4 Ways to Simultaneously Manage Multiple Gmail Accounts

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manage multiple gmail accountsMany of us have to manage multiple Gmail accounts to separate private email from work and projects. However, life is rarely linear and we often find ourselves going back and forth between different accounts. How do you best do this without having to continuously log in and out? In this article, I will explore 4 ways to address this issue, moving from simple to more advanced solutions.

1. Run Multiple Browsers Simultaneously

To log into two or three different Gmail accounts, you could simply run two or three different browsers, each with a different user account logged in. This is the most simple and straightforward way to do it that doesn’t require a special setup, with the exception that you need to have multiple browsers installed on your computer.

manage multiple gmail accounts

2. Switch Between Accounts Using Gmail’s Multiple Sign-In Feature

Google supports multiple sign-ins, meaning you can sign into multiple Google accounts within a single browser. Varun has thoroughly explained this procedure in this article How To Enable & Use The New Google Multiple Sign-In Feature.

Here is a brief summary:

  • Go to your account settings.
  • Under the header Security, click Edit next to the multiple sign-in feature.
  • Select On and select each of the check boxes to confirm you understand how multiple sign-in works.
  • Click Save.

You have to do this for all the accounts that you want to switch back and forth between. Once that is done, you can use the feature like this:

  • Click the little arrow next to your Google profile picture in the top right and select Switch account.
  • Click Sign in to another account
  • A new window or tab will open where you can sign in.
  • Next time you want to open that same account, you can simply select it form the list of accounts that is shown after clicking Switch account (see screenshot below).

multiple gmail accounts

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3. Set Up Different Users In Google Chrome

Gmail’s Multiple Sign-In feature works in any browser. If your favorite browser is Chrome, however, there is an even better alternative. Chrome allows you to set up different users, linked to different Google accounts.

  • Click the wrench icon and select Options.
  • To to Personal Stuff and under the header Users click Add new user.
  • This will open a new window with a Google account login.

An icon is assigned to each user, visible in the top left of the Chrome window. This is how you will be able to tell the different browser sessions and accounts apart. To customize the icon and the account name, you can go through Options and then edit the respective user.

Alternatively, you can click on the icon in the browser and select edit. This also allows you to switch between different users within one Chrome window.

multiple gmail accounts

This feature was in our news when it was first released in late December 2011 – Google Chrome Can Now Sync Multiple Browsing Profiles [News]

4. Add Email Accounts & Aliases To Your Main Gmail Account

The above solutions are really just a workaround to a complex challenge. The most thorough and advanced way of managing multiple email accounts, is to set them all up under a single account. Here is a brief overview of how it works:

  • In Gmail, go to Settings and open the Accounts tab.
  • Under Check mail using POP3 click Add a POP3 mail account you own.
  • During the setup process, also choose to use the respective email address as an alias.
  • You can add aliases manually: Under Send mail as click Add another email address you own.
  • Once you are checking mails from different accounts, create labels for these accounts and set up the Gmail Labs feature Multiple Inboxes.

manage multiple gmail accounts

I recently wrote a thorough article on this topic: How To Import & Manage Multiple Email Accounts In Gmail. Another great article by Wendy is a few years old, but for the most part still up to date: How to Link Multiple Gmail Accounts Together in 4 Easy Steps. Here is another article on How To Set Up Email Filters In Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo.

For a more current introduction to Gmail filters and labels, have a look at this article – 3 Ways To Free Up Storage Space In Your Gmail Account. Finally, this article wouldn’t be complete without recommending MakeUseOf’s Ultimate Guide To Gmail.

How do you manage multiple gmail accounts and what other options fail in your eyes?

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Comments (53)
  • Josh

    Your screen shots are from before Google destroyed gmail with that fugly new interface. Man do I miss the better looking gmail!

  • Nishant Thakur

    I would recommend Mailbird. It has a clean UI and looks so professional. I am using it for my business. Mailbird gives three email accounts free and they have a very affordable premium plan. And, if you refer them to your friends, you can get the pro membership free of cost.

  • Pete

    thanks tina! your article really helps. i had been using multiple browsers for multiple gmail accounts. don’t have to do that anymore!!

  • Amit Shaw

    Just Awesome. Currently i am using almost 8+ GMail Account. Now Its just awesome for me.
    Thanks.

    • Tina

      Thanks for the feedback, Amit. Glad this article could help you!

    • Bradley

      If I want put my separate gmail.com email address under my Apple Mail application, it seems to allow me to access all my gmail accounts
      from my desktop and iphone. Do you see any downside to
      me doing this?

    • Tina

      In that case, you would employ IMAP or POP to view your email using a third party application, instead of viewing it online. There are some drawbacks.

      First, you are also leaving the webmail interface and are hence giving up native Gmail features.
      Second, you have to set up the third party application.
      Third, your new interface and setup are not automatically accessible anywhere, but only on the device/s where you set it up.

      So it’s just a little more complicated than keeping everything online. Personally, I found that no third party application can rival Gmail’s native features. For me it’s just move convenient to use Gmail’s webmail client, rather than a desktop client.

  • linus christopherson

    I’m not sure I understand all the work being put into managing multiple accounts- simply get a free program (like ccleaner from piriform,) and with two clicks all of your temporary data (cookies included) are cleared. Then, reopen your browser, and log into your other google account. You could even use Ctrl+Shift+Del in Chrome, clear your cookies from there, and log into your new account without the use of any additional programs.

    • Tina

      Linus,

      Some people don’t want to clean all of their cookies because they want login information for other sites, e.g. Facebook or Twitter, to be stored. Besides, restarting the browser simply is a hassle!

      You can, however, use browser addons to switch between different sets of cookies. This will also work for other sites where you have multiple accounts. I actually wrote another article on that: 5 Ways To Switch Between Multiple User Accounts In Firefox & Chrome

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For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.