How to Change the Default Google Account With Multiple Accounts

Saikat Basu Updated 29-11-2019

If you want to know how to change the default Google Account for things like email and calendars, this guide is for you.


Unfortunately, multiple Google accounts come with a problem: multiple sign-ins on the desktop and mobile devices. Which one is the default account? And if it’s not the one you want, how can you change the default Google sign-in to the one you want?

Believe it or not, Google has a simple solution.

How to Change Your Default Google Account

Multiple sign-ins used to be a mess, but now it’s more seamless than ever before. This feature allows you to view the content of your other accounts while logged into one. But you can’t use some of the Google tools from two accounts at one time (e.g. Google Drive) unless you choose one.

Google defaults to the first account you logged in with. This is the rule you will see in action every time. The Google menu at the top-right also suggests the default account when you use multiple sign-ins.

Google Multiple Accounts With One Default Account


This is what Google says:

“In many cases, your default account is the one you signed in with first. On mobile devices, your default account can vary depending on your device’s operating system and the apps you use.”

So, the solution to set a default account:

  1. Go to any Google site sign-in page in a non-incognito window.
  2. Log out of all your Google accounts. Select your profile picture on the top-right and then click Sign out from the menu.
  3. Go to and sign in with the account you want to set as the default account. Remember, the first account you log in to becomes the default always. Test this by signing into any other Google service (like Google Drive) and see for yourself.
  4. After you have signed in to your default account, you can sign in to any other Google account and switch between them.
  5. Again, select your profile image from the top-right. On the menu, choose Add account. Use your credentials to sign in to the account you want to use.

This isn’t a bother for someone who uses a single Google account. But it can be important for those of us who have multiple Gmail accounts separated as work and personal. Remembering the right account can save you time and energy.

Here are a few common scenarios:

  • One of your accounts might have a different language setting than the others.
  • You might be using Google Apps on a work account and regular Gmail for personal stuff.
  • Some of your accounts may have two-factor authentication set up.
  • You might have different privacy rules for each account.

Do note that Google settings aren’t shared between multiple accounts. Though, there can be a few exceptions like Web & App Activity and Ads Personalization settings.

Extra Tips to Manage Multiple Google Accounts

Thanks to the easy switch feature, multiple Gmail (or any other Google app) account management is less of a hassle. But a few annoyances do pop up. Maybe, you have tried to open a shared link and Google tells you don’t have permission with the default account.

Here are a few more tips to make managing multiple Google accounts easier and save you a few clicking trips.

  1. Use a distinct profile image with each Google account.
  2. Want temporary access to a Google account other than your default? Use a browser’s Incognito mode to sign-in.
  3. For easy switching, log into your Google accounts in your preferred order when you sit down to work. Then close the tabs for the accounts you don’t need. You can switch anytime without signing in till you log out.
  4. Set up sharing privileges for files and folders you use often between two accounts. You don’t need to keep two accounts open with “edit permissions on a shared file or folder.
  5. Google Backup & Sync allows you to log in with three accounts only. Chose the preferred account and change the Google Drive folder’s location for each so that they do not conflict.
  6. Use different Chrome profiles 6 Custom Google Chrome Profiles You Should Start Using What are Chrome profiles and how do you use them? Here are several useful ideas for Chrome browser profiles you should try. Read More  for different Google accounts. For instance, you might like to operate personal and work accounts with a different set of extensions.
  7. Use a Chrome extension like SessionBox to log into websites with different Google sign-ins.

Toggling Through Multiple Sign-Ins

Starting the day with the default Google account and then signing into others is a good “Google habit”. Easy account switching also makes it less bothersome. But if you operate with several accounts every day then using different Chrome profiles is the way to go. (Be sure to protect each of your Google accounts with the advanced Google protection program Protect Your Google Account Using the Advanced Protection Program Concerned about online security? So is Google. Here's how to use its Advanced Protection Program to secure your accounts online. Read More .)


On mobiles, your user activity and app preferences are saved in the default account you signed into the device with. So, the right default account is a thought to consider. You can start with a default Google sign-in and then add other accounts.

But with different apps, it takes some more work as the instructions in our article on managing multiple Google or Gmail accounts on Android How to Manage Multiple Google Accounts on Your Android Phone Need to manage several Google or Gmail accounts on one Android phone? Here's how to achieve an all in one Google account. Read More shows you. And remember, you can import and manage other email accounts in Gmail How to Import and Manage Multiple Email Accounts in Gmail Want to manage all your email with Gmail? Here's how to add multiple emails to your Gmail account and manage them with ease. Read More too.

