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How to Manage Multiple Gmail Accounts

A tech enthusiast who practically lives on the internet, I enjoy sci-fi and fantasy books, video games, and fanfiction in my free time.

Many people use multiple Gmail accounts these days. It might be a good idea to have two or more separate accounts since Google uses the same login info for all their services. For example, you could have an account for personal use and another one for work; or, you could use one Google account for your AdWords campaigns and only login to it from secure locations, while using a different account at internet cafes while traveling.

Switching between Google accounts manually to check your e-mail is time-consuming and ineffective. Thankfully, there are some tools to check multiple Gmail accounts all at once and switch between them with a single click. Furthermore, Google themselves have provided a cool feature that allows you to link accounts together. You will find five different ideas for managing your Gmail accounts on the page below.

Send e-mails from any of them without having to switch

Gmail has a nice feature that allows you to send e-mails from any of your accounts without having to switch between them. So, for example, you could link all your multiple Gmail accounts to your "main" one and send e-mails from there without having to log off and log in repeatedly.

Send e-mails from any address you own without having to log out.

Send e-mails from any address you own without having to log out.

A dropdown menu will allow you to choose the "From" address easily.

A dropdown menu will allow you to choose the "From" address easily.

All you have to do is to login to your "main" account and click the gear icon. From there, navigate to Settings > Accounts and Import > Add another email address you own. The image above illustrates the steps. After you add the account(s) you want, you will be able to specify which account you want to send the e-mail from whenever you are in the Compose Mail mode, as seen on the image to the right. That's it, now your Gmail accounts are linked together, and you can send e-mails from any of them without having to switch users!

Gmail Manager makes it easy to check and switch between different accounts.

Gmail Manager makes it easy to check and switch between different accounts.

#2. Switch Between Gmail Accounts Quickly

Check multiple Gmail accounts at the same time

You are going to need Firefox for this (sorry, IE and Chrome users). And, as you might have guessed already, we'll be using an extension. The best Firefox plugin to manage multiple Gmail accounts is by far the Gmail Manager. It goes without saying that it's open-source and free to use. Here's what Gmail Manager does:

  • Remembers your Gmail account passwords and logs on them automatically on browser startup, if you want it to.
  • Notifies you whenever you receive new e-mails to any of your Gmail accounts. You can of course turn off notifications if you want to. And you can choose how often it will check for e-mails, too.
  • Allows you to switch between multiple Gmail accounts with a few clicks. First select the Gmail account that you want to switch to from the status bar, then left-click on it. Done!
  • If you mouse over the Gmail Manager on the status bar, it will show you the latest statistics of the currently selected Gmail account (new messages in inbox, labels, etc).

You can download the Gmail Manager from the official Mozilla addons site or straight from the developer's webpage. Switching between your Google accounts using this add-on is a cinch!

#3. Enable Google Multiple Sign-in

Now you can use multiple Google accounts simultaneously!

Google has a feature called multiple sign-in that makes using several Google accounts at once much easier. It works for Gmail as well as some other products. It won't work for things like AdWords and Blogger.

Simply login to Gmail and click the e-mail link located at the top right corner of your screen. A dropdown menu will open, which will show your current account as well as an "Add account" button. Click said button and follow the steps, inputting the username and password for your secondary account.

Scroll to Continue

Now every time you click the e-mail or your photo at the top of any Google product page—including Gmail—the dropdown menu will open, allowing you to quickly switch between saved Google accounts. It is possible to add or remove accounts from the list whenever you want.

This will allow you to check two different Gmail inboxes in two browser tabs without having to sign off and on, or use any other supported Google product in this manner. You will also be able to switch between accounts with one click. If you attempt to use a product that does not yet support Google's multiple sign-in feature, your default username will be used.

#4. Forward Secondary Gmail Accounts to Your Main One

Receive messages from multiple e-mail accounts in a single inbox

Perhaps instead of signing in to multiple Gmail accounts at the same time, you would prefer to simply read all your messages in a single inbox. This is fairly easy to accomplish: all you have to do is forward all your "secondary" Gmail accounts to your "primary" one.

To do that, login to the account you want to forward and access the Settings using the gear icon. Navigate to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and click the "Add a forwarding address" button. Type in your main e-mail and hit "Next". You're almost set, all you have to do is click the confirmation link in the message that Google just sent to the address you entered.

