Software

What are Firefox Multi-Account Containers and when should I use them?

Containers
No, not this type of container...

Firefox has become my browser of choice over the past few months (I change my browsers more often than my bed sheets). Another new feature added recently has further cemented the browser in my affections: Firefox Multi-Account Containers. Here’s what they do and how to use them.

What are Firefox Multi-Account Containers?

Firefox Containers are designed to separate your work and personal browsing lives.

You might, for example, have a personal Twitter account and one that you run for a business. In a regular browser, Twitter wouldn’t let you sign in with two accounts at once – as soon as you signed into a new account you’d be logged out of the other (unless you were using TweetDeck).

With Firefox Containers, you can have set a tabs dedicated to personal browsing and a set dedicated to work, with the tabs colour-coded so you know which is which.

Firefox Multi-Account Containers

Now you can be logged into mutliple social-media accounts, bank accounts or email inboxes without having to use workarounds such as private browsing windows or virtual desktops.

How to open a new Firefox Multi-Account Container?

The first thing you need to do is download and install the Mutli-Account Container’s extension, by clicking on the link on this page in the Firefox Add-Ons Store.

You should then see a little icon with three squares and a + sign appear in the top-right corner of your screen.

Here you’ll find a list of default containers that have been set up for you, including Personal, Work, Banking and Shopping. You can edit the names of these defaults and the colours/icons assigned to them by clicking Edit Containers at the bottom.

You can open a website in a new container in one of two ways:

  1. Click on the Multi-Account Container icon and select the container you wish to use (ie. Work). This will open a new tab, into which you can enter the site’s address or pick it from your bookmarks. You should notice a thin coloured strip at the bottom of the tab’s label, indicating that it’s in a container.
  2. Click and hold the + button to open a new tab and a pop-up menu will appear, allowing you to choose which container to open the tab in.

Any other tips on getting the most from the containers?

If you have a website that you always want to open in a certain container – your bank’s site in the Banking container, for instance – then click on the Mutli-Account Container extension icon when you’ve got the page open in the relevant container and tick the box that says “Always open in…”.

Firefox Mutli-Account Containers

You can also open the containers panel by pressing Ctrl + . (full stop) on your keyboard.

NOW READ THIS: Firefox Lockwise review: a half-baked password manager?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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