How To Lock Google Chrome?

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This tutorial explains how to lock Google Chrome browser. You can easily lock Google Chrome using the password of the Google Account that you use to sign in to the browser. This ensures that when you are working on Chrome, you just need to click a button to lock the browser. Then, no one will be able to see what you are doing, neither will be able to access your profile. Consider it similar to the lock screen that Windows provides.

This can come in really handy, especially in situations when you don’t want anyone else to access the important private data (e.g. bookmarks, browser extensions, auto-fill information) synced to your Google Chrome profile. The best part about this feature is that it works even when Google Chrome is closed and launched again. The browser lock feature is included as a part of the new experimental Google profile management system, and can be easily activated by tweaking Chrome’s hidden settings (a.k.a. Flags). Sounds like something you could use to secure your browsing activities? Let’s dig in, and see what’s this all about.

lock google chrome header
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Why Would You Want To Lock Google Chrome?

I know, you must be thinking, what could possibly the rationale behind locking/password protecting Google Chrome. However, there are a couple of reasons why you might want to do that. Keep reading!

  • If you use Google Chrome as your primary browser, chances are that you have a ton of browsing data saved in there (Unless of course, you purge every single bit of your browsing history on an hourly basis!). I’m talking about website cookies, auto form fill information, saved passwords and stuff like that.
  • One of the most important features of Google Chrome is the ability to sign in to the browser using multiple profiles. Your Chrome profile syncs a lot of important information (extensions, browsing history, auto-fills, saved passwords etc.) to the Google Account you use to sign in to the browser, so that all of this is readily available on any other computer that you might use Google Chrome on. However, if you just casually switch between multiple user profiles, and don’t sign-out entirely, the other person (with or without another Google Chrome profile) can access all of your synced information. Locking the browser can come in really handy in such cases.
  • You just don’t want anyone else messing around with your browser settings. Simple as that!

Pretty strong reasons to lock that browser up, don’t you think? Now let’s see how to get this done.

Note: As mentioned before in the beginning of the article (and in my previous articles explaining How To Enable Stacked Tabs In Google Chrome and How To Save Web pages In MHTML Format In Google Chrome), this tutorial requires you to access the experimental Flags sub-section of Google Chrome. These flags are experimental features that are not ready for prime use. So don’t dig in unless you know what you’re doing, or you might have to re-install and set up Google Chrome from scratch.

How To Lock Google Chrome?

Locking/Protecting Google Chrome with your Google Account password is essentially a two stage process. The first stage involves actually enabling the hidden browser lock feature, whereas the second explains how to actually use the feature. Here’s a little step by step process to explain everything.

Step 1: Open Google Chrome, type “chrome:flags” (without quotes) in the URL bar, and press Enter.

chrome flags enable

Step 2: You’re now on the Google Chrome flags page, which has a listing of all the experimental features of the Google Chrome browser. Scroll through the list of flags to find the flag that says Enable new profile management system. To activate it, click the toggle word Enable.

new profile management google chrome

Step 3: To effect the change, Google Chrome prompts you to relaunch it via a notification at the bottom. Click the Relaunch Now button to restart the browser.

chrome relaunch

That’s it. Once Chrome relaunches, take a look at the right corner of the browser’s title bar. You’ll see something like below:

chrome lock ui

Looks pretty awesome, doesn’t it? As illustrated by the above screenshot, the new profile management system makes it easier to switch between multiple Google Chrome profiles. It shows the name of the current user logged in to the browser on a clickable button on the browser’s title bar. This button when clicked, provides simple one click switch between multiple Google Chrome profiles. Apart from this, it also shows a lock icon on the right corner, which when clicked, allows you to lock Google Chrome. When you use this icon to lock Google Chrome, the browser hides all active tabs/windows and switches to the user manager window. Here’s a screenshot:

user manager

As illustrated by the above screenshot, the new user manager/switcher shows all the active users/profiles added to Google Chrome browser. The user/profile that’s currently logged in, and has locked the browser is displayed with a small lock icon overlaid on its profile image. Now, every time someone wants to access Google Chrome, he/she will have to click on the profile icon and enter the password (same as the Google Account password that’s used to sign in to Chrome). Even if someone removes the locked user/profile from the browser, he/she will have a clean copy of Google Chrome. This means that the locking feature not only secures your browser, but also makes sure that all of your browser synced data (e.g. extensions, saved passwords) remains secure as well. How freakin’ awesome is that?

Also See: How To Password Protect Google Chrome

Conclusion

The ability to lock Google Chrome is quite a nifty feature. Using a simple Chrome Flag, you can easily protect not just your browser, but also all of your synced data, even if you’re logged in to your Google Chrome profile. All you have to do is hit a lock icon. Do give this feature a try, you’ll love it.

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  • Dominic Roy

    Outstanding .. !

    • Rajat Sharma

      Hello Dominic,
      Thanks for your comment. Indeed, the ability to lock Google Chrome is quite a useful feature.

      Just out of curiosity, what would you use this feature for?

  • ting

    Needs Help!!!

    why after I key in the password cannot unlock? Pop up msg password unverify??

    • http://www.luisten.com Luis T.

      I had the exact same issue .. There was a security setting that I needed to deactivate in my Google account. When you sign on to gmail through another browser you will get an email that there was an unauthorized attempt to access your account and there will be a link to lower seccurity settings. Do so, log in to chrome and then revert the security settings back.

  • Blake Foreman

    Awesome feature but i notice some things. i noticed that it’s not designed to prevent accidental access to your profile. you can only GIVE access to someone while, restricting access to your own profile, while your not looking. it seems like it would be simple to make chrome require a password every time your browser is opened from it being shutdown.

    at the moment it will just open up the default profile without requesting a password that’s a bummer, so close to being great.

    also to lock anything you need to create a user “Guest” profile. whitch seems like a bug because there is a guest option that automatically works much like incognito once it’s closed. it seems like if someone ticked the guest option that it was designed to allow you to lock your profle and also allow guest access. we might see that in the another flagg option soon

    • Blake Foreman

      Furthermore .. great instructional rajat!

    • Rajat Sharma

      Hello Blake,

      Thanks for the appreciative words. And you’re right, this feature only helps when you want to restrict access to the browser (and the currently active profile) for a little while. If only there were a flag that could make Chrome ask for a password every time it’s launched, regardless of the profile; that would be awesome.

      As far as the Guest mode is concerned, yeah it’s more or less like the incognito mode only. I hope the future builds of Chrome improve upon this feature, as it’s really useful.

      Take Care :)

  • P. Bednarz

    Hey, am I doing something wrong? As this option doesn’t seem to work for me?

    • Rajat Sharma

      Hello,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m not really sure what’s causing the problem at your end, as this process works totally fine. You can try resetting all Chrome settings to default, and see if it works.

  • Dar S

    How do I get it to LOCK? Never gives me the option on any screen or showing.

How To Lock Google Chrome?

by Rajat Sharma time to read: 4 min
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