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Lock Chrome when you step away from your computer

A Chrome setting lets you password-protect the browser and provides guest access.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

To protect your data and block access to Chrome when you get up from your computer, you can turn to one of Chrome's experimental features that lets you lock the browser. It also lets you manage multiple accounts and provides guest access.

To access this feature, follow this simple, four-step process:

1. Head to chrome://flags

2. Search for "Enable new profile management system"

3. Click the Enable link

4. Click the Relaunch Now button at the bottom of Chrome

When Chrome restarts, you'll see a button in the upper-right corner labeled "First user." Click on it to reveal a small panel where you can log into your account(s). You can also rename this profile and choose a profile image. You can also create additional user profiles, each of which can support multiple accounts. Oddly, the first profile I created did not pull in the photo associated with my account, but the second profile I created did. For the first, I could choose only from a list of icons. Thus, the blurry ninja picture.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

From this panel, you can lock Chrome by clicking on the lock icon, which hides your open windows associated with your active Google account and opens a window that asks for your password before it will reload your windows and tabs.

While the lock feature is convenient, I did run into a few issues with this experimental feature. For starters, when I logged into two accounts on a single user profile, it wouldn't let me log out of my primary Google account so I could access Google Drive from my secondary account.

Because of the trouble I had juggling two accounts under a single user profile, I created two user profiles -- one for each of my Google accounts. While my primary account would save my open windows and tabs after locking Chrome, my secondary account did not, returning me instead to Google's main search page.

Lastly, restarting my Mac broke the lock. That is, I could restart my Mac and then launch Chrome to bypass the lock screen. Restarting Chrome without rebooting my Mac, however, still required a password for reentry.

(Via I Love Free Software and Lifehacker)