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How to sign in to multiple Gmail accounts simultaneously

Lots of us maintain multiple Gmail accounts for all sorts of reasons. Until recently, our options for keeping those accounts open at the same time were severely limited. Google has finally opened the door to let us keep up to 10 accounts open at the same time.

Editors' note, August 14, 2012: Sharon Vaknin just posted about Google's Account Chooser update that makes this even easier. They're still rolling it out, but it's easy to opt in to the service. Check it out!

Maybe we want to keep our work and social lives separate. Maybe we want to maintain multiple online identities (for perfectly legitimate reasons). Maybe we just like to confuse our friends.

There are plenty of reasons to keep multiple Gmail accounts, but until quite recently, our only option to keep them open simultaneously was to keep them in separate browsers, which is a massive pain and too resource-intensive for many users. Google has relented, and now lets us keep up to 10 accounts signed in at the same time on one browser. Here's how to get started:

  1. Log in to Google using any service and account you'd like (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, etc).
  2. Head over to the Google Accounts Multiple Sessions page. Click On, then tick the boxes next to the info statements that follow it. If you're used to just clicking and moving on, you may want to read these, as they're pretty informative. Click Save, and you're good to go!
  3. Step 2: Multiple Accounts settings.
    Step 2: Multiple Accounts settings.
  4. Sign out of any currently logged-in accounts.
  5. Log in to any account you'd like. At the top right, you should see your account name, as usual. Click it and select "Switch account."

The first time you do this for any given account, you'll need to add it and sign in as usual; afterward, it should show up in a list you can pick for quick changes.

Step 6: Select Google account,
Step 6: Select Google account,