How to get google drive access to invites sent to a linked email account
January 17, 2013 1:46 PM   Subscribe

I get google drive document invites sent to my work email, and I can't access them through my gmail account, even though I've successfully linked the two addresses in my primary google account. Any ideas?

But I have been so accepting of our benevolent google overlords . . .

So I have a personal gmail account ( to which I have also linked my work email address ( However, when google drive file invites get sent to my work address, I am told I don't have permission to access them.

This page makes me think it should work, but I'm stumped as to why it won't.

I can even sign in to my primary ( email by entering (, so the link is clearly successful.

It's super frustrating, because if I do give people my gmail address for invites like this, then I start getting work email there when they don't check carefully. Any thoughts?

- I can't create a new google account with the work email without unlinking it, if I try, I get the error that the email address is already in use.
posted by mercredi to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I do this by signing into multiple Google accounts at once (if I am understanding your situation correctly). Is that an option for your setup?
posted by misterbrandt at 2:04 PM on January 17, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks - it's not an option, because if I try to create a separate account with the work address, I'm told that it's already registered (because it's linked to the personal account).

It's possible that would work if I unlinked them, but I'd prefer not to do that. (Though I can as last resort)
posted by mercredi at 2:07 PM on January 17, 2013

No, not create a new account, but sign into both your GMail account and your work account in different tabs of the same browser is what I think misterbrandt is suggesting. It might work.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:24 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't think that will work either. I have both a personal Google Apps for Domain account as well as a plain account. I am signed into both of them but I recently got a doc invite to my plain gmail account and it wouldn't work while I was logged in with both account. I solved the problem with opening the other account in a different browser but that is sub-optimal at best.
posted by mmascolino at 2:48 PM on January 17, 2013

Response by poster: The problem is that I don't have two accounts --- I only have one. I can log in with either address, but it's a single account with as the primary. It acts like one account (the password is the same for both accounts - resetting it resets for both addresses). So I can't be signed in differently, and regardless of which one I sign in with, google doc invites to the work address don't work.
posted by mercredi at 3:11 PM on January 17, 2013

I think the confusion of some of the above posters is that the person does not have two GMAIL addresses, but rather 1 gmail and 1 address at another domain that he can use to sign into the gmail account.

That said - I have run into this same problem and have never been able to solve it, unfortunately. Definitely obnoxious.
posted by rainbowbrite at 3:43 PM on January 17, 2013

Response by poster: Yep, rainbowbrite, that's the problem.
posted by mercredi at 3:50 PM on January 17, 2013

In general, if you want access to a google doc from an email account that does not have access, you can send the document creator a request for permission.

So, you could try sending a request from the work email address asking for permission to have access to the document. I do not know that this will work, but it's worth a try.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:29 PM on January 17, 2013

Is this work email listed in your Google Account as an alternate email address? Or is just that your gmail is setup to check mail for this work mailbox?

If I invite one of my email aliases (which IS listed in my Google Account as an alternate address) to share a Google Doc, and then I copy/paste the link that arrives in my invite email into an Incognito window (to eliminate the chance of some cookie telling google that I am me), i am prompted to log into my Google account, and then I can access the shared document.

Maybe this is not an accurate test since I am myself, but if your work email is not an alternate email address in your Google Account, try adding it?
posted by misterbrandt at 1:07 PM on January 18, 2013

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