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Tech Tip #109: How to Open 2 Gmail Accounts at Once

Posted by on October 30, 2012

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 my 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.

I like Chris’ better.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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