Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts: The Complete Guide

managing-multiple-gmail-accounts-with-firefox

Most people are always on the go, preferring to send messages for immediate concerns and calls for more lengthy discussions.

Some resort to email for business messages, sometimes creating several email addresses for several clients. If you’re one of the people who keep several Gmail (Google Mail) accounts, don’t you worry.

There’s an easier way to keep track of it all and your sanity.

Google made managing multiple Gmail accounts more bearable in the last few years. But it can still be quite a challenge sometimes.

There are many ways to simplify your day-to-day tasks with your Gmail accounts.

And in this article, we will walk you through the steps on how to keep track of your Gmail accounts in web browsers, email clients for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, and web-based email clients.

But before we dive deeper into this comprehensive guide, why do you need to manage multiple Gmail accounts?

Why manage multiple email accounts

Most of us use two, three, or even more Gmail accounts, and it’s not without a purpose.

I, for one, use four Gmail accounts — one for personal use; one for business use; one for my website; and another one for special projects.

If it was 2010, I would have been in great trouble. Can you imagine logging in and out of each email account just to check your messages?

It was a real bear.

But over time, Google has done a great job at making Gmail accounts more user-friendly and manageable.

It was in August 2010 that Google finally made the big move.

People can sign in to two or more Gmail accounts without needing to sign out one of them.

They can also switch between accounts without special add-ons or other tricks.

All of it was made possible that year — a major win for multiple Google account holders.

As the most popular free email service with over 1 billion users worldwide, this helped so much in making Gmail supported by literally almost all third-party email clients and browser extensions.

But what about the G Suite email accounts?

Whatever privileges you get from your free Gmail accounts you get from your premium G Suite accounts.

In addition to accessing G Suite email addresses from the Gmail web interface, you can send and receive mail from various desktop and mobile clients that use IMAP or POP mail protocol.

These include Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail, Apple Mail, and Mozilla Thunderbird, among many others.

The net result of it all?

It helps you avoid missing important emails. It saves you a lot of time and effort. It makes you more productive.

Webmail vs Email Client

When it comes to account management, you’re spoiled for choices. You can use webmail, email client, or mobile apps to handle your Gmail accounts.

But they’re not all suitable for everyone. What makes email client different from webmail? Should you choose one over the other?

Let’s get to know all these things better.

A webmail is an email system accessible via any web browser. All data associated with it is hosted on the email service provider’s online servers.

As long as you’re connected to the internet, you can access it anywhere, on any device. Most webmail systems are free to use, such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com.

Some common problems with webmail include:

  • Less security
  • Advertisements
  • Limited storage space

Meanwhile, the email client is a desktop program that enables you to access your email on your computer without the need to sign in via the web. It’s connected through POP or IMAP email protocols.

POP connects to a server to retrieve emails and store them locally. Normally, POP deletes emails in the server after they’re fetched, and there’s no way to recover them if you delete them in your computer.

Although, most email clients today already have an option to save/download emails on the server.

IMAP, on the one hand, connects to a server to retrieve emails and store it locally.

It doesn’t delete your emails in the server but enables you to perform functions like marking it as read, deleting it, etc. Both incoming and outgoing emails are stored in the email service provider’s server.

Popular email clients include Microsoft Outlook (different from Outlook.com), Google’s Inbox by Gmail, and Apple’s Mail.

Some common problems with email clients include:

  • Occasional updates
  • Unreliable or delayed syncing
  • High risk of email loss

Now that you know how webmail and email clients work, let’s get to know more about managing your Gmail accounts.

Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts in Web Browsers

Adding multiple Gmail accounts in web browsers works pretty much the same.

Whether it is Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera Mini, Safari, or Internet Explorer, the first account you use to log in automatically becomes the default account.

manage multiple gmails

So when you go to gmail.com next time, the first account to show up is your default account.

