There was not a way for Internet Explorer 7 users to log into two different Gmail (or Hotmail, Yahoo Mail...) accounts at the same time. Gmail can be replaced with any other cookie based web service that asks the user to login. The problem here is that the cookie storing the information about the login will be overwritten when the second login attempt is made. Internet Explorer 8 changes this behavior by introducing so called session cookies. A user wanting to log into an account a second time (or third, fourth..) could therefor start a new session in Internet Explorer 8 to do so. The new session would write a new cookie that would not interfere with the old cookies that have been written in other sessions.
A new Internet Explorer 8 session can be created from the Internet Explorer menu toolbar which might be hidden on your computer system. The fastest way to create a new session if the menu bar is not shown is to press the keyboard combination [Alt f] [i] [enter]. This will open a new Internet Explorer 8 window in a new session. Opening a new tab or window in contrast would share the cookies in Internet Explorer 8. It is furthermore possible to start a new session from the command line by launching iexplore.exe with the -nomerge parameter.
Internet Explorer 8 sessions are a very effective way of accessing multiple accounts at the same web service at once. Microsoft should think about placing that option more dominantly in Internet Explorer 8 as its current position will most likely not be noticed by many Internet Explorer users.
There is not any comparable option in the other Internet browsers yet. Firefox users can use the Gmail Account Manager to manage multiple Gmail accounts but there does not seem to be a feature available that would allow users to log into multiple accounts at all web services.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.