One web browser is plenty for most folks but you might find yourself needing more for various reasons. For instance, here is a handful of activities I can think of that you might want to perform in separate browsers:
- Work activity. Maybe you have a time-tracking extension for work. Or you are logged into your work Google account. Etc.
- Development. Maybe you love to develop in a particular browser because of its devtools.
- Social media. Maybe you want to contain your social media activity to one browser as a way to mitigate tracking and targeted ads.
- Picky apps. it shouldn’t be this way but sometimes you need Chrome for that one app that refuses to work in Firefox or Safari.
Okay that’s all I can think of off the top of my head but there are probably other reasons.
Much of this could probably be done with browser profiles. That’s cool too!
If you are using multiple browsers, you’ve probably hit the classic multi-browser annoyance—opening a link in the wrong browser.
This is super annoying. But this problem can be mitigated by using a specialized browser made for opening other browsers.
There are several of these browser-opening browsers but the one I’ve landed on is Choosy.1 Make Choosy your default browser and it will do the work of opening your links in the right browser or profile.
There are a ton of features and different ways you can use Choosy. Check out the website for all the details, but at a high level, there are two ways Choosy picks which browser to use:
- Prompting you with a choice
- Choosing automatically based on rules you have provided
The second item is where the magic is at for me. I’m able to set up rules to open links in my work browser2 profile if any of the following are true:
- The URL matches my work’s GitLab instance
- The URL includes the name of our cloud platform
- The URL matches one of the handful of URLs we use when serving our app locally for development
And I just want to reiterate, the links not only open in the specified browser, but also the specified profile.3
Anything not matching the work rules I set up will fallback to my preferred default browser, Firefox.
I’m so used to it—because it operates so smoothly—that I take Choosy for granted. And that’s why I decided to write about it. If you’re dealing with multiple browsers, Choosy can make it a much nicer experience.
- Another one I’ve tried is LinCastor Browser. It works a bit differently but ultimately can open a browser according to specified rules. It’s serviceable, but I find Choosy to be easier to use and understand. ↩
- Previously Google Chrome, but recently trying out Microsoft Edge. ↩
- I’ve done it with Chromium-based browsers that have profiles. I haven’t tried it with Firefox profiles, as that browser does profiles a bit differently. From what I can tell, this feature only works with Chromium-based browsers. ↩