Here’s how to add two or more Gmail accounts in web browsers:

  1. Go to gmail.com.
  2. Click on your profile image or initial.
  3. Choose ‘Add account’.
  4. Enter your Gmail email address or your registered phone number.
  5. Repeat these steps to add more Gmail accounts.

Google Chrome

  • Checker Plus for Gmail

Checker Plus for Gmail serves as a miniature Gmail web that notifies you of incoming emails from your multiple accounts.

This extension also allows you to read, listen to, or deletes unopened emails without actually opening Gmail.

It also supports desktop sound and voice notifications, color coding, and offline view, among other things.

  • Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Gmail adds more functionality that Gmail doesn’t have. It allows you to schedule outgoing emails (even when offline) or set incoming emails to arrive at a later date.

In addition, it allows you to track responses, use AI to write better emails, and schedule reminders within Gmail. And best of all, Boomerang enables read receipts to make sure your email gets read.

  • X-notifier

Like Checker Plus, X-notifier constantly checks your Gmail accounts for new emails.

However, it isn’t just designed for Gmail; you can also use it for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, and over a hundred sites more using scripts.

Mozilla Firefox

  • Gmail Notifier

Gmail Notifier alerts you of incoming emails from all your Gmail accounts and allows you to read them in full by just clicking its icon located right on the extension bar on the upper-right corner of your Firefox browser.

From there, you can delete the message, mark as read or spam, or archive it.

  • Firefox Multi-Account Container

Firefox Multi-Account Container orchestrates your multiple Gmail accounts using color-coded tabs, which works wonders for the organization, privacy, and security purposes.

For instance, you can assign your work email or other work accounts inside your work container, your savings or checking accounts inside your banking container, or your home email or personal social media accounts to your personal container.

The idea is to prevent cookies downloaded by one container from storing your activities within the other containers.

Microsoft Edge

  • Mailtrak for Gmail

Mailtrack isn’t particularly designed to handle all your Gmail accounts.

But it’s a nifty Edge extension to know whether your message has been successfully sent or read. Sent and read messages are labeled with double check marks.

The only gripe I have with the free Mailtrack version is the product icon which is a little bit off if you want your inbox to look neat.

  • LastPass

LastPass is a safe method to store your passwords for your Gmail and other online accounts.

It’s sometimes intimidating to just allow browsers to keep and autofill such sensitive credentials.

With a dedicated password manager like LastPass, it guarantees you’re off the radar of cyber crooks.

  • AdBlock

AdBlock prevents pesky and inconspicuous ads from showing up anywhere on the web, including your Gmail. You can either shut off all ads by default or whitelist the sites you support.

Although, take note of the community reports that Adblock slows down and sometimes freezes Edge, so that’s something you must look out for.

I use Edge once in a while and I have this extension, but everything works out for me so far.

Meanwhile, a lot of people have complained about AdBlock asking for donations after installing.

While it’s kind of off-putting for some, this is something free users have to understand because there are money and efforts spent to maintain this kind of product.

Opera Mini

  • Gmail Notifier

It lets you know of emails you receive in your Gmail account. Gmail notifier doesn’t need you to type in your credentials and supports all your accounts and labels.

  • Boomerang

As an Opera extension, you can schedule emails, put messages on snooze mode, receive follow-up reminders if someone doesn’t answer your email fast enough, and lets you be more productive with email handling.

  • Powerbot

If Evernote, OneNote, and Dropbox are a huge part of your day-to-day use of Gmail, Powerbot is a must-have.

It allows you to clip messages or threads, add reminders and select notebooks or tags without leaving Gmail.

It’s actually pretty useful whenever you need to save screenshots of messages with important information like reference numbers, addresses, payment details, etc.

Powerbot isn’t free to use, but you can take advantage of its 30-day free trial period.

  • Badge Counter

Badge Counter comes in handy if you’re receiving tons of email every day. It allows you to see the number of unread incoming emails from your multiple Gmail accounts through a toolbar button.

