You can keep multiple accounts for certain applications to separate your personal and work life. But macOS still cannot run multiple copies of the same application. That means you have to be constantly logged in and logged out to switch profiles.
Until Apple officially adds this functionality, there are a few third-party methods that you can consider. Here’s how you can launch multiple versions of the same application on macOS.
Run multiple copies of applications on Mac? You can do it with the following 5 methods
- Why do you want to run multiple versions of an application?
Optional for normal purposes
- 1. Use the application’s built-in Multi-User feature
- 2. Enable Fast User Switching on Mac
- 3. Take advantage of the service’s Web application
Options for advanced use
- 4. Run multiple copies of an application (in fact)
- 5. Install virtual machine
Why do you want to run multiple versions of an application?
There are several situations where you may feel that you need to run multiple sessions of the application.
You can do this for the parallel use of personal and work accounts in different windows. Because you don’t have to create a new user on your computer, you can easily multitask between your two profiles.
In addition, these methods do not necessarily have to handle multiple accounts at once. They can also be useful when you want, for example, to work on multiple parts or files belonging to the same application. In these cases, you can log in twice with the same configuration and have multiple application windows open as desired.
Optional for normal purposes
If you’re looking for a quick way to manage your account, you might not need to take the full steps to create multiple versions of an application. Before diving into more advanced solutions, consider these basic methods first.
1. Use the application’s built-in Multi-User feature
To cater to those who need to switch between multiple accounts, some applications have begun to include the Multi-user feature (allowing multiple users to be used simultaneously). Without any external tools, you have the option to add multiple accounts and access them in a separate or shared window.
On Google Chrome, you can set up a new user by clicking on the profile picture in the upper right corner. Similarly, Slack allows you to switch between workspaces. Click the button Add on the left menu to configure the second account.
Another convenient application that also has a Multi-user feature is Franz. Franz allows you to manage all your instant messaging services like Telegram, WhatsApp and even Gmail in one place. Moreover, you also have the ability to add multiple accounts for each service.
2. Enable Fast User Switching on Mac
MacOS has a handy feature for those who are looking for a more efficient way to switch between accounts. Called Fast User Switching, this feature speeds up account switching on a Mac. Although this method does not allow you to create additional versions of the application, its use hardly requires you to perform any configuration steps.
To get started, all you need is another user on the Mac. You can create a new user from Settings> Users & Groups necessary.
When you are done with this step, revisit the page Users & Groups. There, click Login Options and turn on the option Show Fast User Switching Menu.
Now, you can click your user name in the top menu bar and select another user to instantly convert. When you return, the current window and active applications will remain the same, as before you left.
3. Take advantage of the service’s Web application
Web applications are often powerful enough to replace their original versions, providing the same functionality as desktop versions. You can take advantage of this to effectively open multiple versions of the same application.
To install web apps from Google Chrome, visit the app URL and sign in. Click the three dot menu in the upper right and bottom More Tools, Please choose Create Shortcut. In the resulting menu, you can check the option Open As Window leave the web application open in a dedicated window instead of a new tab.
Options for advanced use
The above options are for the average user and technically allow you to run multiple copies of the Mac application. If none of these methods does the job for you, read on for more advanced methods.
4. Run multiple copies of an application (in fact)
The only way you can really run multiple copies of an application on macOS is through a custom script. Although it sounds complicated, the process does not require any technical knowledge and is largely very simple.
First, open the program Script Editor Preloaded on Mac. This software is most easily found by opening Spotlight with
Space and search directly.
After launching the Script Editor, you will see an editing window that looks like a blank document. Here, you will need to copy and paste the following:
do shell script "open -n"
Next, locate the application you want to copy in the directory Applications. Drag and drop its icon right before the second quotation mark. For example, if you choose Simplenote, you should have the following:
do shell script "open -n /Applications/Simplenote.app"
K To compile the script, it will take a second or two. Finally, press
S to save the file. Name and specify a location for it, the most important is to choose Application in the drop-down list File Format. Click on it Save and everything is done.
Navigate to the directory where you saved the file. When you double-click the icon, it initiates a new version of the linked application. You can repeat the action depending on the number of copies you want.
Because these copies are instantaneous, you will have to repeat the steps from the beginning, whenever you want to use your second account.
5. Install virtual machine
The final and most intensive method is to install a virtual machine on a Mac. Virtual machines allow you to run another operating system in a desktop application. They are primarily for professionals and developers, but you can also use them to separate your personal and work accounts.
Parallels is a popular option, but it’s not free. Try VirtualBox if you want to do this for free. Any of these options allows you to easily run Windows programs on macOS.
Until Apple brings the official option to launch multiple versions of the same app, these methods will do the trick for you. But unless you’re comfortable setting up a virtual machine, unfortunately, none of these solutions is ideal.
For even more productivity on the Mac, check out 10 extra reminder apps for Mac.
Hope you are succesful.