How to create and use multiple profiles in Google Chrome

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My Google Reader was a-buzzin’ this morning with talk about ChromeDeck, a utility designed to create and manage multiple Google Chrome profiles. Truth is, it’s pretty easy to do this without using a 3rd-party program.

The first step is to add a command line switch to your Google Chrome (or Chromium) shortcut: –enable-udd-profiles. If you need help figuring out how to add a switch, check our tutorial post — Windows and Linux users follow pretty much the same steps, while Mac users may just want to launch the command from a terminal session.

Once you’ve added the switch, double-click your shortcut to launch Chrome. Once it’s loaded, press control + M to invoke the profile selection menu. You’ll have two options initially: default (what you’re using right now) and new profile.

Create a new profile, and Chrome will automatically launch a new window with it enabled. You can even run the windows side-by-side, which can be handy for testing web projects, that new extension you’re coding, or even just keeping tabs on multiple webmail accounts.

You’ll also have the option of creating a desktop shortcut to open Chrome with your new profile. You may notice a little weirdness on your taskbar if you’re using Windows 7 and running multiple windows with different profiles simultaneously. One of my icons showed a jumplist, the other did not — but it did show per-tab thumbnail previews (and the original did not).

While creating new profiles and switching between them isn’t that hard using Chrome itself, managing them isn’t so easy. For that task, ChromeDeck is actually quite handy — just make sure you’ve got .Net 4.0 installed.

American Idol Widgets Updated!

The iGoogle, Netvibes and WidgetBox (website and multi platform) widgets have been updated to now count down until the 2008 American Idol premier. My best estimate is that the new season will start on Fox on January 8th, so we are counting down until that date. When we get final word on the new season start date, the widgets will be updated.

You may need to remove and re-add the iGoogle & Netvibes widgets if you have them as I don’t think they’ll automatically update.