Creating desktop shortcut for different profiles?

Question
13834 Views | Last updated September 21, 2021

Hello,

Does anyone know how to create separate desktop shortcuts for different microsoft profiles?
Google Chrome has an ability that can let me leave certain shortcuts for each profiles that I might have so that I do not have to worry about switching from profile to profile> I was wondering if microsoft edge on a laptop (and phone if possible) might have the same or some sort of similar ability?

Thank you

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Answer
Answer

Does anyone know how to create separate desktop shortcuts for different microsoft profiles?

Yes! You just have to add the 'profile directory' to the end of the shortcut's target. This is quite simple, but here are the individual steps in excruciating detail: 

A.  Find the profile directory name: 
  

  1. In Edge, switch to the profile you want a shortcut for (e.g. click on the profile picture and then on a different profile). 
      

  2. Type edge://version into the address bar and press Enter. You should see a page of data. 
      

  3. One item in the list is Profile path, whose last element (after the last '\') is the 'profile directory name,' probably Profile n. Copy the name or make a note of it. 

B.  Add the profile directory name to a shortcut target

Here are the steps for two different cases: (a) you already have a shortcut to Edge on the desktop, or (b) you don't already have a shortcut.
  

     (a)  You already have a shortcut to Edge on the desktop

  1.  Click on the shortcut and press Ctrl-C to copy it, then press Ctrl-V to paste a copy of it on to the desktop. Press Ctrl-V again until you have as many copies as you need for profile-specific shortcuts.

  2. Right-click on the next copy shortcut on your desktop and select Properties.

    You should see the Shortcut tab of properties dialogue with the Target of the shortcut highlighted, something like
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe"
      

  3. At the end of this path, type a single space and then this:

    --profile-directory="Default"
    so the box's contents are something like this:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe" --profile-directory="Default"
      

  4.  Open the General tab and type a descriptive name for the shortcut into the top box. Click Apply and then OK to close the dialogue. 

  5.  Repeat from B(.a).2 for each profile, substituting the profile directory name you noted at A.3 for Default. The name must be inside quotes.

  6.  Close down Edge, and then take your new shortcuts for a test drive.

      (b)  There is no shortcut to Edge on your desktop 
 

  1. In Edge, on the edge://version page, copy the Executable path, which is the same for all profiles so it doesn't matter which profile is active. It will be something like
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe
      
     
  2. Right-click on the desktop and select New > Shortcut.
     
  3. Paste the executable path you copied at (b).1 into the box, and then add quotation marks before and after it, thus:
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe"
      
  4.  At the end of this path, type a single space and then this:
    --profile-directory="Default"
    so the box contains
    "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Edge\Application\msedge.exe" --profile-directory="Default"
      
     
  5. Click Next and give the shortcut a descriptive name, like Edge - Personal, then click Finish.
       
  6. Follow the steps from B.(a).1 to create shortcuts for the other profiles. The profile directory bit will already be there, so just change it to the right one.

If you run into trouble anywhere, post back and explain what went wrong. 


Noel Burgess MVP (Ret'd)

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