Many 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.
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).
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.
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.
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?