Access Multiple Gmail Accounts at The Same Time

Thu, Nov 4, 2010, by ruperi


In digital times, the current trend is to have multiple mail accounts – one for the office, another for family and friends, a third for professional contacts and yet another for freaking out. As Gmail is the most versatile e-mail utility today, we often end up having too many accounts there – intended to serve myriad purposes. But this is exactly where the problem crops in.

Logging in to Gmail, Hotmail, Rediff, Yahoo! or any other account simultaneously does not pose a problem; but the glitch arises when you decide to log in to two or more accounts from the same service provider, at the same time. Simply put, you can access only one Gmail account at a time. For instance, if you have account open in IE 8 and then open another Gmail tab in the same browser, it will automatically log in to the Gmail account that is already open. Therefore, you have to log out of the first before you can log in to a second account. And that is a sheer waste of time and efforts, to say the least.

However, top honchos at Google have finally condescended to take notice of this problem and it can be resolved now without the least hassle. Log in to your account first and go to the ‘Settings’ tab. Now, go to ‘Accounts and Import’ and from there to ‘Google Accounts Settings’. Under ‘Personal Settings’ you will find ‘Multiple sign-in’. To activate this option, click on ‘Edit’ and a new page will open where you have to agree to a set of terms and conditions – so that you may operate multiple accounts from the same browser at the same time.

Now, return to your inbox and you will find that the e-mail account name at the top-right has turned into a dropdown list. Click on it and it will show you the name of your primary account to which you are already logged, as well as a link that says: Sign in to another account. Click this link and a new Gmail page will open where you can input a new Gmail address and password to access a second account and then a third one. In fact, you can use this system to toggle back and forth among several accounts.

There are other options that you may use to access multiple Gmail accounts simultaneously. Here are a few to get you going:

Get multiple browsers: The simplest way of solving your problem is to load different browsers to run different accounts by the same service provider. If you have a Windows-powered system, you will have IE loaded by default. But you can also load Firefox, Opera, Safari, Avant and many more. These browsers can be used for logging in to different Gmail accounts. As each browser will store its cookies and settings separately, it will allow you to open a Gmail account different from the one that other browsers may display.

Opt for Gmail Manager: Although multiple browsers may look like a possible solution, they also tend to clutter up screen space and that is the last thing you would want to happen. On the other hand, if Firefox is your preferred browser, you can use an add-on like the Gmail Manager and open multiple Gmail accounts on the same screen. Go to https://addons.mozilla. org/en-US/firefox/addon/1320 to get it for free. Once it has been downloaded and installed, it will reside at the bottom of the screen and provide you with valuable input regarding unread messages, saved drafts, spam messages, space used and new mail received from different Gmail accounts.

IE in Firefox: The third option is to get an extension that allows you to open the Internet Explorer within the Firefox. Since IE and Firefox store the cookies separately, this strategy will allow you to open two Gmail accounts in the same browser. The add-on for getting IE into Firefox can be downloaded from https://addons. addon/1419/?application=firefox&id=1419 . Now that you are aware of several options, choose the one that best suits your requirements and enjoy operating multiple Gmail accounts at one and the same time.

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2 Comments For This Post
  1. BruceW Says:

    Sounds like the answer to something that’s bugged me for a while. I’d not of heard that Google had made these changes but for you. Thanks! Oh, and I’ll probably try the GMail Manager too, as it would be good to see all my messages in one place. Very useful article indeed.

  2. Robert Miller Says:

    I’ve always struggled with this multiple gmail accounts business. Thanks!

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