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Keeping personal and work matters separate
(Using Windows 10) I'm looking for a way to create separate "workspaces in Firefox for work-related stuff and personal stuff. Ideally, I want to have two Firefox windows open simultaneously. One window would be logged into my work email account (on Gmail), have access to work-related bookmarks, show custom toolbars, etc -- even a different color theme, so when I hover over the Firefox icon in taskbar, I can easily identify which workspace is which. Ditto for a personal workspace: different email accounts (one on Gmail, one on a private domain), bookmarks, toolbars, theme. I'd be able -- just by switching to a different Firefox window -- to switch between these two "workspaces", without needing to log out of one and log into another. Maybe I could even synch each workspace with the matching "user" on my Android phone, which is set up with two users, each tied with a diff email account. I could accomplish most of this by using different browsers for each workspace, but I've been using Firefox since forever, am most comfortable with it, and would love to use it for both. Is this a pipe dream?
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Hi sefridie, here's how to set that up. Please note that you cannot use Firefox Sync with both workspaces because that will cross up your history. One of the workspaces will be its own little island.
Firefox uses separate data folders for each profile you create, so each can have its own bookmarks, history, and theme (so they are more visually distinct). To give it a try:
New Profile Setup
This takes about 3 minutes, plus the time to test your problem site(s).
Inside Firefox, type or paste about:profiles in the address bar and press Enter/Return to load it. You probably want to bookmark this page.
Click the "Create a New Profile" button, then click Next. Assign a name like Work, ignore the option to relocate the profile folder, and click the Finish button.
After creating the profile, scroll down to it and click the Launch profile in new browser button.
Firefox should open a new window that looks like a brand new, uncustomized installation. (Your existing Firefox window(s) should not be affected.) Please ignore any tabs enticing you to connect to a Sync account or to activate extensions found on your system to avoid cross-contamination.
You can change the theme so when you switch windows it's immediately obvious which is which. See: Built-in themes in Firefox - alternative to complete themes.
If there is particular data you want to migrate, we can drill down to specific options and files, but for now, does this look like the kind of arrangement that will work for you?
You can launch the Work profile from the about:profiles page whenever needed, and you can close all windows of the Work profile without affecting your regular profile.
However: this first time, on the about:profiles page, make sure to restore your regular profile to being the default profile by clicking its Set as Default Profile button. Otherwise, Firefox will start up with Work instead, which is a viable option, but probably not what you want as the standard setup.
What do you think?
Oh, but, one piece of bad news: the windows on the Windows Taskbar will still be grouped together across all of your profiles because they all link back to the same firefox.exe program file. If you really need separation on the Taskbar, then you could consider making your secondary Firefox a pre-release version like the Developer Edition (future Firefox 78 at this point). More info on that version: https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/developer/