It will save you lots of clicks from going back and forth to just check for emails.

What’s amazing about Badge Counter is its configurable search query.  You can use this extension to set custom search queries and display the count for each query.

It could your starred emails or emails that are marked important, etc. Clicking the Badge Counter button will redirect you to the Gmail account specified by your query.

  • OBTrack

Not only does it track emails, OBTrack also tells you if your outgoing emails have been read, how long ago, and how many times.

Some emails will display the location where your email was read.

Cool thing is that OBTrack won’t show any signature so your emails stay professional.

Apart from Gmail, OBTrack also works with extensions of other productivity apps such as Boomerang, Dropbox, and more.

Internet Explorer

  • MailCheck

MailCheck is one of the few good IE add-ons that allow you to track multiple Gmail accounts right within the browser.

An envelope icon on the toolbar will display the number of unread emails that you might have to attend to, cutting you unnecessary clicks back and forth.

Despite Microsoft no longer recommends using IE, MailCheck stays around as one of the well-supported and stable add-ons.

  • AdBlock

You wouldn’t need to make complicated filters, as it has automatic settings for the country you’re in.

It also stops the ad even before they’re downloaded by Internet Explorer.

Safari

  • Mail Counter

Mail Counter is quite simple. It shows you the number of unread messages in your Gmail accounts on the toolbar section.

  • Criptext

Criptext allows you to send encrypted emails, track receipt, and attach hefty files on your Gmail accounts.

The ability to unsend emails, however, is its most popular feature.

Unfortunately, unsent messages would in a way inform the receiver that sender’s “email successfully unsent,” which is counterintuitive.

Criptext loses the point of being discreet when the sender unsends the message.

  • Notifier

Like Mail Counter, Notifier counts and notifies you of new incoming emails from your Gmail accounts and labels.

Some basic functions of the Notifier button on Safari’s toolbar include trash, archive, and mark as spam.

It has no frills and works really efficient.

  • Right Inbox

Managing 4 or more emails can be confusing at times, especially when all of them are receiving tons of emails every day. You might get which one to prioritize.

With Right Inbox, you can use it to schedule your outgoing emails or replies, set reminders, and follow up conversations.

All you need to do is set the time exact time that you intend your emails to be sent.

No more missed emails.

  • RocketBolt

RocketBolt tracks your emails when they are opened and links are clicked.

It’s the most accurate free mail tracking extension for Gmail on Safari.

Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts in Desktop Email Clients

Windows

  • Windows Mail

Having already set up the Windows Mail app on a Windows PC and linked the computer to your Windows account, you are done.

The app supports multiple mail accounts. Emails from all added accounts go into the same inbox folder.

If you need to check the email for a specific account, you will have to click on Tools -> Send and Receive and then choose the account in question from the menu.

  • Microsoft Outlook

Outlook’s email management functionality is one of the most important features many Windows users rely on every day.

The app allows the user to set up multiple mail accounts through the Outlook email manager. This powerful tool grants access to all your emails in a single interface.

The process of setting up these accounts involves going through the Tools -> Options menu, selecting the “Mail Setup” tab, and then going to “E-mail Accounts”.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird

Setting up multiple accounts in this mail app is as simple as setting your first account.

You just keep adding new accounts through Tools -> Account Settings -> Account Actions -> Add a new account. Provide the required details and wait for Mozilla to detect your incoming and outgoing server settings.

  • Mailbird

In Mailbird you can add and manage a range of email accounts which makes this app an all-in-one communication tool that is both convenient and awesome.

All you will need to do is to go to the Options menu, select Settings, go to the Accounts tab and then simply add an account. The program is smart enough to automatically detect all your mail server settings.

  • eM Client

The app offers easy configuration and synchronization with Gmail accounts.

You can easily add multiple email accounts, contacts, calendars, instant messaging and tasks.

To add multiple accounts, simply go to Menu -> Tools -> Accounts. The “+” button will open a window for a new account. The account wizard will guide you through the rest of the process.

