Google has always offered Chrome profiles as a way for people who share devices to keep their browser info separate. And while past updates have focused on making signing in easier and improved theme customizations, it's not done tinkering with the broader profile experience. Google's latest update is aimed at making those custom spaces even more distinguishable from each other.
The new system, touted as a complete revamp of profiles, lets you build and switch separate visual themes that are color-coded and include their own backgrounds. As usual, you can grab these new looks from the Chrome web store. Once you've created the profiles, it should theoretically be easier to identify each one when you return to the browser.
Compared to the existing profiles for different people you've added to Chrome on one laptop, this new setup is different in a few ways. When you're creating a new profile, you'll be prompted to customize the browser's look and pick your preferred color scheme from a selection. The themes are a visual cue that you're in the right account, and Google told Engadget that "If you have multiple profiles set up, you’ll see a profile picker each time you restart Chrome."
While the focus is on avoiding mix-ups between multiple Chrome users, it's easy to envision additional use cases for users who like to keep their work activity (including bookmarks and history) separate from their personal browsing. The update is rolling out to desktops in the coming weeks and also includes a reading list that lets you save articles you want to check out later.
Cherlynn Low contributed reporting.