Every day I’m knee deep, well, waist deep in Office 365. My personal email and all of that is in Office 365. I’m also the Global Admin for that same tenant. I jump into customer tenants all the time and I have 2 or 3 demo and trial tenants that I’m routinely noodling around in. Since all of those environments are in the same DNS domain, office.com, it’s tough to handle being signed into them all at the same time. You can use in-private or incognito mode, but that only gets you one additional user, as all in-private mode windows share the same memory space. You could use multiple browsers, but that gets unwieldy remembering which browser is for which account, and at some point you end up using Microsoft Edge, and that’s just not worth it. It would seem this summit is insurmountable. I am here to tell you fellow Office 365 lover, that it is not. I have cracked the code, and I’m going to show you how.
First, let me say this is not something I figured out on my own. I’m not blazing any new trails here. There are dozens of blog posts on this already, some by friends of mine. I’m writing this blog post because I’ve told a few people about it recently and they hadn’t heard about. I thought I’d blog this and make it official.
The secret to making this all work is to use Google Chrome. Chrome has support for multiple people, and we’re going to use that to set up a Person for each Office 365 persona we have. Each Chrome Person has its own separate password store, bookmarks, and plugins. Perfect for what we’re doing.
Of course you’ll need to have Google Chrome installed before this will work. You can download it from this link. Or, you can show off your geek prowess and download it with PowerShell using this:
Invoke-WebRequest "http://dl.google.com/chrome/install/375.126/chrome_installer.exe" -OutFile chrome_installer.exe –UseBasicParsing
Chrome auto-updates, so even if you get an older version, it should update itself after it installs.
After it’s installed look in the upper right corner for the Person icon. This screenshot shows my current Person and icon, but yours might look different:
It pulled my name “Todd” and my picture from my Google profile. After I created this person I logged into my Google account and it got it from there. We’ll cover that later. If you click on the Person icon you’ll get a dropdown like this. To add another user, click “Manage people.”
Right now I have a single, lonely person in Chrome. Fortunately we can add some friends with the Add Person button.
When you click the Add Person you get the dialog box to, well, add another user. I log in as my Office 365 Global Admin, so I’m going to make a Person for that user. I’m calling it “Office Admin” and I’m choosing the Ninja as its icon, it seems appropriate. If I log into Google as this Person it will download my Google profile including bookmarks and my Google avatar will replace the Ninja, sadly. In the lower left you have the option of creating a desktop icon for this Person. If you don’t, you simply pick it from the list in an existing Chrome instance. You can also add the desktop icon later if you regret not making it when you created the Person.
Now when we go into the “Manage people” screen my user has friends.
You can add as many users as you want. Each will have its own environment and its own set of stored passwords, bookmarks, and so on.
You know what they say, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”
You can see I have two browsers both logged into Office as different users, and best of all it will all persist, so the next time I use the “Office Admin” Person in Chrome it will remember my username and password. And also unlike using Incognito Mode, I can have more than two different users logged in at a time.
While I’ve talked about this all in the context of Office 365, it works for anything. If you have multiple Twitter accounts, YouTube accounts, whatever, this works. It’s a miracle of modern science, that’s what it is.