Related topics: Gmail, Google.

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  1. Jay Bowden
    July 27, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Even seasoned professionals manage to be AMBIGUOUS!! "Google defaults to the first account you logged in with." First time I ever used a computer? First time I created an account on Google? On Gmail? First time I logged in ON THIS COMPUTER? On this BROWSER? Since I RE-BOOTED the PC? Since I CLEARED COOKIES? First time TODAY? I know you are trying but this is pretty novice pal!

  2. Benny Trevino
    July 24, 2020 at 3:54 am

    Very useful information! It gave me plenty of different scenarios as far as having multiple accounts logged in at the same time. Imputed my info to receive the newsletter, interested in seeing what else you guys have to share! 👍🏼👍🏼

    • Saikat Basu
      July 27, 2020 at 4:55 am

      Thanks Benny.

  3. Name
    July 20, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    Sheesh - further proof that we have to wsate time conforming to poorly constructed hard does it have to be to change a default without loggin out of everything and redoing it in a given order??? Seems like any programmer worth a days wage can accomplish this. Yet, I am wasting my time dealing with all the limitations of almighty google.

  4. Mahya
    June 12, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    Thank you very much! It worked for me!

  5. GFP
    June 2, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    Thank you!

  6. Anton Smirnov
    April 29, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Thank you, great tip!

  7. Scott
    April 10, 2020 at 7:41 pm


    The default account is not necessarily the first one you signed in with. This article needs to be updated to reflect that its contents are outdated and useless.

    • Googliola
      June 17, 2020 at 8:45 am

      I agree. This is just half of the truth. What needs to be added to the instructions:
      - Follow steps 1-3 from above then
      - Go to Chrome > Setting > You and Google
      - Turn off sync first, then sign out
      - Now you should be ready to sign in again with your desired default account

  8. Richard B
    April 1, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Does not work and I have tried multiple times. I followed your instructions and it still defaults back repeatedly to the one account I am no longer interested in using daily (of three).

    This is idiotic - all Google has to do is provide an option to select the default account and be done with it. Why is that so hard? Having seen many other people complain about the same thing, I wonder if Google has rocks in its head.

  9. Steve Dallas
    December 26, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    I have the SAME problem when I sign out of my default account in CHROME from gmail. I have 3 different gmail accounts and when I attempt to log back in - it won't even LIST my default email as an option to sign

    But - and here's the thing. When I sign in to gmail using the Google EDGE beta from Microsoft? I have no issues whatsoever. Why is it Microsoft can use the same browser engine that is used to build chrome, and can get it right - but Google cannot?

  10. Akos Hejsan
    November 9, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    It does not work. I have several accounts one of which is a work email. Ever since I logged on to it, it has been my default-account and it is very annoying how I always have to enter my code to sign in. However, the same thing applies to all of my computers/phones and it is especially worrying because they can see my search history, not that they do it rather that I don't have any privacy when I have to work.

    Please help me, I'm desperate!

  11. S J Strong
    January 29, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip, but it doesn't work. I use two Gmail accounts (one business account and one personal). I logged in with the business account first but when I open a new tab with it opens my private account most of the time.

    Isn't there any explicit way of changing this instead of using this unreliable login-order mechanism?

  12. Crystal Tonelli
    January 23, 2019 at 3:03 am

    THANK YOU for posting how to do this!

  13. Ralf Weber
    January 10, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Really? That is the great solution Google could come up? Log out from all accounts and than log in back for a simple change?
    What if you habe 15 ore even more accounts? (It is one of Googles advertisings that you can have as much accounts as you want.)
    Even Yahoo lets you choose your main account with a single click. Maybe it was not such a good idea to change to Google.

  14. aamir
    December 13, 2018 at 3:52 am

    i have one annoying issue with multiple account. before google chrome latest update i was able sync my google chrome with official account and than i used my personal gmail account as default gmail account. but now when ever i am doing this in google chrome i have to logged in every time i close chrome. previously it was not like this. because my all google search history is stored in my personal gmail account. and because of these issue i have to put password every time when i logged in.

    don't have any solution please help !!!

    let me tell my problem in short way.

    i want to sync my chrome data with my official gmail account also i want to use my personal google account as my default account and also i don't want to do logged in every time when i am closing google chrome. (Because when ever i close google chrome and reopen it, my default account is changed automatically from personal to official)

    • notaname
      March 13, 2019 at 4:34 pm

      I have the same problem. Extremely frustrating.

