How to Manage Multiple Microsoft 365 Accounts on One Device

Working from home is fantastic in so many ways, but with its perks also come new struggles. More and more people find that their personal Microsoft 365 account clashes with their Microsoft 365 Business accounts.

With so many services being cloud-based, and customers handing over their Microsoft 365 accounts like candy, many encounter hiccups shifting between multiple Microsoft 365 accounts.

So, we cover the reasons you may need to switch between accounts, as well as how to easily switch Microsoft 365 profiles on your PC.

Three Options for Switching Between Accounts

Man with Multiple Monitors

A lot of you may not see the need for having to switch between multiple profiles on one machine. This can either be because you have no need to do this, or because you need to but aren’t sure how to get past the difficulties.

If you’re working from home and must use a client’s Microsoft 365 account—you may need to toggle quickly between multiple Microsoft 365 profiles. We prefer to have more options rather than less, so we provide several methods to choose from.

Switching Between Browser Profiles

Due to Microsoft 365 offering a fully cloud-based solution, this means that you can log into any machine with an internet connection and sign in to your Microsoft 365 profile.

Additionally, you can access all the cloud-based applications and carry on working on your documents from around the world. Online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook are some of the apps that you can log into from your web browser profile.

Microsoft Edge browser logo on a laptop screen
Image Credit: Microsoft/Wikimedia Commons

Creating a new web browser profile also helps you manage your customer, personal, or business profiles simultaneously. You can do this simply by opening a new web browser window assigned to a specific profile, ensuring that only relevant information, like bookmarks and login credentials, are saved under it.

A few of the downsides to this, however, is that it’s easy to confuse one web browser window for another, especially if you’re not used to switching profiles. Furthermore, if you’re working on more than two profiles at once, you might get confused with the number of web browser windows you have open.

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How to Switch Profiles on Different Browser Platforms

If you only need to open a Microsoft 365 account once, you don’t need to create a separate profile for it. Instead, you can use private browsing to open it without having to log out of browser-based Microsoft 365 accounts. But if you expect to work with that Microsoft account regularly, you should assign a web browser profile to make it more convenient to access.

Red internet sign with reflection in window pane.

Microsoft Edge

Option 1: Using InPrivate Browsing

  1. Log into one of your Microsoft 365 accounts.
  2. On the top toolbar click on the Tools option.
  3. Go to the Safety Option and hover your mouse over it.
  4. Click the InPrivate Browsing option. This will open a new window for you.
  5. In the InPrivate Browsing window, log into another Microsoft 365 account. To make things easier, the keyboard shortcut for this is Ctrl + Shift + P.

Option 2: Adding Profiles

  1. Open a new Microsoft Edge browsing window.
  2. On the top right of the toolbar click on the picture for the user profile.
  3. You will have three options: Browse as guest, Browse in Kids Mode, and Add profile.
  4. Click on Add profile.
  5. You will then be redirected to either sign in to sync your data, or you can continue without syncing your data.
  6. Simply confirm the option that suits your needs and start browsing.

Mozilla Firefox

A Screenshot of Momentum in Use

Option 1: Using a New Private Window

  1. Open your Mozilla Firefox web browser.
  2. Log into one of your Microsoft 365 accounts.
  3. In the top right corner, click on the three-line menu icon and choose New Private Window. This will open a new window for private browsing.
  4. In the New Private window, choose another Microsoft 365 account to log into. To make things easier, the keyboard shortcut for this is Ctrl + Shift + N.

Option 2: Adding Profiles

  1. Open a new Firefox web browser window.
  2. In the address bar type about:profiles and press enter/return.
  3. At the top of the page, click on Create a New Profile.
  4. A Create Profile Wizard will open. Click Next.
  5. You will be asked to name the profile, and also give you the option to relocate the profile folder, which you can ignore.
  6. Once you have named your profile click Finish.
  7. When loading a new profile simply go to the Start menu and type Run.
  8. Type firefox.exe -p to open the Firefox profile manager.
  9. A Firefox – Choose User Profile window will appear. You can then select the profile you want to use. Furthermore, if you want the option to select the profile you want to use every time you launch Firefox, ensure that Use the selected profile without asking at startup is unselected. Once you’ve completed your selection, click on Start Firefox.
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Google Chrome

google chrome on laptop

Option 1: Using a New Incognito window

  1. Open your Google Chrome web browser.
  2. Log into one of your Microsoft 365 accounts.
  3. In the upper-right corner, click on the three-dot menu icon and choose New Incognito window.
  4. In the New Incognito window, choose another Microsoft 365 account to log into. To make things easier, the keyboard shortcut for this is Ctrl + Shift + N.

Option 2: Adding Profiles

  1. Open a new Google Chrome web browser window.
  2. On the top right of the toolbar click on the picture to see user profiles.
  3. You will then have three options: Choose an existing profile, set up a guest profile, and add a profile.
  4. Click on + Add.
  5. You will then be prompted to Sign in or Continue without an account. Choose Continue without an account.
  6. The next page lets you name the profile and personalize the way your web browser profile looks. Color coding profiles is an easy way to make sure you’re in the correct profile.
  7. Once you’ve finished naming the profile and picking its color, put a tickmark on Create a desktop shortcut if you want a Google Chrome shortcut for this specific profile to appear on your desktop. Once you’ve made your selection, click Done.

Chrome startup with two profiles listed for author

Creating a New User Login in Windows

Another option for having multiple accounts sharing one machine is to create a new user login for each person using the machine. This means that all files, web browser favorites, desktop configurations, and profiles will remain separate.

The main downside of this is it would require you to log out of your current account to access a different one. Depending on what applications each user is downloading to the machine, this can also become resource intensive.

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How to Create a New User Login in Windows

  1. Using your mouse and pointer, go to the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  2. Click on the Settings icon. Choose the Accounts tab.
    Windows Settings Screen with Green box over Accounts

  3. Click on the Email & Accounts tab on the left.
  4. This screen will show you that you can Add an account.
  5. Log in to your professional or client’s Microsoft 365 account using the associated email and password.

From here you can follow the instructions to finish setting up the account. Once you’ve finished setting up the account, you can now access the Microsoft 365 account under that specific PC log-in.

Use a Workstation App

Managing Multiple Microsoft OneDrive Accounts on Shift
Image Credit: Shift

For this instance, we focus on Shift, as it’s a pretty unique workstation app. This app lets you have multiple profiles saved on different tabs in one window. This makes multiple logins easier, as you no longer have to switch between open windows. Instead, just click on the profile tab you need and you’re automatically working in that specific profile’s environment.

Furthermore, Shift does not limit you to Microsoft 365 applications: it even allows you to have multiple log-ins for different apps, including Facebook, Gmail, Slack, and even Spotify.

However, this app does take a slightly longer setup, and any Microsoft 365 Business accounts will require an administrator to set the multiple accounts up for you.

Download: Shift for Windows | Mac (Free, Subscription Available)

You Can Quickly Switch Between Microsoft 365 Accounts

Switching between accounts may seem overwhelming and the simpler option would be to use one Microsoft 365 account for all machines. However, that isn’t possible all the time. So, if you need to work with different accounts, just pick any of the methods above so you can seamlessly switch between them.

With all the options above, you can now make separating your professional and personal account access a little bit easier.

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