More often than not, in Office 365, IT workers find themselves using multiple accounts. Like one account for normal user access, another with Tenant Admin permissions and so on. Even though, the interface for switching logged in accounts in office 365 has become better now, than it used to be few months ago, it still leaves a lot to be desired.
What’s the Problem
Let’s take a look at what we are talking about.
Suppose you have 2 different accounts, you use to access Office 365 – One a normal user account and another a tenant admin account and you need to use both accounts frequently.
- You may have to type in credentials multiple times for each account in different browsers
- If you selected remember password, it might log you in automatically and will be difficult to change accounts. i.e. sign out, close browser and probably clear cookies as well!
- If you are using Incognito/InPrivate browser, you will have to type in credentials every time
- When you click any link from your mail or browser history, it automatically uses the account last used in that browser session and that may not be the intended account
- You get access denied on certain page and it’s not evident that browser picked up normal user account and not the admin account.
- And so on…
The point is that we need an easy way to use multiple accounts with Office 365.
Chrome to Rescue
I have grown fond of Google Chrome browser like many of you and this feature just adds to it’s awesomeness 🙂
What I am talking about is using multiple profiles in chrome which come with their own Cookies, Cache and history.
This feature is known as “Persons” in chrome. The idea is to create multiple such profiles (one for each such account) and create a shortcut on the desktop for quick access. Since each profile comes with it’s own cookie, it doesn’t interfere with any other browser window opened with another account.
Great, isn’t it?
How to Go About It
Now that we know what we are going to do, let’s see how to get there.
First Open Chrome Browser and go to Settings and click on “Manage other people”
It will open a new window showing any other profile already created. In my case, you can see there are really multiple profiles 🙂 Click on the “Add Person” button.
On next screen, type in the Profile name like “O365 Admin Account”, select an Avataar and select the checkbox “Create a desktop shortcut for this user”. Go ahead and click “Add”.
And that’s it a new profile has been created now.
Browse with New Profile
As soon as you click “Add” on the previous screen, a new browser window will open, running as a newly created profile. You can verify that by looking at the selected “Avataar” on top right corner of the browser.
You don’t need to “Sign in” and enable google sync here.
Now open the Office 365 admin portal and login with the admin account and when prompted save the credentials.
And you will be redirected to Office 365 Admin Portal.
So, what Changed
You might be wondering what changed. You just opened a browser window, browsed to Office 365 Admin Center URL, provided credentials and got logged in… big deal.. huh!
Here comes the best part. Now close your browser(s) and find the shortcut created on your desktop.
Double click on this shortcut to open the browser window and type in the Office 365 Admin Center URL and whola, you are in 🙂
Create Other Profiles
Again, you might be thinking, what’s the big deal. We saved the credentials last time, so it’s not asking for it.
Here comes the best part – Repeat the steps mentioned above, starting with Adding another profile for Normal User Account and create another desktop shortcut.
Login and save normal user account credentials in that profile.
Now, if you want to open an Admin session, just click on the shortcut which was created for admin profile and so, on for other user accounts. No interference with other logged in accounts in another browser window using another profile. Great!
This is how multiple shortcuts appear on my laptop 🙂
Easy Peasy! Thank me later 🙂