If you’ve got more than one Google account, for example a private Gmail ID and another for a project or work, you may have wondered whether you can use them simultaneously on your Android phone. Well, you can and it’s pretty straight forward.
How To Add Additional Google Accounts
Instructions below document the process on Android 4.4.2. The method was also confirmed on Android 4.0.4, where it works almost the same.
From your Android device’s home screen, go to Settings > Accounts and tap Add account. Select Google from the list. To add an account that already exists, click Existing. Clicking New allows you to set up a completely new Google account through your device.
Sign in using your email address and password. You might have to do this via the web interface, and if you have two-factor authentication enabled, you will have to confirm your signing in with a code.
Once you’ve signed in successfully, Android will set up your new Google account. Note that you can SKIP payment info and you can customize which account data will be synced to your device.
You can change your sync settings anytime by returning to Settings > Accounts and tapping Google. This will show you all Google accounts set up on your device, and tapping one brings you back to the sync settings you set up above. From here you can also remove the respective account.
As you can see, this also works for Google Apps for Work accounts. To set up my MakeUseOf Gmail account, I had to sign in via the web interface. If sign-in fails, you might have to tap the Settings icon in the top right or the respective hardware button to bring up the Browser sign-in option.
Which Apps Does This Affect & How?
The sync settings shown above reveal that adding an additional Google account affects several apps, depending on which data you choose to sync. Your Google account is connected to the following apps and features: App Data, Calendar, Chrome, Contacts, Drive, Gmail, Google Play, Google+, Hangouts, Keep, and any other apps that support Google login. Let’s see how this affects some of the standard apps.
If you have chosen to sync your Gmail account, you will now see two or more accounts listed in the Gmail app. You can make individual inbox and notification settings via the account settings menu. Scroll down to the very bottom of the list of account folders, tap Settings, then tap the account for which you’d like to adjust settings, and make your changes.
Much like Gmail, the Hangounts app will show you a list of your accounts, so you can manage multiple contact IDs. Via Settings, you can make individual choices for each account. For example, you could choose to receive vibrate and sound notifications for one account, but only vibrate for another.
Your calendar can display events from multiple sources. Not only can you manage multiple calendars under one account, you can manage them under multiple accounts. Open the app and go to Calendars to display. Here you can enable or disable all accounts that feed into your calendar, including Google and Facebook, and you can change each calendar’s color. To handle calendars by account, click the Calendars to sync button or go to Settings and select the respective ID.
The Play Store also supports multiple accounts. Tap the button in the top left to expand your account options. Next to your account, tap the arrowhead to expand the list of accounts set up on your device. This will allow you to access apps and wishlists based on which account you’re using.
My apps is an interesting feature if you’re using the same account on two different devices or moving an account to a new device. The Play Store keeps a record of any app you’ve ever installed until you remove it from the All list by clicking the X icon.
So this is where you can find apps you used in the past, possibly on another device, and bulk-install them. Simply hold an item until it says 1 selected, then go through the list, add more, and click Install when you’re done.
Managing multiple accounts in Google Drive, Keep, and other Google apps is very similar to what I described above. Contacts from all your Google accounts and other non-Google accounts like Facebook and Whatsapp should be automatically synced with your Contacts app. In Chrome, you will find all Google accounts listed, but you can’t switch between them or make individual settings.
Can I Do The Same For Other Accounts?
Yes, but for very few. Facebook, Skype, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Dropbox for example only allow a single user ID per device. You can set up additional accounts for other email clients, and other apps may also support multiple IDs.
How Do You Manage Your Many Hats?
These days, it’s very common to have multiple identities or email accounts, associated with different projects or jobs. Thankfully, Google made it easy to manage all its IDs on a single device.
Do you have additional tips for readers with multiple Google accounts? How do you manage your non-Google IDs on your Android device? Please share your insights in the comments!