In this day and age, you would find it pretty normal for someone to have more than one Google account. Why? Because having a single account to take care of both work emails and personal emails can get mighty messy very quick. Imagine trying to respond to a personal email, waiting for it, only to find it buried under a few dozen work emails. Hence, multiple Google accounts.
Is there any way to manage multiple Google accounts or do you just simply deal with it? Do you simply tell yourself, “It comes with the territory,” and that’s the way it is? No. Believe it or not there’s plenty of key features that has allowed anyone with several Google accounts to manage them as smoothly as possible.
So, let’s get started!
Switching Between Google Accounts
One of the worst cons of having multiple accounts is, of course, switching between the two or more that you own. Google doesn’t allow for several accounts to be logged in at the same time on one browser, but it does have its own built-in feature for switching between multiple accounts with a few clicks of your mouse or the tap of your finger. It’s called the “account switcher,” not its actual name, but it’ll do.
[NOTE]: You can actually log into two separate accounts with a single web browser and another web browser that’s using Incognito Mode, like on Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox’s equal feature, Private Window.
With Google’s own account switcher, you can log into one account, then add another Google account and so on and so forth. Once you’ve added all of your Google accounts, you can then switch between them by clicking on the account switcher. Now, depending on your settings, it’ll either be instantaneous switching, or typing in your password and then switching.
For example, you want to switch over to Account B, but you haven’t allowed your web browser to save any of your passwords. If you try to switch over to Account B, Google will ask for your account’s password, but your account username will stick around unless specified otherwise. If you do allow your web browser to save the password to your Google account, you’ll automatically switch over to your Google account.
Oh, that sounds great? Well, here’s how you use it.
Switching Accounts with a Computer
1. Start by opening your preferred web browser and heading over to Google’s website.
2. Now, in the top right corner of the page, you’ll see your profile picture–that is, if you’re signed in. If you aren’t signed in, you’ll see an empty profile icon, the “head and shoulders” icon. Sign in if you aren’t already.
3. Click your profile picture and a menu will appear. In the menu, you’ll see your Google accounts listed. If you haven’t added any additional accounts, then click “Add another account” and provide the account credentials.
4. To switch accounts, click on a Google account that’s listed in the menu when you clicked on your profile picture. You may need to provide a password, but it depends on your settings.
Switching Accounts with a Mobile Device
If you’re using an Android device:
1. Locate and launch a web browser app.
If you’re using an iOS device:
1. Find and launch a web browser app.
2. Depending on your web browser application, you may have opened your browser to Google’s website. If you have not, then do so and visit Google’s website.
3. In the top right corner of your screen, you’ll see your profile picture. If you do not and you see the “head and shoulders” icon, then you need to tap the profile icon and sign into your Google account.
4. To switch to a different Google account, tap your profile picture. You’ll be redirected to your Google account menu.
5. From your account menu, you can then switch to a different one by tapping on a Google account. If you don’t have another one, but would like to add one, tap “Manage accounts on this device.”
6. When managing the accounts, tap “+ Add Account” and provide the necessary details. You can then perform steps 3 through 4 of this section.
Now, this feature isn’t perfect. For starters, if you want to check your email for another account, you’ll still have to switch over to the right Google account, but it does make it easier to switch. However, you will have to ensure you’re using the right Google account before you write an email.
Using Chrome Profiles to Manage Multiple Accounts
Google Chrome is a wonderful browser, and it plays nicely with most, if not all, of Google’s applications. After all, it’s developed by Google. One feature that makes handling several accounts is Chrome Profiles.
Imagine this: you, your significant other, and your grandma all use the same computer, you share one. Well, that’s three people who have their own unique bookmarks, passwords and accounts, extensions, and, yes, their own Google account. That is going to blow your bookmarks up and bog your computer down, considering it has to remember all that information for three unique individuals.
Why not create Chrome profiles for each person? It allows for each person, like the three people listed above, to have their own bookmarks, history, passwords, and even extensions.
