If you are running a cutting edge version of Google Chrome, Canary for example, you may have noticed the new "You" menu at the top right of the browser.
As it stands, it will eventually be moved to other versions of the browser including beta and stable versions.
So what is it for? It is a menu for Google Chrome's profile manager. It enables you to create multiple profiles, for instance for different users who share the same computer or activity-based, and also to run Chrome using a guest profile.
The profile can be linked to a Google Account which in turn powers Chrome's data synchronization feature. Once you sign in, your bookmarks, browsing history and other data is synced across all devices.
Chrome's user management can be useful in this regard, but not to all users of the browser. If you are the only user for example, there is little need to use it or display it at all times in the interface. And if you use Chrome only on a single computer, you don't need to enable data synchronization unless you want it backed up in the cloud on Google servers as well.
Update: Google has made several modifications to the profile icon displayed in the Chrome browser in recent time. The method listed above won't remove the profile icon in the top right corner of the Chrome window anymore. The only option right now to get rid of it completely is to launch Chrome with the parameter --disable-new-avatar-menu.
Update 2: It appears that Google has removed the option to remove the profile menu in the browser in Chrome 47. There seems to be no option currently to remove it from the browser.
Remove the "You" menu
Chrome has an option to remove the menu from its interface. Here is what you need to do right now to disable it:
- Type chrome://flags/ in the browser's address bar and hit enter.
- Tap on the F3 key and search for Enable new profile management system.
- Change its value to disabled using the menu.
- Search for Enable the new avatar menu.
- Change its value to disabled as well.
- Restart Chrome.
The "You" menu is removed from the browser after the restart so that it is no longer displayed in the interface. If you want to enable it again at any time, repeat the process described above but change the value to enabled instead.
Disabling the menu in Chrome has no impact on the synchronization feature of the browser. You can still open this page to sign in to your Google Account to sync browser settings with the cloud and other devices.
It is furthermore still possible to manage users. You can do so by loading chrome://settings/. You find a users group on the settings page which you can use to add or delete users in Chrome.
The permanent display of profiles in Chrome is a bad design decision. While some users may find it useful as it speeds up profile switching, others, and that is likely the majority of users, may dislike it because they don't use it at all or only rarely.
For now, it is possible to disable the menu. We have seen in the past however that options to disable a new feature are removed after some time by Google or replaced by other functionality. If that is the case, we will update the guide to reflect this.