How to use multiple gmail accounts to access gdrives without logging out
January 23, 2018 1:01 PM   Subscribe

I have multiple gmail accounts that I keep open in different browser tabs. Whenever I try to access my gdrive files from one tab, I'm told that I have to log out of all of my other gmail accounts in order to do it. This is frustrating. Are there ways around it?

Specs: I use Chrome on a Macbook Pro running Sierra to access my gmails and my gdrives.

I have four separate gmail accounts, though I only use gdrive with two of them. When I get an "invitation to edit" or otherwise need to go into gdrive, I'm told I can't access it unless I log out of all of my other gmail accounts. Needless to say this is annoying. Weirdly, when I'm in a gmail tab and I want to go to my calendar for that account, I can do it, no problem. It's just the gdrive option making this request.

What's the fix? I've read this question, where the answer seems to be "Chrome profiles," but I have never used that before. Would it still involve logging out of my other gmail accounts, because that would be a deal-breaker for me--I need to have all my gmail accounts open and immediately accessible simultaneously. Would any info transfer over from one Chrome profile to another, such as search history, recently closed tabs, etc? Finally, is there a different solution besides Chrome profiles that I somehow just missed?
posted by tzikeh to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My (somewhat dumb) solution to this is an incognito window for every drive.
posted by btfreek at 1:06 PM on January 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

Could you open the second account that uses Google Drive in a different browser, or is there a reason you need to use Chrome for both? (I suppose you could also try to use two separate instances of Chrome, but this might be more difficult or impossible.)
posted by pullayup at 1:07 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Chrome profiles doesn't require logging out.

If you click the link at the top right of Chrome (it probably says "Guest" or something generic) you can "Manage People" and add multiple accounts. You can then select the account you want to access using the top right menu.

If you set it up right (I do this at work all the time), clicking each account will open a new Chrome window for that account. For the purposes of that window, you're logged in to that account. You can keep both windows open at the same time.
posted by leo_r at 1:15 PM on January 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

An update after actually trying my advice. It's not correct! However, there are at least 2 ways to have multiple Google accounts logged in at the same time.

1. Click the account image in the top right and select "Add account". Sign into your account. Open Google Drive (or gmail etc) and select the account you wish to use by clicking on the account image and selecting the account. I had no issue opening Google Drive with 2 google accounts and accessing documents from both of them simultaneously in the same browser window this way.

2. The aforementioned Chrome profiles. I think the way to set this up is to make a new profile (as in my previous comment) and then when the new window is created, select "Sign in to chrome" and sign in with your other Google account. The new window normally says "Sign in to Chrome", or you can click the name of the profile on the top right when the new profile window is open and select "Sign in to chrome" Then you'll be logged into 2 Google accounts in 2 windows.

This is on Windows - other platforms may vary (although generally Chrome is pretty consistent across platforms).
posted by leo_r at 1:22 PM on January 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

incognito windows work well for this but so does simply using different browsers for each account like firefox or, god forbid, IE.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:22 PM on January 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

Kiwi for Gmail solves this problem on a Mac.
posted by megatherium at 1:50 PM on January 23, 2018

I regularly need to be in 2 different Google accounts at once and I do it with Chrome profiles. I have it set up so when I start Chrome, a window for each profile opens. Search history, bookmarks, etc do not travel across profiles, which I find to be a minor annoyance.
posted by JuliaJellicoe at 2:46 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

I do this with four separate accounts as well. Click on your profile pic and just go to "Add Account" -- once you sign in with the email & password, this will let you switch via a dropdown menu to any of your accounts. Very quick and easy.
posted by ananci at 3:47 PM on January 23, 2018

3rding that the Add Account option is the best and easiest way. I easily and frequently swap between work and personal GDrives. When someone sends me a doc share link and I click it, it'll either just work or present me the option of which account I want to switch to to view it. This does not log me out, only switches which account is currently "active." I can switch back to the other account without having to log back in.
posted by rhiannonstone at 5:52 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

SessionBox extension works well. You don't have to change browser sessions, you just click on the extension button, select the Gmail account (or Calendar, or whatever) and you get a new tab using those credentials.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 11:47 PM on January 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I agree with everyone else that “add account” is by far the simplest and easiest option. I use multiple gmail accounts (with different domains) and I never have any trouble. I often have multiple tabs open with different google drives.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:22 AM on January 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Caveat: I can use "Add account" to switch between four different gmail accounts, but it asks me to log out of all other accounts whenever I try to use Gdrive. I've tried researching this problem once, and it looks like a bug/feature/thing that usually happens to people who have, at some point, had GDrive desktop application installed on their computer. I never resolved this issue and have resorted to giving editing rights to all my 4 accounts on those gdrive documents I use most often.
posted by gakiko at 10:04 AM on January 24, 2018

Having multiple windows open, each signed in as a different Chrome user, saves my life. I have three different account profiles open right now. I love that each profile can also open with the relevant tabs for that particular project and Drive.
posted by hessie at 6:23 AM on January 25, 2018

« Older How to iPhone in UK for 10 days   |   Earring Symbol/Shape/Design Identification Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.