// Internet Duct Tape

Guide on How to Setup Two or More Gmail Accounts to Use One Account (Create, Forward, Link)

Posted in Google Calendar and Gmail, Lifehacks, Popular Posts, Technology by engtech on September 11, 2006

I have one Gmail account I use to check the mail from 10-12 different accounts I’ve created. I create different Gmail accounts for different online activities:

  • For friends
  • For resume/job hunting
  • For professional use
  • For this blog
  • For video games and video game modding

I set all of the accounts to forward to one Gmail inbox. When someone sends an email to any of these accounts, Gmail will automatically respond as that account even though I’m logged into a different Gmail account.

This is how I do it.

#1: Create a secondary Gmail acount

  1. Login to your primary account.
  2. Invite yourself to join Gmail.
    • Only works if you have Gmail invites available.
    • invite_to_gmail.png
  3. Wait for invitation to appear in your inbox.
  4. Click on the “To accept this invitation and register for your account, visit …” link.
  5. Fill in the details for your new Gmail account.

#2: Forward your secondary account to your primary account

  1. Login to your secondary account.
    • Settings >> Forwarding and POP >> Forward a copy of incoming mail to address
    • forward-gmail.png
  2. Fill in your primary email address and Save Changes.

#3: Link your secondary account to your primary account

  1. Login to your primary account.
    • Settings >> Accounts >> Add another email address
  2. A pop-up window will open prompting you to enter your secondary email address.
    • Enter your secondary email address
    • link-gmail.png
    • Next Step >> Send Verification
    • Close the pop-up window.
  3. Refresh your inbox and there will be an email from Google prompting you to send email as your secondary account.
    • Please click the link below to confirm your request
    • If you didn’t get an email it was because you either put in the wrong secondary account name or you didn’t setup your secondary account to forward to your primary account.
  4. You’ll be taken to a confirmation success page.

#4: Test that the accounts work

  1. Login to your primary account.
  2. Compose an email to your secondary account.
    • test-gmail.png
  3. Beside the From: there will be a drop-down box that will let you select which account to send the email from.
    • Choose your secondary account.
  4. Refresh your inbox and there will be an email from your secondary account to your secondary account — but you’ve never left the inbox of your primary account.
    • Notice that if you reply to this email, it automatically changes your From: to your secondary account.

#5: The Gotcha

Your primary email address still shows up in the Sender: field. Don’t make the mistake of thinking this technique gives you complete anonymity.

More Options >> Show Original

X-Gmail-Received: 0499bfd1083d28805a116367173XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Received: by with HTTP; Sun, 10 Sep 2006 12:52:52 -0700 (PDT)
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 15:52:52 -0400
From: engtech
Sender: XXXXXX@gmail.com
To: engtechwp@gmail.com
Subject: Test
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline
Delivered-To: XXXXXX@gmail.com

This is a test email

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16 Responses

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  1. Mike said, on September 11, 2006 at 5:57 pm

    Nice! Though I’ve done this with most of my accounts I wasn’t aware of the “gotcha” good to know.

  2. blackscribe said, on September 28, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Any thoughts on using Outlook with two different Gmail accounts. I couldn’t get my second account to work with Gmail fully. It will send outgoing messages with no problem, but I get an error message from Outlook saying the server did not accept my user name or password.

    The workaround you suggest would be fine for receiving messages or sending from the Gmail site, but I want to be able to send from Outlook using the secondary address. Well, on second thought, I can send, the only thing is every time Outlook send/receives all accounts I will get an error message. Which will be an annoyance. I will receive any messages to my secondary account through my primary account using your workaround. Was that confusing?

  3. engtech said, on September 28, 2006 at 11:50 pm

    It should be the same as setting up multiple accounts from different email services with Outlook.

    Don’t try the method above, you want to keep the accounts separate in this case.

    Using multiple Outlook profiles (the second method they talk about here) will work.

  4. John varley said, on December 01, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    Hello ,
    I went to a website which said I could gmail to other people,what I was reading on screen.Not email.

    I tried to sign in to do so but my user name j_pvarley (the p is my wife)and the password with optus was not accepted.

    Thus I could not sent the article.

    Can you help me please,

    Kind regards, John

  5. engtech said, on December 01, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Hi John,

    That sounds like it might be a phishing attack. “Phishing” is manipulation to make people give you their username/passwords.

    I’d suggest immediately changing your password on your gmail account.

    Can you post a link to that website so I can check it out?

  6. deb said, on December 30, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    I am trying to set up a g-mail account. NO MATTER WHAT PASSWORD I USE IT WILL NOT ACCEPT!!!! I am following all the guidlines. Any suggestions?

  7. engtech said, on December 30, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    For gmail password: use a mix of uppercase, lowercase and numbers.

  8. gardar said, on January 03, 2007 at 5:25 am

    hey there engtech.

    I am using many email accounts on a single gmail inbox and have been doing so for quite a while.
    I am wondering if you know if it’s possible to let each email address save it’s mail in separate folders?

  9. engtech said, on January 03, 2007 at 6:36 am

    The best you can do is apply labels on the various accounts using filters.

    Gmail doesn’t have folders. :)

  10. gardar said, on January 03, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    ok, but is it possible to make the labels automatic? or do I have to manually add them to every mail?

  11. engtech said, on January 04, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Use a filter.

    Click Settings >> Filter >> Create a New Filter

    Put the email address in the To: field.

    Click Next Step

    Choose Apply Label

  12. Kat said, on January 06, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    You can use Gmail’s send as feature to get by that “gotcha” you go to Settings>Accounts and add your secondary accounts there and check the ” Reply from the same address the message was sent to.” option. I was wondering, can Gmail use POP to get emails from the secondary Gmail account instead of forwarding from the second account to the primary one? That way I can get my chat sessions from my google talk account.

  13. Vince said, on January 10, 2007 at 4:28 am

    anddd, i got it, tnx for this, now i can received emails from both account without logging in and out. More power!

  14. starlyth said, on February 15, 2007 at 3:33 am

    Gmail has now rolled out outside account access. In the accounts settings see “get mail from other accounts”. As Gmail polls the other accounts (POP3 only at this stage), it will add a single label (i.e., “other account”) to all email pulled from that particular account. However, Gmail will not access gmail or gmail hosted (i.e., Gmail for your domain) accounts.

  15. dickyboy said, on February 17, 2007 at 6:53 am

    Ok – let me be honest. I need an address so I can visit those sites and google groups where I should not be visiting ! te problem is when i create a new gmail account it takes over the computer which has created the account and thus becomes the default on the computer. how do i prevent this happening ? I want to be able to switc between the lot. Oh dear Lord. oh for the days of deliveries in plain brown paper envelopes !!!

  16. peter said, on March 09, 2007 at 5:35 am

    Gmail will take other gamil in outside account access. You just need to turn on POP in the secondary account.

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