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How to use Chrome with more than one Google account

Where you sign in to Chrome matters, and may impact the services you can use. Learn how to easily transition between your personal account to your business account.

If you use the Chrome browser on a PC or Mac, there are two places to sign in. You can sign in to Chrome with a Google account, or you can sign in to a Google account on a web page. In both cases, you'll be logged in to a Google account and may access services like Gmail and Google Docs.

Once you're logged in, you can sign in to additional Google accounts. Select the icon for your account, then choose "Add account" from the menu that appears. You can sign in to several different Google accounts simultaneously this way.

But you may want to think carefully about which account you use to sign in to Chrome. The Chrome sign in, which appears at the very top of your browser bar, is not exactly the same as the Google account sign in that displays below the omnibox. While you can switch between Chrome profiles, you can only be signed in to one Chrome profile at a time.

Your Chrome profile account sign in also serves as your primary Google account sign in. That may impact services you can use. For example, my client signs in to both a Gmail account (for personal use) and a G suite account (for his business). When he tried to download Google Drive File Stream to use for his work files, the system indicated that Google Drive File Stream wasn't available for use with a personal account.

Screenshots showing (top) personal Gmail account sign in with help page that denies access to Google Drive File Stream, and (bottom) G Suite login that shows Google Drive File Stream download links.

Your Chrome sign in on a PC or Mac affects access to services. For example, a personal Gmail account (top) won't have access to the Google Drive File Stream app, while an organizational account (bottom) may.

The sign in sequence made a difference. Even though my client had added and signed in to his G Suite account within the browser, he'd signed in to Chrome with a personal Gmail account. Things worked as expected — he was able to download and install the Google Drive File Stream app when we changed the Chrome login from his personal account to his G Suite account.

If you want to use Chrome with more than one Google account, try the following sign in sequence.

1. Sign in to Chrome

In most settings, I suggest you sign in to Chrome with your work or school G Suite account. This gives you access to all the apps and services allowed for the account.

To see which account serves as your current Chrome profile account, put chrome://settings/people in the omnibox, then press return. You'll see the Chrome profiles available in your browser. This is where you would sign out from a personal account, and sign in with your work or school account.

Screenshot of Chrome profile sign in settings

Open Chrome, go to chrome://settings/people in the omnibox to manage your Chrome profile sign ins.

2. Add accounts

Next, add your personal Google accounts and other G Suite accounts. You'll end up with a list of logged in accounts. When you restart Chrome, you can select your primary account image, then switch to any of these other Google accounts.

Screenshot of Google account with both G Suite and personal Gmail accounts logged in

Add other personal, work, and/or school Google accounts as needed.

If you want to check your work, enter https://accounts.google.com/AccountChooser into the omnibox. This displays Google accounts you've previously signed in to within your browser.

Transition tip

When you switch your Chrome sign in account from a personal one to a work one, your bookmarks, extensions, saved passwords, and browsing history change, too. To make the transition easier, you may want to export your bookmarks. You might also review installed extensions, so you can add extensions you need into your work account.

Do you sign in to Chrome with a G Suite account or with a personal Gmail account? How many additional Google accounts do you also log in to? (I typically sign in to three.) Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@awolber).

Also see

Illustration of browser, with arrow point Chrome sign in (upper right, to left of window minimize/maximize/close options), and Google account profile (below omnibox, within a web page)

On a PC or Mac you can sign in with your Google account two ways.

Image: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic

About Andy Wolber

Andy Wolber helps people understand and leverage technology for social impact. He resides in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife, Liz, and daughter, Katie.

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