Google Rolls Out Multiple Account Sign-In for Gmail
Article by George Norman
On 10 Aug 2010
I have two Gmail accounts. I use one account for work related stuff, and the other for my personal stuff. The annoying thing – until now – was that when I wanted to check my personal account, I had to sign out of the work account. Then when I wanted to check the work account, I had to sign out of my personal account.

Alternatively I had to access one account from one browser, and the other account from another browser – which meant keeping two browsers up and running. It was a bit of a nuisance to tell you the truth. But Mountain View-based search engine giant Google has made that nuisance go away.

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The company has enhanced the Gmail email client to support multiple account sign in. This means I can now sign into both accounts from the same browser window.

Here is what you have to do to turn on multiple account sign-in:
- Go to Google Accounts
- Click the “Edit” link right next to “Multiple sign-in”
- Select “On – Use multiple Google Accounts in the same web browser”
- Click “Save”.
- Then access your Gmail account and sign in with your secondary account. You can do so from the new accounts menu in the upper right hand corner of Gmail. After you do so you can toggle between the accounts. Or you can open a tab for one account, and another for the secondary account.

The multiple account sign-in feature has just recently been rolled out. Consequently there are a few snags. For example multiple account sign-in does not work on mobile browsers, it only works on desktop browsers. Gmail and Google Calendar do not work offline with multiple sign-in, so don’t turn on multiple account sign-in if you need offline access to Gmail or Google Calendar.

Gmail currently supports multiple account sign-in; other Google services on the other hand do not. Engineering Director Macduff Hughes explains: “Not all Google services support multiple account sign-in yet. For the services that don't support it (like Blogger and Picasa Web Albums), you'll be defaulted to the first account you signed in with during that browser session. So if you click a link from Gmail to Blogger, for example, you'll be logged into Blogger with the first account you signed in with, even if you clicked the link to Blogger from your second Gmail account.”



Tags: Google, Gmail, Multiple account sign-in
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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