Can You Have Two Different Usernames for the Same Email Address on Gmail?

By Roger Golden

Gmail is not set up to allow a single user to have multiple email addresses, but there are workarounds that will allow you to simulate having multiple usernames. Instead of setting up more than one username, Gmail will allow you to redirect multiple accounts into a single inbox. The process for doing this is simple and can be performed from your Gmail account the next time you sign in.

Primary Account

The first email account you create with Gmail will always be the primary account and username. You can use this login to access your email, Google+, or any other applications you use within Google, including the suite of Google Drive applications. Once you have created your primary account, you can create additional usernames that can be included in or separated from your primary email address.

Secondary Gmail Accounts

In addition to your primary Gmail account, you can create an unlimited number of secondary accounts. Each account will have a unique username and password. Your primary and secondary Gmail accounts are not connected when you open a secondary account, but they can be linked later. You are allowed to connect up to 10 email accounts, redirecting all associated mail into your primary inbox. You can connect to these accounts simultaneously by opening a different browser tab for each account.

Click to Switch Accounts

You can switch between user accounts without signing out of your primary account. To do this, log in to your Gmail account. In the top left corner of the Gmail inbox, click the small triangular down arrow. If you have uploaded a picture to use with your Google accounts, the arrow will be located next to your picture. A list of all accounts you have created will drop down. Select the account you wish to make active. Click the arrow again each time you want to change active accounts.

Multiple Logins and Google Services

Although email will work with multiple accounts, not all services offered by Google will do so. If you are using an active user account other than your primary account and try to use an app that does not support the use of multiple accounts, you will be logged into the app under your primary mail address. If you want to use these services without signing off from your primary account, you will need to use a secondary browser window or a completely different browser.

Using Similar Accounts

You can simulate having multiple usernames under a single Gmail account as long as you keep the names similar. For example, johnpublic@gmail.com could be set up with usernames such as "johnpublic" or "john.public," "work.johnpublic" or "johnpublic.fun." Google also allows you to use "@gmail.com" or "@googlemail.com." Even though these all appear as different usernames, the mail will be aggregated under the primary username. This method will make it appear as though you have multiple accounts for Gmail without setting up a dedicated account for each username.

Sending and Receiving with Multiple Accounts

With multiple accounts in use, Gmail will allow you to send mail from the account you choose. Begin a message, then click on the "From:" field. A list of accounts you have created will drop down and you can choose the account from which you want to send mail. To have mail sent back to a particular username, change the "Reply-To" field in the message to the address you want any replies to be sent to.

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