Many of us have more than one Google account, whether it’s for work, a side project, or just as a backup email address. With modern web browsers becoming increasingly capable of managing our logins, navigating through platforms like Gmail and Google Docs with multiple accounts can sometimes become confusing. However, there are straightforward methods to streamline this process, regardless of the browser you use.
Basic Account Switching
Regardless of your choice of browser, you can seamlessly manage multiple Google accounts within it. Here’s how:
- Start by logging in to one of your Google accounts on a Google website such as Gmail or Google Drive.
- Look for your account picture icon located in the top-right corner of the webpage, typically present on most Google sites. Click this icon and select “Add a new account.”
- You will be prompted to enter the credentials (email address and password) for the additional Google account you wish to use.
- A new browser tab will open, displaying the same Google app (e.g., Gmail, Drive, Maps) but with your additional Google account activated.
- To switch between accounts, simply click on your account picture again. You’ll see the added account listed.
You can have websites linked to different Google accounts open in separate tabs and windows simultaneously, but it’s important to keep track of which account is in use (the account picture in the top-right corner of each page will help you identify this). By clicking your account picture, you can also access options such as your password and security settings under “Manage your Google Account.”
These Google accounts will remain available in your browser until you choose to remove them. To do so:
- Switch to the account you want to remove.
- Click on your account picture (top-right corner), then select “Sign out” > “Continue” > “Remove an account.”
- You can then click on one of the red icons on the right to remove the account.
Google Chrome Profiles
If Google Chrome is your preferred browser, you’re managing Google accounts on two levels: on the websites you’re logged into, as explained above, and within the browser itself. Chrome allows you to save your browsing history, passwords, bookmarks, and other data for each Google account, ensuring synchronization across devices.
When you add a new Google account in Chrome, you’ll also have the option to create a new Chrome profile. This results in better separation of your Google accounts, with each account having its own browser window with distinct colored title bars. Furthermore, you can access all the synced bookmarks, browsing history, and passwords from your other Google account directly within Chrome. Essentially, you have different instances of your browser for different accounts.
If you decide not to create a profile when adding a new Google account, you can add and manage profiles later by clicking on the profile picture icon on the browser toolbar, found above the picture icon on the right side of Chrome’s address bar on websites like Gmail. You can create a new profile by clicking “Add” and switch between profiles or manage them by clicking the cog icon.
Removing a profile will erase all browsing data from the local Chrome version but won’t affect other devices using the same Google account or the data stored online. To remove a profile:
- Return to where you added the profile and click on the cog icon.
- Locate the profile you want to remove and click on the three dots in the top-right corner.
- Select “Delete” and confirm the action.
How you choose to manage your Google accounts in Chrome is a matter of personal preference. You may opt to create profiles for some accounts while not using them for others. Your choice should depend on how segregated you want your Google accounts to be, how often you switch between them, and whether you need to access data such as browsing history and saved passwords from these accounts.
Profiles in Edge and Firefox
Browsers like Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox offer features similar to Chrome profiles, but they are not inherently tied to Google accounts like in Chrome.
In Edge, you can click on your profile picture icon in the top-right corner and select “Other profiles” > “Add Profile” > “Add.” You can assign a distinct name and picture to each profile and associate a Microsoft account if necessary. If you sign in to different Google accounts within different Edge profiles, Edge will remember these logins. You can switch between profiles and configure them by clicking the profile icon in the top-right corner next to the address bar.
Mozilla Firefox utilizes “Multi-Account Containers,” requiring an official Firefox extension to enable this feature. After installation, click on the extension icon to the right of the address bar, and you’ll find that Firefox has created containers such as “Personal” and “Work” for you. Click “Manage Containers” to delete, modify, or create your own containers.
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