you to do basically the same thing as Chrome through the menus rather than having to do a special launch.


    Safari should really allow this feature too.  It makes working a LOT easier. 


    Another argument that makes Fast User switching not valuable is the crossover between work and personal.  When you are reading something which suddenly seems to be a better fit in your other universe, you can cut and paste between browser profiles, you can't do that with Fast User Switching. 


    Another critical reason for having built in profiles for developers is that they need to have different "Developement" environments where they have different suites of extensions to test their different projects.


    In both Firefox and Chrome I have noticed no overhead switching between profiles.


    So while I'm loving the opportunity of the faster Safari, I am very hamstrung by not having profiles and will probaby continue to use Chrome as my main tool... 


    I hope this helps everybody who might be displeased with that particularly terse response above...  :-)

  • sneezer73 Level 1 Level 1

    Would like to see this in Safari as well. Right now it is the only thing keeping me from using Safari as Chrome eats battery life.


    Fast user switching isn't an option as I'm not going to create a user for every single client campaign I work on. Profiles (like in Chrome) would be a vastly better solution.

  • scottdeto Level 1 Level 1

    Same for me. Profiles is the main reason I need to use Chrome as my main browser.

  • jayfromberwick Level 1 Level 1

    I found this tool called SwitchUp which kinda works.


    The only thing I don't like about it is that it forces a restart of Safari when you switch profiles, plus I had to add the 1Password browser extension to each profile.  But... it's the closest thing i've found to what Chrome has built it.

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