Mac

  • Apple Mail

In Mac Mail, you can simply go to the Mail menu in the upper left corner and click on Preferences.

The Mail Preferences window will display an Accounts section where you can click the “+” sign to add a new existing account to the accounts you already have with the app.

  • Microsoft Outlook

In Microsoft Outlook for Mac, you can add a variety of different email accounts, including Gmail.

Whether you are adding the first or a second email account, the steps involve using the File -> Add Account menu.

The next menu you see will depend on your app version but it will prompt you to add your mail address, password and name to complete the steps.

  • Mozilla Thunderbird

Adding multiple mail accounts in Mozilla Thunderbird for Mac is done in the same way it is done in Windows.

Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts in Mobile Apps

Android

If you have already added a single Google email account and now you wish to add more, from the home screen of your Android device choose Settings -> Accounts -> Add account.

Next, select Google from the list and provide and confirm your password.

Gmail

Inbox by Gmail

manage multiple gmails

The new “all inboxes” view for Google Inbox on Android gives you the option to examine all of your mail accounts without tapping back and forth.

So each time you check your email, you save a few seconds of tapping and you don’t miss important mails from mailboxes you use less often.

Microsoft Outlook

The Microsoft’s Outlook app for Android has a great look and feel and comes with new features, one of which is the possibility to add a range of email accounts.

You simply go to your inbox, swipe the screen from left to right and tap on the arrow from the left of your account nickname to display the currently available accounts.

At the bottom of the list, you will see the “Add account” option, which allows you to add an additional account to the list.

Apple Mail

Apple Mail allows you to organize your emails in mailboxes and even use Smart Mailboxes to automatically sort emails.

Additionally, you can create shortcuts for your mailboxes, change their order and remove the mailboxes you no longer need. In this way, you can manage multiple accounts.

Gmail

The iOS email app for Gmail lets you manage a number of mail accounts in the same app. Switching to a new account is just a few taps away.

The feature allows you to log into a range of Gmail accounts through one app without the need to log in or out in order to read and send mails from the accounts.

Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail is going away at the end of March 2019. The new Gmail web-based client should be used instead.

Microsoft Outlook

Outlook app for iOS lets you set up multiple Outlook accounts.

You just need to open the Outlook app for iOS. If you don’t have it installed, it is available in the Apple App Store. After installing it, tap on the menu icon and then on settings to add a new Gmail account.

Edison Mail

This is one of the best apps to manage multiple emails on your Android device.

Edison email app has many features, pleasant design and is easy to use.

The messages arrive instantly without the need to refresh the app so that you don’t miss sensitive emails from a range of Gmail accounts.

Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts in Webmail Clients

Outlook.com

Outlook on the web allows you to connect a range of email accounts.

In case these are Gmail accounts, you have to follow the instructions to prepare your Gmail for connecting to Outlook. Once you do that, go to Settings -> Mail and under Options, select Accounts > Connected accounts.

Note that since not all features are available in every region, this one might not be available for your account.

Polymail.io

Polymail allows you to add up to ten Gmail accounts.

It saves time and effort and makes you more efficient with email productivity tools such as tracking, follow up reminders and contact insights.

RainLoop.net

This web-based email client is simple but fast and modern.

It gives you the option to add a number of Gmail accounts and manage each of them in a different browser tab.

It has an administrative panel for configuring the main options and really simple installation and update processes.

Common Gmail Issues

Security Concern

Most people think that their email is safe when they don’t click links from unknown sources and keep their password secure. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough.

The number of tools hackers have to spy on your personal data is mind-boggling. They can use programs for cracking your passwords, steal login details you left behind on a public PC, intercept unencrypted emails and so on.

Ensure you have a strong password that is not easy to guess.

In case you’re sending sensitive information through email, ensure it is encrypted.

However, although some webmail programs like Gmail come with native encryption, it is sometimes not enough since security issues arise when your email travels to the server of your recipient.

