Just around a week back, Google announced a new feature called Gmail delegation that lets you merge multiple accounts together. Though Google doesn’t see the feature to be used that way, for many of us, with multiple Gmail accounts, this feature really makes managing all the accounts pretty easy.
According to Google, the new delegation feature allows busy executives to share their inbox with assistants, and they have been test driving it with Google Apps for almost an year now.
Today, I will tell you how you can link all your Gmail accounts to one primary account to avoid the hassle of logging in and out of Gmail every time you want to check a different inbox. Note that this service gives you full access to the shared Gmail account. You can reply to e-mail, view contacts, and add labels to messages as if it were your own account. It normally takes around half an hour for each of the accounts to be linked to the primary account.
How to access multiple Gmail accounts with one log in
Step 1: Sign in to the (secondary) Gmail account you like to be merged with your primary Gmail account. Then, click on Settings and choose Accounts and Import tab. Then click Add another account.
Step 2: A new window will pop-up where you are required to enter the primary Gmail address to which your secondary Gmail account is to be merged. Then click Next step.
Step 3: It will then take you to the confirmation screen. Verify the details and click on Send email to grant access.
Step 4: Log off your secondary Gmail account and log in to your primary account. You will see a confirmation email from Gmail Team in your inbox. Open it.
Step 5: Click on the link to accept the access.
Step 6: You will then be taken to the Confirmation screen. Though it says it can take upto 30 minutes to link the account, it should not take more than 10 minutes for most cases.
Step 7: Once the accounts are linked, you would see a tiny arrow next to the email address at the top right (you might have to refresh the screen in order to see it). Click the arrow to reveal your linked accounts. Now click the new Gmail account.
Step 8: Your secondary (linked) Gmail inbox will open in a new tab. You don’t have to enter any log in credentials. You can use this to do everything – compose new mail, see archives etc. Note that you can’t access the Settings tab though.
That’s it! If you have more accounts, repeat the above steps and get all your accounts linked!
There is every chance that you get confused between the multiple sign-in and Gmail delegation. In the screenshot below step 7, the email marked as “1” is added via multiple sign-in feature of Gmail. Clicking on this opens the secondary Gmail inbox within the same window and you will lose any unsaved data of the primary Gmail account. The email marked as “2” is the delegated Gmail id which is what I recommend!
First image courtesy: cariblogger