How to open links in specific Chrome Profiles

Chris Messina
2 min readDec 15, 2021

I’m someone who likes to keep my personal and work web experiences separate. This includes having separate Google accounts, separate logins for different web apps and services, and more. To achieve this I use a Google Chrome feature called Profiles:

This works for me when I’m in Chrome but every other app opens links in whichever Chrome window is in the foreground, often leading to switching accounts or copying and pasting the link into the correct Chrome profile. When you open dozens or hundreds of links a day, this is extremely inconvenient!

Fortunately, there are two apps designed to solve for this problem: SwitchBar and OpenIn. Once you set your default browser to either of these apps, you have more control over which links open (automatically or by choice) in which apps.

Using SwitchBar

SwitchBar offers a handy UI to choose a browser, email client, or Electron web app (e.g. Airtable or Figma) in which to open links:

Using SwitchBar to open links in specific Chrome profiles

You can use the command (⌘) key and an index (+1, +2, +3, etc) to open the link in your browser or preferred app.

Using OpenIn

The other option is OpenIn, which just updated to v3.0 (and I posted to Product Hunt today!).

I’ll admit that OpenIn is a bit more complicated — or rather, supports more complex use cases. But the app is tiny (2.8MB vs SwitchBar’s 400MB!) and presents a convenient way to achieve much the same result, and doesn’t require a modifier key (⌘) to activate your preferred opener:

Opening a link from Superhuman with OpenIn

Where to get these apps

Personally, I like the interface of SwitchBar better but I’m willing to give OpenIn a shot. Both apps’ developers are responsive and open to feedback so if you do end up trying these apps out and have feedback, know that you’ll have an attentive audience in either case.

SwitchBar has a free trial, but is otherwise $10. OpenIn is also $10, and is available in the App Store.

Let me know if you give either a try!

Chris Messina

Inventor of the hashtag. Product therapist. Investor. Previously: Google, Republic, Uber, On Deck, YC W’18.