Sync Error

Sync issues usually come as a result of lost connectivity to your email server.  Take the following steps to resolve the problem:

  • Ensure your device is connected to the Internet.
  • Send mail through the website. Many email providers, Gmail included, allow it.
  • Use another app or device to send email.
  • Check the status of your email server by contacting your email provider.

Can’t Send/Receive Gmail Messages

Check the account storage of the problematic account.

Make sure that the mail received into the account doesn’t go to the spam or trash folder.

2-Step Verification Code Not Working

For exactly this sort of situation, there are backup codes you were instructed to save when enabling the 2-step verification on your account.

They will grant you access back to the account in seconds.

Conclusion

The more you use tools by Google, the more you will need to use and manage a range of accounts, and the greater your need to switch between them.

Make your choice between the various apps we have listed in this guide to decide which one suits your needs best.

About the author

Luke

is a Software Developer and the main writer behind Computer Realm.

18comments
Managing Multiple Gmail Accounts with Firefox | The Black Ball - January 16, 2009

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Lindsay @ Addiction Rehab Blog - January 17, 2009

Thanks for the tip. Gmail is great but I do find managing several gmail accounts annoying (only being able to sign into one at a time).

Lindsay @ Addiction Rehab Blog’s last blog post..Quit Smoking Advice from the UK National Health Service

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Busby SEO Test - January 17, 2009

great i just know this tips very helping me because i have many gmail account thankyou

Busby SEO Test’s last blog post..Busby SEO Test Try to Find New Backlink Technique

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Random Blog - January 17, 2009

I love Gmail’s spam filter, but lucky for me I only have the one main account to worry about at the moment 🙂

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Atniz - January 17, 2009

I have 2 accounts and this plugin is very useful. Hope it don’t crash the FF.

Reply
Build your own swimming pool - January 28, 2009

Very cool information thanks. Right now I have several gmail accounts, but I login and out to get to them. I love gmail for catching spam and ease of use and this makes my life even easier.

Build your own swimming pool’s last blog post..My No Cell Power Error is back

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Busby - January 28, 2009

Gmail is great, and thanks for the tips

Reply
Free Brushes - January 30, 2009

Thank you for this tip, I often log into my 5 gmail accounts and this plug-in will be useful.

Reply
Healthcare Management - March 6, 2009

Fantastic observation and informative video but still facing problem managing multiple gmail account with firefox.

Reply
Meeting rooms - March 6, 2009

I do agree with you on that one. Great tips!!I love Google as well as their different features especially gmail.This plugin absolutely helps solve the problem of multiple tabs or browsers open.

Reply
Medical Software - March 19, 2009

Can’t wait to try it out — I manage about a zillion gmail addresses it seems. both @gmail.com accounts as well as custom company accounts for my customers. Thanks!

Reply
Homebase Garden Furniture - March 29, 2009

great tutorial luq! just the thing i was looking for. recently gmail lab announce a feature which claims to do the same thing but it found to be misleading and nothing.

Reply
Current account - March 30, 2009

Nice tutorial Luq, you have a way of breaking big complicated piece into smaller chunks. I really do appreciate your time on this. Thanks

Reply
Used Tires - April 20, 2009

Awesome, I knew there would be some great Firefox plugins to take care of the job 🙂

Reply
orvilleconnor - April 22, 2009

thanks for this tutorial, i never realized that you can implement to manage multiple gmail account in firefox

how to stop excessive sweating’s last blog post..How to Cure Sweaty Palms Effectively Without Wasting Your Time, Money and Effort

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Current account - May 18, 2009

Thanks for this.Fantastic observation and informative video but still facing problem managing multiple gmail account with firefox.

Reply
Orville - July 2, 2009

very niche tutorial, thank for you this post, i will try to manage my multiple gmail account with firefox
.-= Orville´s last blog ..Solution for Skin Disease =-.

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