How to Have More Than One Gmail Account Sync to Google Drive

by C.D. Crowder

Google knows that many users have multiple Gmail accounts to better separate all the different roles they play, such as work, social networking and family. If you have more than one Gmail account, you might want to avoid having to log out and sign back in to access attachments and other files in your Google Drive account. While Google Drive only allows you to sync one personal account at a time, there is a workaround that is almost as good as directly syncing.

One Big Happy Email Family

Google created the multiple sign-in option to help make life a little easier on users with more than one Gmail account. Instead of needing to log out of one account to access another, you can sign-in with up to three Gmail addresses at one time. To get started, log in to one Gmail account and visit the Accounts section of your Google account and select “Multiple Sign-in.” Follow the steps to sign in to two more accounts and toggle between the three without logging out.

The Finicky Side of Google Drive

While some Google services, such as Gmail, directly support the multiple sign-in feature, Google Drive isn't one of them. Drive only supports logging in with one personal Gmail account at a time. If you have a Google Apps account, you can log in with your Gmail and Google Apps accounts. Google Drive becomes even more finicky by restricting you to only a single Google Apps account from each domain at a time, such as DomainA.com and DomainB.com. If you're using the Mac or PC Google Drive app, you can only use one account at a time, no matter what. If you use the Android app, you can switch between any Gmail accounts on your device from within the Drive app, but it won't sync them.

Feel Free to Share

While you can't directly sync multiple accounts with Google Drive, you can share any or all of the files in your account with multiple Gmail addresses, including other accounts. This will give you access to all your files no matter which Gmail account you use. Start by setting up multiple sign-in for all the Gmail accounts you want to use. Next, switch between your accounts and share the Google Drive files attached to each account with your other Gmail addresses. To view shared files, you'll only need to sign in to Google Drive with a single Gmail address and you'll have access to all the files you've shared from your other Gmail accounts. To share a file, check the boxes beside the files you want to share in Drive. Click the “Share” icon, choose a visibility option and enter the Gmail addresses you want to share with. Choose an access level for each account and click “Share and Save.”

Don't Log Out Just Yet

Multiple sign-in has one major downside. If you log out of one account, you're automatically logged out of your other accounts. If you need to toggle between your Gmail accounts to view shared Drive files, don't log out of any of your signed-in accounts.

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About the Author

C.D. Crowder has been a freelance writer on a variety of topics including but not limited to technology, education, music, relationships and pets since 2008. Crowder holds an A.A.S degree in networking and one in software development and continues to develop programs and websites in addition to writing.

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