Google is undoubtedly one of the most popular and powerful technologies available today. Most people use at least one of the Google platforms in their daily lives and many people depend on them for a variety of functions. Because of that, individuals may need to use more than one Google profile. In those cases, what is the best way to manage them? How can you ensure privacy, security, and, just as importantly, ease of use? Keep reading for some actionable tips on managing multiple Google profiles.
Why Use Multiple Google Profiles?
If you’re not already using multiple Google profiles, you might be wondering why someone would even want to do that. In truth, there are lots of instances where more than one Google profile makes sense. For example:
- Personal and Professional Separation - This is probably the most common reason a person might have multiple profiles. Many individuals maintain distinct personal and professional spaces. Having multiple Google profiles allows them to keep personal emails, calendars, and documents separate from work-related ones, which is key for organization and privacy.
- Multiple Roles or Clients - If someone holds multiple roles or operates different businesses, they might find it beneficial to have separate Google profiles for each. A lot of entrepreneurs are involved in several start-ups at one time and need contact information for each, for instance. The same goes for people who manage administrative platforms for others. For example, an administrative assistant might help more than one executive, and need to maintain multiple profiles. This helps in viewing and managing distinct email addresses, calendars, documents, and other resources for each role, company, or client.
- Privacy and Security - Using separate Google profiles can enhance privacy and security (when done correctly - see our note below). As an example, say someone wants to engage in online activities anonymously or minimize data sharing between different accounts. Having multiple profiles can help maintain a higher level of privacy, as they can participate in online forums using different profiles that are not related to other activities.
- Collaboration and Teamwork - This is another big reason people end up using more than one profile. Individuals who collaborate with different teams or work on various projects may benefit from using multiple Google profiles. Each profile can be associated with a specific team or project, allowing for better organization, communication, and sharing of relevant documents. It’s a great way to take advantage of all of the powerful features that the Google suite has to offer.
- Testing and Development - The development professionals out there understand this one! People involved in software development, website design, or digital marketing often need to test different configurations or access multiple accounts simultaneously. Multiple profiles enable them to switch between test environments or client accounts seamlessly. Creating separate accounts is a necessary way to test a variety of functions in website environments.
- Increased Storage - Google Drive offers users 15 GB of cloud storage. That seems like plenty, but when you are dealing with photos, emails, and attachments, space adds up quickly. There are ways to increase your Google storage, but people dealing with massive amounts of information may choose to use a separate account. Two profiles essentially provide 30 GB of storage, and so on.
These are just some of the more common reasons why a person would have more than one Google profile, but it’s not an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other reasons based on someone’s individual needs. The important thing to note is that managing multiple Google profiles is really common and can be really helpful - when done efficiently.
Related Post: How to Manage Multiple Google Accounts
The Problems with Multiple Google Profiles
We just listed a bunch of reasons why multiple Google profiles are a great thing, but it’s not a foolproof system.
The most noticeable issue is the logging in and out that you’ll have to do for multiple profiles. For one thing it is a clunky process and it’s time-consuming. However, there is a bigger issue. In Google Drive, you can set up your account to automatically sync specific folders. When you update one, it will be automatically updated in the cloud. That being said, Google only lets you sync one Drive account per desktop. There are some workarounds, but they aren’t the easiest to set up.
Additionally, you just need to be more conscious and careful when using multiple accounts. We’ve mentioned it on other blogs, but there is always the risk of sharing the wrong file with the wrong account, or sending something personal to your professional account. That doesn’t even get into the organization you need to manage sensitive information for multiple clients or accounts. When managing multiple accounts, it’s essential to be diligent with your activity.
Related Post: How to Separate Google Accounts
Managing Multiple Google Profiles with Shift
The tips we mentioned above are a great start for managing multiple Google profiles. You can use those organization and desktop tips to keep a clean workspace and limit the issues that could come with managing more than one profile. That being said, there is a way to essentially have all of that done for you!
The simplest way to incorporate all of those tips at once on your desktop is to implement Shift. Shift provides the easiest way to manage multiple Google profiles on your desktop. To begin with, you’ll need to download Shift. After the program is installed, you can open it on your desktop and begin to add each of your Google accounts. Simply click the “plus” sign on the left taskbar and select “Add Account”. You will enter the first email address and then keep repeating that process with additional accounts. After you’ve added an account, you shouldn’t need to log in again.
Once you’ve completed that process, your Google accounts will be visible on the left of your screen. You can then access the Drive account that goes with each unique email address. Simply click on each account, then choose the Drive icon from the upper-right corner to get to the files related to each login. From there, you can easily toggle back and forth, plus view, upload, and download from this screen just as you would in a web browser. To create a new file, go to My Drive and select the application you want to access (like Docs or Sheets, etc). Create your document just like you would in the web browser. Shift is highly intuitive and the functionality behaves just like what you are already used to in a web browser.
Related Post: How to Get All Your Apps in One Place
Shift: A Powerful Tool for Managing Multiple Accounts
Shift is an innovative platform that can be used for a better, more organized digital experience, whether you are using multiple Google profiles or just one. You can use Shift to work within focused web tabs and by accessing the web from inside Shift, you can manage your tabs and organize them for a better browsing experience. Users love the ability to streamline tabs in the way that works for them - for example by account or project. They can keep context, avoid distraction, and increase overall efficiency.
