How to create separate shortcuts for different profiles on mac?

Copper Contributor

I would like to have separate Edge Dev shortcuts on my dock for each of my profiles. Anyone know if this is possible to do with a parameter like --profile for instance?

--profile-directory="Profile 1"


19 Replies




Replace Google chrome with the correct equivalent from Microsoft Edge


on Windows I can do this:


"C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Edge SxS\Application\msedge.exe" --profile-directory="Profile 3"

(this is on the Target of my Edge insider shortcut in properties)



--profile-directory="Profile 3"

The argument above tells Edge browser to load which folder from:

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Edge SxS\User Data


so if I create a different profile in Edge browser and name it "vskorpen", then Edge will create a new folder inside this folder 

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Edge SxS\User Data

and name it "vskorpen"



so in the target of the Edge shortcut, i will add this argument:



I've tried what is suggestion as answer but it didn't seem to work for me?


Any way I can get two Edge icons in my dock. Perhaps something like chrome where I see a bit of the profile picture to help me know which icon is which profile?


@Francisv wrote:

I've tried what is suggestion as answer but it didn't seem to work for me?


Any way I can get two Edge icons in my dock. Perhaps something like chrome where I see a bit of the profile picture to help me know which icon is which profile?

Yes I have 2 profiles in Edge and the profile picture is shown on Edge shortcut on taskbar, desktop etc.

I think I'm just not getting it. I can't seem to get it to work.
Tried to create alias for edge and change destination that didn't work either. I can do it easily on windows but not sure why my mac don't cooperate or i'm simply doing it wrong

@Francisv I'm not positive that's the right string on Mac, let me confirm with the team. Profiles may be handled a bit differently there. 

Thanks for your patience on this @Francisv!


There's going to be a little trial and error here so please bear with me. 


Can you try the string you've already tried, but leave the quotes off of your profile directory? Like this but with your username: 



Let me know results, this may be the only change you need to make =)


I'm definitely doing something wrong/ don't know what to do... Do i first create an alias and change it in terminal?


Maybe I just wait until you can implement something in the settings that would make it easy to do for non technical people like me :\

Something like this : Chrome User-specific Desktop Shortcut - Super User


Thanks for your help

@Francisv I'm going to be honest, I don't work with Macs often so I don't know exactly where to find this but the name of the profile has to be the directory name, not the friendly name. So if you go to the Edge Dev directory you should see names something like "Profile 1" "Profile 2" and so on. That's what you'll need to use for that argument! 


If you'd rather wait for a more friendly UI or a more complete guide I totally understand, I'll flag to the team that more clarity on how to set this up would be great =)


Thank you for your help but I think I'm just missing a little knowledge to make this happen.

If the implementation in the UI is going to take some time, perhaps it could be worth it to have someone  take 10 minutes to do a little tutorial with 2-3 screenshots.


I would probably make a few people like me pretty happy!


Thanks again

I would definitely help you if i had access to a Mac,
though I did test Edge on my Mac VMware virtual machine few months ago, but have to download new OSX again.



I got this working with some dirty finagling. Some 'terminal' work involved.


First switched to the Edge data directory in 'terminal', like so


cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Microsoft\ Edge


Then I searched for my 'profile' directories this dirty way,


find ./ -type f -name Preferences


Which gave me


.//Profile 1/Preferences


So I have 'Profile 1' and 'Default'


I tested with


open -a "Microsoft Edge" --args --profile-directory=Profile\ 1




open -a "Microsoft Edge" --args --profile-directory=Default


and I got the result I expected, and also I could see which profile was which based on naming without having to 'jq' through some json with the Preferences file.




I created an Automator application for each profile to launch it per the included screenshot example, saved it as an application, gave it a custom Icon using 'Get Info' (you can google this' and then dropped it on my menu bar.


Screen Shot 2021-03-15 at 11.11.30 PM.png


Disclaimer - i said it was dirty





Good job! that's great
@causticnoodles: I tried your steps, but unfortunately it always opens the last profile that I just closed independent what profile I chose. Any idea why?
Isn't there a buildin feature like in Windows that shows the Avatar of the profile over the edge symbol?
Cheers! Michael

@Michael_Schneider No idea why, if you run the command at the console any errors?

There's no avatar over the icon feature I've found for Edge, but it's been a while. 

I just tried it again and it's worked, interested if any errors are returned. 

@causticnoodles No, no errors the browser opens, but does not change the profile. It is just like clicking the normal edge icon. It starts the profile that has been used last time... 
I guess there is not that much to misspell: 

open -a "Microsoft Edge" --args --profile-directory=Default

It seems to ignore the profile argument.

I'm having the same problem. Edge seems to ignore the profile argument. I also have Profile 1 and default, and only one will open no matter the argument I use.
So I found a workaround for my situation. Although this workaround doesn't allow for CLI launching, it suffices for my needs. In the Mac app store there's an app called "OpenIn". It's a pretty robust app for customizing how macOS launches browsers, mail clients, and file extensions. It supports Chromium browser profiles, and it DOES work with Edge! So I configured OpenIn for my default and work profiles, and now I can launch whatever Edge browser instance I want. This doesn't give me a shortcut in the mac Dock, but I use a streamdeck and I assigned a button to a work site, and OpenIn automatically launches that site using my work Edge profile. Pretty slick.



I've found a new solution.

The first instance use:

open -a "Microsoft Edge" --args --profile-directory=Profile\ 1

To the second one use:

open -a "Microsoft Edge" -n --args --profile-directory=Profile\ 2


The -n

-n  Open a new instance of the application(s) even if one is already running