      Chrome logged in as User B
      Gmail logged in as User A default
      Close chrome
      Reopen chrome
      Go to --> User B is all of the sudden default.

      You can follow the procedure above, but you have to repeat every time you restart Chrome.

      • Jeremy
        May 3, 2019 at 7:15 pm

        I have the same probelm as Notaname. Previously, I found something on the web to set in some "super advanced settings" to prevent this. But another chrome update came and that has reverted. And I can't find the setting again! :-)

  15. Vikram
    November 30, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Hi. So I have a student account and a personal account. I use the personal account everywhere except on google classroom. On my old windows computer, it would automatically use my student account on the google classroom website, but on my macbook pro, I have to switch accounts everytime I want to go on google classroom. Does anyone know how to make my student account the default on google classroom? Thanks in advance!

  16. Travers Kris Eira
    November 27, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    even if i log in to my prefrred account first, the moment i open a different account it takes over and becomes my default arrrrgh then i can't access the extra features i need eg my google calendar that is linked to the first account

  17. Carlton Hood
    October 10, 2018 at 9:29 am

    i have two google accounts: one work, one personal. The default (work account) works perfectly for mail, but when I open calendar or drive it opens on the personal account even though it recognises the work account as default. Has anyone else had this discrepancy between the different services, and does anyone know how to fis it?

  18. Sandra Mathis
    August 21, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I have the former user of my computer whose account defaults on google sign in. He has deleted his google account, but I still have to erase his sign in and password and input my information. His is the default account. Help?

    • Clip
      September 7, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      You need to go to your browser settings and delete the autofills.

  19. Aimee Arnold
    August 3, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Bless you for this easy fix to an annoying issue!

  20. Marnie
    July 31, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    I tried multiple times but could not make this work. It ALWAYS makes the second account I sign into my default account. It is one I added recently for my business, but I would like my personal account, which I have had for years, to be the default. I sign in with my personal account, then sign in with my business account, but the business account invariably shows as the default account. Ideas?

  21. Matt Hooks
    July 14, 2018 at 8:15 am

    I'm a "local guide" on Google maps, but sometimes, at random, my reviews are allocated to one of my other accounts. I know it doesn't really matter, but it's just frustrating. I could have reached the next level ages ago if it didn't randomly allocate things to the wrong account. Any idea how I can force it to allocate to the right account?

  22. Mark
    July 5, 2018 at 6:06 am

    On Chrome, there is an option to switch default with the press of a few buttons. On Safari, this is seemingly impossible with an iPhone. I despise using mobile Chrome because you cannot use AdBlocker or any other useful apps. I have to wait three more months before I can get a get a better phone. Is there a way to do this quick switch without having to bother with Chrome?

    This somewhat off topic. Apple and Google are evil corporations at this point. Apple even makes their phones only compatible with their purposefully flimsy chargers. The cords break easily so we’ll have to buy more, and therefore they’ll make more money. At least they could be a COOL evil corporation like Weyland-Yutani. Making ntentionally crappy products is just pathetic and wormlike.

    • Joe Drome
      July 30, 2018 at 5:21 pm

      When you said "On Chrome, there is an option to switch default with the press of a few buttons", were you talking about the method described in the article, or do you have a shorter way of doping it? What are the steps you use?

  23. Severin
    July 2, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    This helped! Thanks!

  24. Sally
    May 9, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you for this valuable instruction that worked perfectly .

  25. Sandra
    April 15, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Actually, I can use Google Drive from 2 or more accounts at the same time. That's been for a while and before this article was published. It used to be like you say: only able to open Google Drive with one account at a time, and before then Gmail was behaving like that (but got fixed before Drive).
    I can use Gmail, Drive, YouTube, Photos, Calendar with more accounts at the same time.
    However, when my partner tried to access Google Drive with his 2 Google accounts, he was asked to choose wither one or the other.
    I'm not sure why, but I think that after a while Google "learned" that it's me repeating all these activities simultaneously at the same time and so it memorised my habitual behaviour.
    I might be wrong, but I cannot find another explanation.
    Your article is quite recent, less than 6 months old, and I am sure I've multitasking with the apps long before this date.

  26. Janice Hoxworth
    November 25, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    My gmail account shows up on my partners g mail how can i fix that

  27. Arlene Swart
    November 24, 2017 at 9:44 am

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