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My current setup involves two laptops side by side, a Mac and a Windows 10 PC. I use the Mac as my workstation and the PC for gaming, casual web browsing and media consumption (Twitch, YouTube, etc). I keep my Mac secured but my Windows laptop stays logged in most of the time since it doesn't hold any sensitive data/session.

My only problem is YouTube: I used to add videos (from my Mac) to my "Watch Later" built-in playlist to then play it on Windows. This is pretty straightforward since there's a convenient icon for that and a "Remove watched videos" button to tidy up between watching sessions. However this method needs my Google account to be open on both devices, meaning Gmail and Google Drive are also one click away the whole time. And logging this way into Chrome also means my extensions are carried over, which I don't care for (and confuses some of them like Pushbullet and Snooze).

I looked online for solutions (duh) but so far I found:

  • You can't separate your YouTube session from your Google session. Period.
  • No "YouTube client" (I found several) asks for permissions just for YouTube, they all require you to login to Google as a whole.
  • There's no way to "secure" some parts of your Google account.
  • Alternative methods of playing YouTube playlists (such as VLC Media Player) are restricted to public playlists, none can access "Watch Later".

The only ways I've found to achieve something similar are: adding the videos to a public playlist (which is not ideal, since I have to manually add and remove each video), or casting a Chrome tab from my Mac to Windows using AirServer (a "cast-receiver emulator" program).

I there any better way to achieve what I want?

migrated from superuser.com Nov 29 '18 at 21:36

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You can log in to the same Google (and YouTube) account without logging in to the same Chrome profile -- which is what brings along login to Pushbullet and other Chrome extensions.

Approaches:

  1. On the Windows computer, don't sign in to your Chrome profile at all. Just log in to Google, then you can access YouTube and other Google services. Indeed it's all or none with the Google services login, but Chrome is more flexible.
  2. Recommended: Create another user profile in Chrome via the user button next to the 3-dots menu or via the People / Add Person menu command. Each user profile has an independent set of windows, cookies, logins, extensions, bookmarks, etc. After opening a Chrome window with this new profile, log into Google without logging into Pushbullet et al. You needn't enable those extensions for this profile.
    • Tip: Pick a different Chrome theme for each user profile ("Person") to be able to tell their windows apart.
  3. Use another web browser such as Chromium or Firefox in place of creating another user profile.
  4. Use a Chrome Incognito window to access YouTube. An Incognito window is like a temporary user profile. You'll have to log in to Google each time you open an Incognito window to access YouTube.
    • Tip: Use two-factor authentication to secure your Google account. That means more steps each time you log in via an Incognito window, so this isn't the quickest way to get to your YouTube.
  • Thank you for your input Jerry, I actually already use a secondary Google account on that PC and that does solve the problem with Chrome extensions. However like I said, that forces me to create a public playlist in order to share my "watch later" videos and the whole process gets tiresome when done daily. Your answer would be perfect if my concern was to just open YouTube without using my Google account, but it lacks new ideas on how to efficiently manage the actual watching experience. – lima Dec 6 '18 at 15:21
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I finally solved it. My solution involves encrypting the Google Chrome user data folder into a VeraCrypt volume, then auto-mounting said volume using an AHK script that waits for the volume to be ready, then opens Chrome and waits for it to be closed so it can unmount the volume. This method allows me to use my main Google account without the fear of being unprotected, plus you can just login into Google/YouTube and not sync your Chrome session, allowing for different extensions to be installed in each computer as needed. Chrome can still be used without mounting the encrypted volume, resulting in a "guest" (blank) session being opened.

Here's the AHK script I made:

If WinExist("ahk_exe chrome.exe")
    WinActivate
else
    {
        Run, "%ProgramFiles%\VeraCrypt\VeraCrypt.exe" /q /c n /l A /hash sha512 /v "%UserProfile%\Documents\Chrome.hc"
        WinWait, VeraCrypt
        WinWaitClose
        Run, chrome.exe --user-data-dir="A:\Chrome\User Data" %1%
        WinWait, ahk_exe chrome.exe
        WinWaitClose
        Run, "%ProgramFiles%\VeraCrypt\VeraCrypt.exe" /q /d A
    }

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