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A Setup Guide for Those Who Need Separate Gmail Accounts

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/3/2010

You might decide you need separate Gmail accounts for personal and business use or any other number of purposes. If so, you can set them up and view them in the same location using the Multiple Inbox feature available in Gmail Labs.

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    You might need separate Gmail accounts if you create one to sign up on websites that might send junk mail and another for your "real" email messages. On the other hand, you might wish to make one Gmail account for business and another for personal use. You can set up separate Gmail accounts and still access them together in one location.

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    Create a Second Account

    Create an Account button on Gmail. 

    The steps for creating a second, separate Gmail account are the same you used to create your original Gmail account. Go to the Gmail website. If you are logged in to your current account, click the Sign Out link near the top right side of the page. Click Create an Account on the left side of the main Gmail page.

    Type in your first and last name. Enter the login name you want to use for your separate Gmail account and click Check Availability to find out if it is available. When you find an available name that you like, type in a password and the rest of the information required, such as an alternate email address and your birthday. Once you have completed the form and read the Terms of Service, click I Accept, Create My Account to complete the setup process.

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    Multiple Inboxes

    Forward your Gmail account. 

    Log into either of your new Gmail account. Click the Settings link and select Forwarding POP/IMAP on the Settings toolbar. Select Forward a Copy of Incoming Mail to in the Forwarding section. Enter your first Gmail address into the Add a Forwarding Email Address and click Next. When you see a message informing you that a confirmation code has been sent to verify permission, click OK.

    Sign out of this email account and into your primary Gmail account. Open the confirmation email message and click the link to confirm that you do wish to allow email messages from your second account to be forwarded to the this one.

    Gmail Multiple Inboxes in Labs. 

    Click the Settings link in the upper right corner. Click Labs on the Settings toolbar to view the available Labs, which are experimental new features. Scroll down the list of labs until you see Multiple Inboxes. The labs are in alphabetical order, so it should be relatively easy to find.

    Click the Enable button to begin using the Multiple Inboxes feature. Scroll back up the page and click the Save Changes button. This takes you back to your Gmail Inbox. Click Settings again and you will notice that you now have a Multiple Inboxes option on the Settings toolbar.

    Go to Multiple Inboxes and type, replacing the word Second with your second Gmail account login name. Select an option under Extra Panels Positioning and click the Save Changes button.

    Sign out of your primary Gmail account and back into the second account. Click the Settings link and select Forwarding POP/IMAP on the Settings toolbar. Select Forward a Copy of Incoming Mail to in the Forwarding section again and make sure the primary email address is still listed. Click the Save Changes button.

    When you log into your primary account once more, you will be able to view, create, reply to and forward email messages for both accounts in the same window. You may wish to use labels to manage your separate Gmail accounts.

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    There are some factors to consider. Gmail Labs such as Multiple Inbox are test features that may have problems or might be removed completely in the future. On the other hand, some labs pass the Lab level and become permanent features. It is simply something of which you should be aware.

    As another option, if you prefer to access your email accounts in Microsoft Outlook, you can configure Outlook and Gmail to work together.