If that sounds good to you, here’s what you do:
1. Start by opening the Google Chrome web browser and heading over to Google’s website.
2. In the top right corner of the page, you’ll see your profile picture or the profile icon. Go ahead and click on it. When the menu appears, start removing accounts–don’t worry, you’ll be adding them later.
3. Once you’ve removed all of the accounts, sign back into your account or the main account. Now, where your profile picture is, there’s another one, a much smaller one, located in the very top right corner of the web browser. It’s located along the omnibar. Go ahead and click on the smaller profile picture.
4. In the drop down menu that appears, choose Manage People. It’s near the very bottom of the drop down menu. Choosing this menu option will launch a window.
5. Now, click Add Person located in the bottom right corner of the window.
6. On the next page, give the account a profile picture from the library of icons below, and then give the account a name. If it’s a personal account, consider “Personal Account” as the name.
[NOTE]: Additionally, you can create a desktop shortcut for this user, by clicking “Create a desktop shortcut for this user” in the bottom right corner of the window.
7. When you’re finished, click Add.
8. On the second account, you can then sign into another Google account and sync your second account with your first Chrome profile.
9. From here on out, you can switch accounts by clicking on the profile picture located on the omnibar rather than the account switcher feature.
Unfortunately, this option does come with its own set of drawbacks. For starters, it’s only available for the Chrome Browser. And if you switch accounts, they get their own web browser, which means they can’t be managed on a single page.
Merging Your Account Inboxes and Labeling Emails
The downside of having multiple Google accounts is having separate inboxes. You have to take the time to switch to another account and then check the other inbox that way. Or do you? As a matter of fact, you don’t. If you take the time you can actually link your inbox with another inbox.
Now, this can get messy. Your primary inbox is going to be handling all the inboxes linked to it. To help distinguish your emails, you can add labels. This helpful little, color-coded labels can be attached to specific emails, emails that were sent from a specific person or location. For example, if your boss sends you an email, you can add a color-coded label so you can see it in the sea of emails.
Merging Google Inboxes
1. Start by opening your preferred web browser and heading over to Google’s website. In the top right corner of the page, click Gmail.
2. Once redirected to your inbox, look to the upper right corner of your inbox page. You’ll see a small gear icon. Click it. In the drop down menu, click Settings.
3. In your Gmail Settings, click on the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab. Afterwards, scroll down and look to the “POP download” section.
4. Under POP Download, click “Enable POP for all mail.” Then click the drop down menu for “When messages are accessed with POP,” choose “keep Gmail’s copy in the Inbox.”
This ensures that emails are sent to you and a copy of those emails are also left in the original account they were sent to.
5. Now, click the “Accounts and Import” tab.
6. Move down to the section “Check mail from other accounts” and click “Add a mail account.” A window will popup.
6. From the new window, type in your secondary Google account, NOT your primary account. Click Next >> and continue with the setup.
Adding Labels and Filters
Labels can keep a hectic inbox neat, especially if you’re getting a double-dose or triple-dose of emails from multiple accounts. You then create a filter to send specific emails, for example, to that label.
1. Click + Create new label in the left hand column. It’s towards the bottom.
2. Give your label a name. Let’s call it your “Second Inbox.” Then click Create.
3. Open your Settings again.
4. Choose the “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab.
5. Click “Create a new filter.”
6. In the “From” field, add your second email address. Click Create Filter.
7. Next, checkmark “Apply the label,” and choose from the drop down menu. Also checkmark “Skip the Inbox (Archive it).” Afterwards, click Create Filter to finalize it.
From here on out, emails you get from that specific email will be sent to the label you created.
It’s already hard enough to manage one account, but now you have multiple Google accounts to juggle. Of course, that comes with its own set of problems. After all, it can be a pain to hop back and forth between two or even three Google accounts, as well as remembering the account information to even use them. By using the above, you can, at the very least, make it easier on yourself.