I want to be able to open Chrome on my Mac, and have 2 instances open, each with different tabs.

Is this possible on OS X?

I know on Windows I could do this with Desktop shortcuts.

  • Why You need 2 instances? Can't You have 2 windows open (⌘+N)? – Mateusz Szlosek Aug 3 '15 at 11:11
  • But I want them separated. E.G When I start up, I want 5 tabs open on 1 instance, and 3 different ones on another. I.E For 2 different screens. – Frenchiejnr Aug 3 '15 at 11:13
  • 2
    That's exactly what separate windows are for. I have two windows open with different tabs. I close Chrome and reopen it and widnows are back to previous state. – Mateusz Szlosek Aug 3 '15 at 11:18
  • @MateuszSzlosek I guess that works. Thanks – Frenchiejnr Aug 3 '15 at 11:20
  • Likely not. You can probably create a copy of Chrome called say "FrenchiesChrome" and open that instead of Chrome, but once running, it will have the process name Chrome, and use the apple.com.chrome.plist preferences file. Those realities are bound to get you into trouble when you also try to open the original Chrome App. – Wayfaring Stranger Aug 3 '15 at 12:28

You do not need two separate instances of Chrome in order to have two windows. OS X works differently than Windows. To open new window in Chrome (or most of the other apps) press +N. Chrome restores window states after relaunch if You have this option enabled in preferences.

  • "You do not need two separate instances of Chrome in order to have two windows. OS X works differently than Windows." Actually, MS Windows works the same, you can have multiple/separate browser windows under a single instance. – wisbucky May 9 '17 at 1:20

From the Terminal, you can run:

open -na "Google Chrome"

where -n parameters opens a new instance of the application.


Right click on the chrome icon in the tray of your desktop. There will be an option to open new window select this. Open the tabs in the new chrome window you want to have access to and right-click each of them to pin the tabs.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.