And if you are one of the last people who are still using a desktop e-mail client, you can also take advantage Gmail's POP settings (same tab) to simply receive all your mail from multiple addresses in your Windows Live Mail, Thunderbird, or other program of your choice.

Here's how to forward a Gmail account.

Here's how to forward a Gmail account.

#5. Set Up Delegation to Use a Single Login for Several Accounts

Log in once to access and manage multiple Gmail accounts

An alternative way of joining several Gmail accounts is called delegation. It works by allowing another Google account to read your e-mails and send messages from your address. The messages you send using this method will have your name attached to them in the "From" field like this: Your Name (sent by Delegate).

To grant delegate access to another Google account, open up your Settings and go to the Accounts and Import tab. Look for Grant access to your account section towards the bottom, and click the "Add another account" link next to it. Enter the Gmail you want to give access to, and click "Next Step". Now, the owner of said account (whether it's you or someone else) needs to check their inbox for a confirmation e-mail and click the link provided to gain access.

Granting delegate access in Gmail.

Granting delegate access in Gmail.

Gmail Account Poll

Questions & Answers

Question: How do I delete my second Gmail address and keep my first one?

Answer: Sign in with the account you want to delete (make sure it's the right one) at and click the "Delete your account or services" link on the rightmost column. Follow the instructions from there.

Question: How do I delegate to more than 15 Gmail accounts for my class?

Answer: I don't believe there's a limit to the number of accounts you can be a delegate for. You could, however, use G Suite (free for schools) to fully manage Gmail and other Google products for your class.

Question: If I delete one of my two Gmail accounts that are linked will I still receive emails addressed to my deleted account at my remaining account?

Answer: If a Gmail account is deleted, so is any forwarding. Anyone emailing a deleted account will get a message saying such an email does not exist. However, there's a couple week grace period during which you can restore your account if you wish - after that it's gone forever.

Question: How do I create a Gmail account for me, because it always opens with my grandsons'?

Answer: Click the avatar (rounded icon) in the top-right corner of the screen. A menu should open up with a button that says "Add account." After pressing "Add account," you will be taken to a page with a Sign in form, and a link that says "Create account." The latter is what you want.

Question: How do I create a second Gmail email address?

Answer: Open your existing Gmail and click your avatar at the top right corner of the screen. Click the "Add account" button, then the "Create account" link.

© 2009 Andrew Po


helen on May 23, 2018:

can I open email account for my grandson at SeaTac seattle I have one through corrlinks. will he be able to read it how do I do this

Donald R Frisby on October 11, 2017:

I am a google chrome user. How do I set up a quick and easy way to switch from from one account to another one. I have two accounts??? The only one I am able to open is

JBurt on May 15, 2017:

Is there a way to delete all my emails at once from my gmail acct.? On my iPhone?

Thx for your help!

Nick on May 13, 2017:

Number 3, boom done.

No need for plugins or forwarding or potentially sending from the wrong account. on June 09, 2016:

My problem is that I have access to two gmail accounts and one Facebook page. Somehow, persons responding to me on Facebook are split into two groups. One group shows up on Facebook and I see the responses. All is good. The second group are dear friends whose response and questions somehow wind up diverted as spam in the secondary gmail account that I do NOT check frequently. My questions are 1) HOW are these messages in Facebook being diverted to gmail and 2) why are they marked as spam in gmail?

Mike on November 11, 2014:

Thanks for this

Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer from Hedgesville, WV on December 28, 2013:

I did not realize you could do this. I learned something today.

Doc_Holliday on September 09, 2013:

This is very useful. Thanks for sharing.

anonymous on June 14, 2013:

This is going to sound a bit excessive but I currently have 66 Gmail accounts -- 1 account for each game and each software program that I've paid for and registered. Plus my personal email account that gets the most usage. I've written my own program that is similar to the Firefox extension mentioned above, other than it is a stand-alone utility, that logs in to each of the accounts and notifies me if there is a new email. The small program makes the number of Gmail accounts is easily manageable.

What I am wondering about, does Google have a limit on the number of Gmail accounts that an individual is allowed to have?

