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How To Log Into Multiple Accounts On the Same Website At Once

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If you ever want to sign into two different accounts on the same website at once – say, to have multiple Gmail inboxes open next to each other – you can’t just open a new tab or browser window.

Websites store your login state in browser-specific cookies. There are a number of ways you can get another browser window with its own cookies and stay logged into multiple accounts at once.

Use Another Browser

Each browser stores its own cookies, so the most obvious way to log into multiple websites at the same time is by using multiple different browsers. For example, if you’re using Google Chrome, open a Firefox window. If you’re using Firefox, open an Internet Explorer window. You’ll be able to log into a website with a different username and password and stay logged into both accounts at the same time.

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Enable Private Browsing or Incognito Mode

If you don’t want to use a different browser, you can use your browser’s built-in incognito or private-browsing mode. In private-browsing mode, your browser doesn’t use its existing cookies. It uses a fresh slate of cookie which are deleted when you exit private-browsing mode or close the private-browsing window.

To enter private-browsing mode in Google Chrome, click the menu button and select New Incognito Window.

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In Firefox, click the Firefox button and select Start Private Browsing.

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In Internet Explorer, click the gear menu icon, point to Safety, and select InPrivate Browsing.

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Chrome and Internet Explorer will give you a new private-browsing window, allowing you to keep both windows open at the same time. Firefox will replace your existing session with the private-browsing window and restore it when you exit private-browsing mode. Your cookies and login state will be cleared when you close the private-browsing window.

Create Other Browser Profiles

You can use also use separate browser profiles with the same web browser. Each profile will have its own cookies, allowing you to log into a different account in each browser profile.

To create a new profile in Google Chrome, click your name at the top-right corner of the new tab page and select New User. You can then use this menu to open browser windows with different profiles.

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In Firefox, you’ll need to use the Profile Manager, which is hidden by default. Follow these instructions to access the profile manager and log into multiple profiles at once.

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In Internet Explorer, you can do something similar by pressing the Alt key, clicking the File menu that appears, and selecting New Session. This opens a new Internet Explorer window that functions as a different session with a separate set of cookies.

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Google Multiple Account Sign-In

Websites can provide their own ways to log into multiple accounts at once, but few do. One website that does allow you to easily log into multiple accounts is Google. With the multiple account sign-in feature, you can log into multiple Google accounts at once and switch between them by clicking your account name at the top-right corner of any Google page.

Click your account name after logging into Google and select Add Account to add an account and get started. Once an account is added, you can click it in the menu to switch between accounts without entering a password.

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Unless you used private-browsing mode or a new session in Internet Explorer, your cookies will be saved when you close the browser window. You can leave a browser or profile signed in to stay signed into all your accounts, opening the appropriate browser window when you want to use that specific account.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 10/14/12

Comments (10)

  1. benone

    As I didn’t know you couldn’t do this , I have been doing it all along. I am having a problem understanding why this is a problem as I often have more than one instance of the same browser with the same, or other sites open at the same time. I use a dual screen setup, and any browser I try seems to be able to do this with no problem. I can open FF, open my only gmail account. The open a second FF by clicking the same tray icon. And open a second instance of my one Gmail account. I just tried and – along with this site, I also have 2 copies of the same gmail open on the other monitor. Making a change on one does not show on the other until I refresh. And the tabs on each are not the same. I just tried this on Chrome and got the same result.

    I work with a fairly large site and often have several open copies of FF (separate FF, not tabs)showing various pages from the same site at one time. I can confuse myself when a particular page is not in the tabs for one copy, but is in another one. Or am I just not understanding what you are saying?

  2. Meena Bassem

    the first i saw the title i thought of the different browsers and then, the incognito thing in chrome, which i use very often
    another thing i sometimes use, but not a first option is using other browsers in virtualbox.

  3. Recklen

    @benone I believe the article is referring to opening multiple accounts at once, rather than opening the same account multiple times.

  4. Ushindi

    Thanks – just tried the “Add Account” in Google and it worked great. Didn’t know that before – kept signing out and back in.

  5. Dark Reality

    There are numerous reasons to have multiple browser profiles. I don’t know about Chrome, but in Firefox, all extensions are stored in the profile. So you could have a “heavy hitter” profile with all your favorite extensions. It’s a little slow, so when you just wanna check Facebook and your Gmail, you just load a second profile with Adblock Plus and Social Fixer (to make Facebook sane). You can make a profile for each usage scenario, with the stipulation that you must quit the browser app and start it up again to change.

  6. Anji

    we can simply overcome this problem by using mozilla firefox with “multi fox” add-on
    after installing this add-on on the right-click on the browser u’ll get “open in new identity profile”…

    http://br.mozdev.org/multifox/

  7. Loren

    Obviously some have missed thge point of this POWERFUL

  8. Loren

    Obviously some have missed the point of this POWERFUL TIP. I have multiple Yahoo accounts & use IE exclusively. Have never been able to open 2 or more Yahoo mail accounts at the same time. Must close one to open the other. I use my personal and my business accounts all day long. This is going to save me max time. Thanks!!!
    And yeah you can open the same account twice but don’t have a need for that. And if you do any work in one, it makes you resign in to the other. This solves that too.

  9. Crisp

    I’ve learnt a things or 2 from this article. Thanks for broadening my knowledge

  10. Steve Evans

    Particularly useful if you (say) have a Blog to update that you started in one google account, then (say) months later started with gmail – without the tips (above) it would be a real bugger trying work with both.

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