Google Chrome is one of the most popular and commonly used browsers on the Internet. This is partly due to its many features that allow us to enjoy easy and personalized surfing. It helps us to sync and import custom browser settings and other data from our Google account across devices. However, this can be a concern particularly if you are using Chrome on a shared device, since other users may access your data or alter your preferences. You can use the “Guest Account” in the Chrome browser to avoid this.
What is a Google Guest Account?
Google Chrome helps you to create different accounts where essential data, such as bookmarks, history, passwords, etc., are kept separate for each user. Profiles are permanently created so that you can quickly move between them. For example, you may have different work and personal accounts.
Guest mode is a special case of Chrome profiles for temporary or guest users, as the name implies. When you start this mode, a new window will open with a separate icon in the taskbar. Chrome would seem normal to the guest on the front end. But if they begin to snoop around, they’d realize something’s wrong. And for them, Chrome might appear empty or plain.
The explanation is that current Chrome bookmarks and plugins from other profiles are not available in this mode. As this is an ephemeral profile, the user cannot build bookmarks or download extensions. There is also a lack of a password manager in this mode that is usable in regular Chrome profiles.
Furthermore, you cannot change any settings for Chrome in this profile. The only option available is the opportunity to change the default search engine.
What Happens in Guest Mode?
Whenever you start a guest mode, Chrome assumes it’s a new user. So you’re going to have to start with a clean slate every time. This means that the browsing history or log in details of previous users or sessions will not be available.
That’s not half of it. Pages that guest visits will not feature in any Chrome profile’s browsing history. In fact, if you check the settings for guest mode, there is no history option.
Furthermore, if you logged in to different sites in this mode, leaving the mode or closing all tabs would erase your surfing activity. Closing the mode also eliminates all temporary data, such as cookies and cached files.
You can say that whatever happens in the guest mode stays in that mode. But the assertion isn’t 100% accurate, because it doesn’t linger at all. This ensures that when you close guest windows, all your browser history and temporary data such as cookies and cache will be erased. Consequently, neither the guest user nor any other user has access to that information.
What about downloaded files?
The only thing left untouched is the downloaded files. If you download something when viewing the guest profile, it will not be deleted when you leave the mode. Any Chrome profile can view from the downloaded files.
How is a Guest Account Different From Normal Browsing?
Google Chrome lets you access the internet in three ways—normal surfing, incognito mode, and guest mode.
For instance, standard surfing or normal profiles are a lifelong affair. When you shut your tab, your activity isn’t deleted, and Chrome doesn’t forget your presence. You can still search the history of your surfing, create and display bookmarks, and use extensions.
Your activity in guest mode is limited to your current session. When you quit your session, Chrome will no longer remember you. You’re a different user for Chrome when you create a new session. As mentioned above, you do not have access to bookmarks, extensions, and settings.
Incognito Vs. Guest Account
In-private or incognito mode provides similar features to the guest account mode. The purpose of these two is, however, different. Use incognito mode if you wish to use your own computer in private mode. And use a guest account anytime you wish to borrow a computer from someone for short-term use. Chrome will not save historical activities in both modes.
How to Switch to Chrome Guest Account
To open Chrome Guest’s browsing mode:
- Open the Google Chrome browser on your computer and click on the menu icon at the top right corner. Select “Settings” from the drop-down choices at the bottom of the list.
- Tap on “Manage other People” under “People.”
- From the resulting screen, press the “Browse as a Guest” button.
- This will launch a new “Guest Mode” browser window.
- If you will see the current window has no page shortcut bookmarks.
- Alternatively, you can switch to a guest account by clicking on the chrome profile icon on the top left corner of the browser.
- From the option, select “Open Guest window.” It will open a blank window in guest browsing mode.
- To exit “Guest Mode,” click the profile icon at the top right corner, and then select “Exit Guest.”
Guest mode is better suited for temporary circumstances, such as when someone needs to use your device for a while or when you want to use someone else’s computer. The privacy of both sides is preserved. Neither the guest user can see the details from other accounts, nor can they see what the guest user is up to.
If you like guest mode capabilities, you can always have Chrome to always launch in this mode.
Launch Google Chrome Directly in Guest Account Mode
You can set Chrome to start in guest browsing mode by default by following the steps below.
- Right-click the “Chrome” shortcut on your desktop and select “Properties” at the bottom of the menu.
- Under the “Shortcut” tab, in the “Target” text box add and space followed by –profile-directory= “Guest Profile” after the existing text.
- Click the “Apply” button and then “OK” to save the changes.
- Whenever you open Chrome from the shortcut, it will open the profile manager window, then you can click the “Browse as Guest” button.
Guest browsing increases the privacy of both the computer owner and the guest user. It also makes sharing manageable by stopping any user from crowding the browser with their own bookmarks, cookies, and other information stored. However, it is important to remember that your guest surfing habits may be visible on the sites you access, the network administrator, and your ISP.