I would like to run two separate Safaris at the same time. Each Safari having his own session, history, cookies, and so on.

I can do that with two users on my Mac.

But doing that in the same user session would be handier.

How can I do that ?

  • Have an old version of Safari and a new version at the same time? It worked (not sure about the cookies) with Firefox for me – Mathias711 Jun 5 '14 at 9:19
  • @Mathias — No, I want to run two instances of the same version of Safari. I can do that for Firefox. – Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 5 '14 at 9:37
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    This won't answer with your exact question, but I use the $5 Fluid.app fluidapp.com to deal with situations (e.g. gmail) where I want to keep multiple separate logins to sites without any user switching acrobatics. – dwightk Jun 5 '14 at 14:24
  • @dwightk — This Fluid is interesting. Kind of reinventing the cutting of Dashboard widgets. – Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 5 '14 at 20:33
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    The free version doesn't keep separate cookies, but I gladly paid $5 to be able to keep google(et al) out of my browsing habits. – dwightk Jun 6 '14 at 0:30

You can also type in the Terminal.app

open -n -a Safari

This will open an new instance of Safari even if one is already running. Not every application supports this, like Finder or FireFox. Those applications prefers to have one instance running at a time.

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    how do cookies work when you do this? Are they separate? – dwightk Jun 5 '14 at 14:16
  • If you're in private mode every instance of Safari will use their own cookies. "Public" mode, obviously, will share the cookies through all instances of Safari. – dj bazzie wazzie Jun 5 '14 at 15:28
  • Indeed, not every application is happy with this. For Safari, havoc would come. The navigation sessions (windows and tabs…) would enter in mid-air collision. I need the two Safaris to use different folders. – Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 5 '14 at 20:38
  • Mid air collision about windows and tabs is not possible. Since Snow Leopard processes don't write their preferences directly to the file but is managed by the defaults system. So all this data is written and read through an API which avoids that two processes trying to write data at the same time to the same file. However if you want to have two separate folders which you can manage I would suggest to use fast user switching. Then you have two running processes of safari in also two different user environments. – dj bazzie wazzie Jun 5 '14 at 22:36
  • OK. Now Safari A writes a session A to the file. And 30 seconds later Safari B writes a session B to the file, squashing session A. That’s what I call mid-air collision. – Nicolas Barbulesco Jun 6 '14 at 11:07

Safari does not support multiple profiles, so you will have to keep using multiple user account.

If all you want is a separate browsing environment with different accounts (cookies) used, you can try using Private Browsing

Private Browsing

  • this would be better than user switching (assuming you weren't looking for remembered login cookies), but it still isn't side-by-side – dwightk Jun 5 '14 at 14:18

The best way that I have found to do this is to download Safari Technology Preview. It is a free download and you don't need a developer account to use. It runs separately from native safari and has its own folders for cache, cookies, history, bookmarks, etc. It is perfect for what you need.

The only downside is that it is in beta so you may see minor issues. Although most of the beta features can be turned of the the developer menu.

From Apples website:

Run side-by-side with Safari. Safari Technology Preview is a standalone app that works side-by-side with the current version of Safari, so you can continue to use and reference the current release.


It seems like you'll be able to do this in Safari on Yosemite. Chrome is able to do this by just opening a new "In Cognito" window.

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    No, Chrome supports proper profiles, with separate password stores, history, etc. Incognito is for sessions where you don't want anything saved. – ray Aug 22 '14 at 18:31

The Fluid app, like mentioned in the comments, kind of allows this. It is more of a "single page app" tool, but it does use Safari under the hood and I use it to stay signed into different accounts at the same time without having to resort to Chrome[1].

In macOS Sierra the free version of Fluid allows separate cookies storage, while previously it was a (cheap) paid for feature.

[1] Chrome is great but uses too much battery for all day use.


Chrome has this built in and is well implemented. Firefox has a 3rd party plugin that manages this but it isn't as natively supported as it is in Chrome. Safari, no.


There is an app called SwitchUp that does this, however I think it doesn't play well with Safari extensions. Try and see for yourself.

  • It will switch profiles etc but all at once you can't have 2 of the same running at the same time – user151019 Aug 2 '15 at 18:11

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