Thank you for taking the time to read my comment and for any insight that you may provide.

anonymous on April 16, 2013:

@anonymous: You can just log in directly to each one and change your profile picture. I have several accounts, each with a different profile picture. One's for work, another for my freelance work and side projects, and another general personal account.

anonymous on March 31, 2013:

I have multiple gmail accounts. I want to attach different profile pictures to each of these accounts. Does anyone know how to do this?

anonymous on March 25, 2013:

@cstrouse lm: I tried PostBox in Oct 2012. After 2 wks of trying to log in two gmail accounts at the same time (that's why I bought it in the first place + nice PostBox features), I gave up. Searching for hrs on their FAQ (last updated in 2009), blog, and Forum did not show anything related to multiple gmail account login.

anonymous on March 20, 2013:

How do I delete my second gmail address and keep my first one?

momsfunny on March 13, 2013:

Something that's worth learning and trying. Thanks for the info. This will come in handy!

loopsapphire on February 13, 2013:

@loopsapphire: *edit = Because Google doesn't assume...

loopsapphire on February 13, 2013:

@anonymous: In my knowledge - No! Because doesn't assume you to create different profiles just because you have different e-mails. It might not be useful for them in long run to amass inactive profile just because it thinks we can have 10 emails but only one TRUE social id - G+. Hence you need to do what you do. Hope that helps!

loopsapphire on February 13, 2013:

I have already been doing so. And I agree that it comes in a lot handy. Thanks for the read!

anonymous on February 13, 2013:

@anonymous: Did this ever get answers? I had a second account that was work related and then was fired. i'd like to no longer have the memory of that place staining my email experience. How do I remove it from the pop-up list?

anonymous on February 02, 2013:

Is there a way when in google reader to share a post to not only the g+ account im signed into (business account) but also my personnel g+?

at the moment i have to log into both and share from each google reader in turn

anonymous on January 25, 2013:

So frustrating that this only works on firefox!

I can't access my second gmail account:-(

wpmann on January 09, 2013:

You've got lots of well-done information here. Can I add one more way to use multiple Gmail accounts? If you use a mail program like Microsoft Outlook, it should support multiple simultaneous Gmail accounts. Then you get the benefit not only of all your Gmail in one place, but all the rest of your mail there too. Anyone who wants to try this can visit my lens: to see how to get their Gmail and Outlook working together.

john-copen-52 on December 26, 2012:

This is a very good article on multiple Gmail accounts and how best to create and use them. Absolutely a good tool. Only limitation is it works on firefox. If you are married to Chrome or IE than you may not be able to use. which is in some ways good. Use Ie or Chrome to browse, nav, work and open Firefox and use exclusively for email and lultitask type activities. this way you can move around a lot cut pastte etc into you appropriate email accounts without overloading and crashing your IE or Chrome.

anonymous on October 02, 2012:

Thank you!!

anonymous on September 25, 2012:

@anonymous: please let us know if it works :D

have a nice day !!

anonymous on September 25, 2012:

@anonymous: You could try using Gtalk ? ... and keep it signed in on the task bar.. that ways, you would get audio notification for new emails!

anonymous on September 24, 2012:

This is really helpful. I have multiple accounts and was switching back and forth (which is a real hassle). Thanks for sharing!

anonymous on September 07, 2012:

Is there a way to get a sound notification (when new mail comes in) on my secondary g-mail account? I just can't seem to get an answer to this one...

realpearl7 on September 02, 2012:

This is really awesome. Thanks for sharing

anonymous on August 31, 2012:

Using two different gmail addresses, I have two different blogger blogging accounts and I'd like to be able to combine them. Is there some way I can do that?

anonymous on August 12, 2012:

is it possible to delete a primary gmail account an keep 2 alternate gmail addresses? or do I have to completely close my google acct. and start over with a brand new gmail address

serhii-knyr on July 19, 2012:

have you checked ? can export contacts from gmail as well as to extract all email addresses

RuralFloridaLiving on July 03, 2012:

I'm just goiing to try it!

cstrouse lm on June 19, 2012:

I manage multiple gmail accounts with a great mail client called Postbox (available for OS X and Windows). It's the best $20 I ever spent on software.

anonymous on June 02, 2012:

dang...i have an alias. when i send from my PRIMARY account, the reply goes to my alias account---and i miss it in a timely way., should i just get rid of this alias?? love, m...

jennycalender on May 29, 2012:

