Some users have more than one Google accounts. For example, if you run more than one blogs, quite likely you have separate GMail accounts for different blogs. Sometimes this cause trouble because you need to sign out and sign in to check emails. This is particularly annoying for Chromebook users since by default the account you used to log-in the computer is the account you entered Google.
How to Use Multiple Sign-in?
In fact, some Google services have already supported multiple sign-in, meaning that you can sign-in to more than one account (actually 10 accounts) using the same browser session. The process is easy.
(1) Enable Multiple Sign-in
Go to multiple sign-in settings page: https://www.google.com/accounts/b/0/MultipleSessions, sign-in to your account. Then choose “On – Use multiple Google Accounts in the same web browser”. Check all boxes to let Google know you understand how to use it. Click “Save”.
(2) Use Multiple Sign-in
Now, if you click your email address on the black menu bar on top, you’ll find an option to “Switch account” in the drop-down menu. You’ll find the currently used account marked with a green tick. Other available accounts are listed in alphabetical order. You can sign-in to another account not listed there, or switch among all signed-in accounts without signing out. The first account used to sign-in in this session will be the default account.
Multiple sign-in only works on the following Google Services:
- Docs (Google Apps accounts only)
- Web Search
If you go to a Google Service that does not support multiple sign-in, the default account would be used. For example, you first use account A to sign-in GMail. It becomes the default account for this browser session. Then you switched to account B within GMail. After finishing emails, you jump to Google Maps, which multiple sign-in is not supported. Account A would be used for auto sign-in to Google Maps instead of account B, since account A is the default account.
Please note that offline functionality of GMail and Calendar could not be used if multiple sign-in is used. Any unsent emails or calendar changes would not be saved. Besides, browser bookmarks linked to synced accounts would be disabled. Also, those additional features in GMail labs that connect to other Google services could not be used.
Workarounds for Services NOT Supporting Multiple Sign-in
Google has a list of alternative methods to achieve similar multiple sign-in effect:
- Use different browsers for each of your accounts (well, this is common sense, a simple solution but troublesome)
- Use Google Chrome’s incognito window to sign in to your second account (what a clever use of incognito window!)
- Use multiple profiles on Chrome (Basically it’s about running more than one Chrome instance loading separated profiles)
- Use different Firefox profiles
And this is a summary of how you can do this on IE, Firefox and Chrome. Of course, Chromebook users cannot use methods 1, 3 and 4 above.