How to log into multiple accounts on the same website

It makes sense sometimes to have multiple accounts for a single website or service. Maybe you use one for work and business, use a computer system with multiple users, use multiple accounts for work, or are logged in on your account while a friend or family member is asking you to give up the controls for a short time so that they can sign in to theirs as well.

Whatever the reason may be, it is not that easy to log into multiple accounts on the same website using the same device. The core reason for this is that websites save session information in cookies usually. What this means is that the service in question will detect if you are logged in or not, so that opening a new browser tab in the same browser does not do you any good, as you won't get the sign in form at all.

There are ways to overcome this issue no the other hand, and the following guide looks at the options that you have in this regard.

Use Private Browsing

private browsing

One of the easier ways to sign in to two different accounts on the same website or service is to launch a private browsing window or tab while you are logged in as usual.

Private browsing keeps information of the sessions separate, so that you can sign in to accounts using the feature even if you are logged in to an account already in the regular browser window.

Here is how you create a new private browsing session:

  • Firefox: Press Ctrl-Shift-P to open a new private browsing window.
  • Google Chrome:  Press Ctrl-Shift-N to open a new incognito window.
  • Opera 15+: Same as Google Chrome.
  • Internet Explorer: Press Ctrl-Shift-P to open a new private browsing window.

Note: The session and all information are gone once you exit the private browsing session.

Use another browser

If you have installed a second web browser, or another version of your favorite browser, then you may be able to use it to sign in to another account. It works best with different web browsers, as they use different storage locations for cookies and such, while different browsers from the same company may share profiles.

So, if you have installed another browser launch it and sign in to the account using it.

If you want to use the same browser, you may have the following options at your disposal to handle it this way:

Use a portable version

Portable versions of most browsers are available. You can download them from Portable Apps or another website that is offering them. Here are download pages for portable versions of Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome:

You can alternatively use a browser like Chromium which does not need to be installed as well instead of the portable version of Chrome.

Use a different profile

firefox profile manager screenshot

Some browsers, Firefox for example, use profiles for different user accounts. We have published several guides in the past that detail how you can make use of multiple profiles for the browser. Below are the links to those articles.

The setup takes a minute or two but it may be very well worth it. Note that different profiles start in a "blank" state. You won't have access to your add-ons, tweaks and browsing history.

Use Extensions

profile-popup-en

Some browsers may provide you with browser add-ons that you can use to sign in to different websites at the same time. Firefox users can for instance use Multifox for that purpose.

Chrome users can try extensions like this or service specific extensions like Checker Plus for Gmail.

Website-specific

choose an account

Some websites provide you with functionality to switch between different accounts you have signed in to. Google does so for instance, provided that you have added at least two Google accounts to the sign in process.

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Responses to How to log into multiple accounts on the same website

  1. Shawn October 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    A Registered Version of Sandboxie does the job nicely.

  2. Sergey October 30, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I use private tabs :)

  3. Karl J. Gephart October 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Besides Multifox, another great addon for Firefox is Easy Access. Not only can you switch profiles easily, but you can launch other files and programs as well.

    • Martin Brinkmann October 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

      What would Firefox be without its add-ons.

      • RG October 31, 2013 at 3:18 am #

        IE

        :P

      • Sergey October 31, 2013 at 10:13 am #

        Even "empty" Firefox is very good browser :)

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