GOod tips, thanks! Feels great getting rid of Outlook and consolidating ;)

Kumar P S on May 02, 2012:

Very useful. Thanks.

anonymous on April 27, 2012:

Hi All. My work has just switched to Gmail. I have my own email inbox which I view withing a webpage, but I also have a 2nd inbox (sales) that I need to monitor. Is there a way that I can view both my inboxes within the same webpage as I constantly move messages from one to another. Currently, I have 2 webpages open and if I want to move a message from my inbox to sales, I have to physically mail it there

jeromeyoung on April 26, 2012:

It's interesting to know that Gmail has a feature that allows me to send e-mails from any of my Gmail accounts. I've never been that organized with my accounts. Such an idea from you is a big big help. When I create new accounts I normally use just the same password so I will always remember it, is that a good practice?

anonymous on April 24, 2012:

Hi - If I have two accounts and they are connected and I know that POP makes copies of mails in your secondary to primary. Is there a way when I delete mails (send to secondary account) in primary account and also delete the original in the secondary? I don't want to go back to the secondary after one month and all the mails I deleted in the primary are still there.

Thank you,

anonymous on April 23, 2012:

Help, I had a gmail account and google voice and a number. but had to reinstall my OS(Mac) and then closed the gmail account. Now I can't find my old google phone number for voice and there are none available in my entire area or zip codes. On top of that I created a separate gmail account and now can't find any of my old info.

What can I do to recover my old voice number?

anonymous on April 21, 2012:

If I have a gmail account that is going to be deleted because I am graduating, is there a way to have all old emails moved to a new gmail account except for forwarding each individual email?

Andrew Po (author) on April 20, 2012:

@anonymous: This should help:

anonymous on April 20, 2012:

Hi - on a related note, i have two gmail addresses, I no longer use one of them. how do i get rid of it and keep the other?

anonymous on April 16, 2012:

Opposite question: can I delete only one of my 3 gmail accounts? I can't find a way other than to delete them all and start over with a new address altogether.

anonymous on April 11, 2012:

ThanQ its very very useful to us,

But its every time sign in other mails,

is it there without sign in other mails use onley primary mail.

anonymous on April 05, 2012:

There is an easier way to have multiple gmail (and other Google apps) windows open simultaneously. No need to set up anything in any Google options.

I open Chrome and I log into my "primary" (first) gmail account. Then I click my account name in the upper right hand corner of the window and select "Switch account". In the new window, I select "Sign into another account". I use the Last Pass plugin to generate and store all my account log data. It offers me a laundry list of Google sign ins to auto fill the sign in with; I select another gmail account and it immediately opens in a new window. Now I go back to my "primary" account gmail window and repeat to open another gmail account. It does not work for me to try to use the newly opened gmail window, only the primary account one. I repeat to open up four gmail windows. The same work around opens Google Reader, and the Google Accounts help forum too. These six windows into Google seem to stay open for about 10 days or so, through my computer sleeping overnight, and the occasional complete power down, no need to log in again. Then, for reasons I can not deduce, after 10-14 days, I will return to find that all Google windows have been automatically signed out. You may not sign in to those signed out windows, Google blocks any attempts I have tried. You must close them all, open a new gmail window, sign into the primary gmail account, and repeat the above procedure exactly as written. It's really quick if you use Last Pass. There is no need to forward mail. To the best of my memory, I never "linked" the accounts. For the final touch, go to Google Labs and download the app that notes the number of unread emails in an account as a tiny number on the Chrome tabs (also reports unread items in Google Reader). A quick glance at the tabs tells you all you want to know. I also use their "Undo Send" app.

Google blocks every other method that I have tried to get multiple windows to open and stay open. When word of this workaround gets to them, I suspect that they will block it too. In the meanwhile, enjoy the good service!

anonymous on March 29, 2012:

THIS was incredibly helpful. Thank you so much!

9Gag was here

anonymous on March 28, 2012:

I would rather NOT have all my mail go to my primary account. I want to keep the secondary just for business, and the primary only for personal. right now, everything comes into both, even if addressed to the secondary. Could someone help with this?

anonymous on March 12, 2012:

Nice lens! Thanks!

anonymous on March 05, 2012:

Can someone tell me how to get more 5 email address working by linking them up to one account please?

anonymous on March 02, 2012: