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Tech Tip #112: How to Open 2 Gmail Accounts at Once

Posted by on August 24, 2015

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I have a home Gmail account and a school one. How do I open both at once so I can keep track of what my kids/home business/etc is doing while at my teaching job?

A: The quick answer I got from e-friend and tech guru Chris Hoffman is: Open each account in a separate browser (in my case, I use Firefox and Chrome). Click here to get all the details why this works. It has to do with each browser keeping its own cookie.

Why do you need this:

  • you have a Gmail account for the Google apps your students use at school and a home Gmail account for personal stuff
  • you have a home business that you want to keep tabs on during your lunch hour. Logging in and out of Gmail takes half your lunch hour.
  • you have several personas, each with their own Gmail account (i.e., you can reach me at It won’t surprise you to know that’s not my home email, but it is one I monitor continuously)

Until I found Chris’ solution, I thought I had a clever method of accomplishing this:

  • Click on your Gmail account picture (upper right)
  • A dialogue box opens telling you about your current account–the one you are monitoring email in at the moment
  • At the bottom left is a button that says, ‘Add account’. You can add a link to any other Gmail account you have so you can click between them without having to log in/out.

My approach unexpectedly closes the accounts at time. No warning. I like Chris’ better.

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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for six blogs, anAmazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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