Furthermore, you can easily access and store information like bookmarks in Workspaces. This makes it simple to have important applications visible and organized by workspace, and bookmark them for quick access later on.
Anyone who uses online platforms will find Shift to be a powerful resource. With Shift, you can organize and manage the following in your personal or professional life:
- Mail - Connect all of your Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365 accounts and manage everything from one centralized workstation.
- Apps - WhatsApp, Slack, Messenger—we have everything you need to get it done. Browse our Apps Directory, connect yours, and switch between them easily.
- Search - Save time and find exactly what you're looking for across any of your Mail, Calendar, and Drive accounts.
- Chrome extensions - Enjoy access to Boomerang, Grammarly, LastPass, and many of your other favorite Chrome Extensions.
- Workspaces - Create a Workspace with the exact apps, tabs, and bookmarks you need, then share it with your team to get the job done.
- Account management - Toggle between your most-used accounts, check notifications and streamline your workflow.
If you manage multiple Google profiles - or think there is merit in trying to do so soon - then you’ll want to follow these tips to make the most of them. Try using Shift to make the most of your Google applications along with everything else you use on your desktop. You are likely to be surprised at the time and energy you can save by limiting the amount of logging in and out you have to do. Stopping the endless toggling back and forth is sure to save you some stress. Download Shift and install it today to begin better managing your entire desktop experience.
5 Tips for Managing Multiple Google Profiles
- Use Shift - Shift offers user-friendly management of multiple Google profiles. Plus you can manage all of your other email accounts and apps in the same place.
- Use multiple browsers - Consider using different browsers or creating separate profiles within the same browser for each Google account you manage. This way, you can easily switch between profiles without needing to sign in and out repeatedly.
- Try Chrome Profiles - If you use Google Chrome, take advantage of its built-in profile feature. You can create multiple profiles, each associated with a different Google account. This allows you to keep your browsing sessions and account information separate and easily switch between them.
- Enable multi-account sign-in - Google allows you to enable multi-account sign-in, which enables you to access multiple accounts simultaneously without needing to log out. This can be done by going to your Google Account settings and enabling the "Multiple sign-in" option.
- Organize bookmarks and extensions - To avoid confusion and make it easier to access specific profiles, organize your bookmarks and browser extensions accordingly. You can create separate folders or organize them by different profiles, ensuring quick access to the right information.
- Set profile-specific notifications - Customize your notifications for each Google profile to prevent missing important emails or events. You can manage this by going to your account settings and adjusting the notification preferences for each individual account.
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Moving Files Between Accounts
One of the most common questions on managing multiple accounts is how to move documents between them. Moving files can have a variety of uses, but chances are at some point you will want to move a file from one profile to another, or share it. To do so, follow these steps:
- Go to the account that you currently have synced with your desktop.
- Find the folder(s) where those particular files are currently stored.
- Right-click on the folder(s) and select Share from the menu.
- Choose the email address associated with the account that will be viewing the file.
- Check your email. You will receive an email notifying you that the folder has been shared.
- From then on, when you log into the other account, you’ll see the shared folder along with your other files and folders.
Related Post: How to Manage Multiple Google Drive Accounts
Google Profiles on Mobile
We’ve covered a lot so far but the tips mainly pertain to managing multiple profiles on your desktop. Is it possible to deal with multiple profiles on your mobile device?
In actuality, your desktop isn’t the only device that you can back up to your mobile device. If you have an Android device, you might already have Drive installed as an app. If you have an iOS device, you can install the Google Drive app. Then, you can access multiple profiles on your smartphone or tablet. We strongly suggest downloading the app and setting up the profiles you use most on your device. Then you can switch between accounts within Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. This can be really beneficial as you can manage tons of tasks within the Google applications from both your desktop, phone, or tablet. Here is a specific how-to:
- Open the Google Drive app and click the vertical lines on the top left to get to the menu.
- Choose the email address for the account you want to access.
Additionally, you can access Google Drive within Chrome or Safari on your mobile device by pulling up the browser and entering drive.google.com. Then log in just like you normally would on your desktop.
What about backing up files from your device to your Drive account? You can do that too!
To back up your Android files to Google Drive:
- Open Settings.
- Click System, Backup.
- Click to toggle the Backup to “on”. From here on out, automatic backups are enabled.
- If you want to manually back up your phone, click “Back up now” and then Continue.
To back up your iOS to Google Drive:
- Download the Google Drive app and make sure it’s installed.
- Open the app and go to the menu of vertical lines in the top left.
- Select Settings, then Backup.
- Click “Start Backup”.
- To find your files, go to your iPhone settings. Find Accounts and Passwords, then choose “Add Account”. Log in and tap Next.
The bad news is that you can’t back up your phone to multiple Google accounts. So, you do need to be conscious of storage and make sure you’re clear on exactly which profile things are backed up under. Generally, though, you can share your folder just as you did on your desktop to be able to access backed up files from another account.