How to Manage Multiple Gmail Accounts in One Inbox (+ Take It a Step Further with a Shared Inbox)
Sofie Couwenbergh
,
Guest writer
Last updated:
June 1, 2021
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According to a report by Radicati Group, the number of email accounts per user is currently 1.75 and that's likely to go up to 1.86 by 2022. With 26% of all emails sent through Gmail, a lot of us juggle multiple Google accounts with multiple Gmail addresses. We may have one for private purposes, one for general work email, one for specific projects, one for team work, and so on.

When none of these accounts are connected, we lose a lot of time and focus switching between them - not to mention the risk of missing important messages or emails going unanswered.

Luckily, Gmail allows you to handle multiple Gmail accounts and email addresses from one Gmail inbox. In this post, we'll discuss how you can easily set up the Gmail multiple inboxes feature to manage multiple Gmail accounts in one inbox.

We'll also discuss how you can make inbox management even more efficient and use Gmelius to create a shared inbox straight within Gmail to collaborate with team members on the same emails without having to give them access to your entire Gmail account.


Can't wait to give it a go? Sign up for Gmelius today and easily manage team emails from a collaborative inbox without needing to leave Gmail.


How to Manage Multiple Gmail Accounts in One Inbox

Multiple Gmail Accounts One Inbox


  1. In your primary Gmail account, go to "Settings" > "See all settings" > "Accounts and Import"
  2. In the "Send mail as:" section, add a second Gmail account.
  3. Click the "Send Verification" button
  4. Verify your secondary email address
  5. Select your default way of replying
  6. In your secondary account, go to "Settings" > "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" > "Forwarding:" section
  7. Click "Add a forwarding address" and enter your primary account's Gmail address
  8. Copy/paste the confirmation code to confirm your forwarding address
  9. Choose a forwarding option


Now, let's go over these steps in detail.


Step 1: Go to "Settings" > "See all settings" > "Accounts"

Gmail Accounts settings

Start in the Gmail account from where you want to manage all of your other accounts and go to "Settings" > "See all settings" > "Accounts".


Step 2: In the "Send mail as:" section, add your secondary Gmail account

Gmail settings send mail as

In the "Send mail as:" section, click on "Add another email address". A pop-up will appear where you can add the email address you'd like to add, as well as the sender name it should display. Check the "Treat as an alias" box to make sure emails from your secondary account arrive in your primary inbox.

When you're done, click "Next Step".


Step 3: Click the "Send Verification" button

Gmail settings send verifitcation

You're now able to click the "Send Verification" button, which will cause an automatic email to be sent to your secondary email account. Make sure not to close the pop-up once you've clicked the button.


Step 4: Verify your secondary email address

Gmail verification code

Go to your secondary email account, find the verification email and either click the verification link in that email or copy/paste the verification code in the email into the "Enter and verify the confirmation code" field in the pop-up in your primary account.

When that's done, you'll be able to send emails from your secondary email address, straight from your primary Gmail inbox.


Step 5: Select your default way of replying

Gmail settings send mail as default

Gmail automatically sets your primary email address as your default email address to send new emails with. If you'd like to change that, you can select the "make default" next to the secondary email address you'd like to send new email addresses from.

You can also decide whether you want to reply to emails from the same email address the email was sent to, or from your default email address by selecting the appropriate option under "When replying to a message:".


Step 6: In your secondary account, go to "Settings" > "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" > "Forwarding" section

Gmail settings Forwarding and POP/IMAP

For this step, you need to go to your secondary Gmail account. Head into all settings and go to the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab. 


Step 7: Click "Add a forwarding address" and enter your primary account's Gmail address

Gmail settings add a forwarding address

In the "Forwarding" section, click the "Add a forwarding address" button and enter the email address of your primary Gmail account. Click "Next" > "Proceed" > "OK" to have a confirmation email sent to your primary Gmail address.


Step 8: Copy/paste the confirmation code to confirm your forwarding address.     

Gmail confirmation code

Go back to your primary account, find the confirmation email, and click the confirmation link. A new browser tab will open to let you know your email address has been confirmed.

Alternatively, copy/paste the confirmation code from the email into the related field in the pop-up in your secondary Gmail account. Click "Verify" to finalize the verification process.




Step 9: Choose a forwarding option

Gmail settings forwarding option

Go back to your secondary Gmail account and under "Forwarding:", select an option from the dropdown under "Forward a copy of incoming mail to…".

Save your changes at the bottom of the page and any emails coming into your secondary account will now be forwarded to your primary Gmail account.

Note that you can also automatically forward emails from non-Gmail accounts. Check the support documentation of the respective email client on how to set that up.



Extra 1: Importing emails from non-Gmail accounts

If you also want to use your primary Gmail inbox to send and receive emails from non-Gmail accounts, you can do so by adding the relevant email address under "Send email as:" as described above, and also having its emails imported.

The downside to using this option is that it's limited to pulling in emails from just five other email accounts so if you want to manage more than five secondary accounts in your main account, you'll have to resort to the email forwarding option anyway.

If you do, for some reason, want to use the import option:

  • Go to "Settings" > "Accounts and Import".
  • Scroll down to "Check mail from other accounts:".
  • Add the email accounts you want to import emails from.
  • Follow the verification process.


Extra 2: Managing Signatures for Multiple Gmail Accounts

Gmail settings signature

Once you've added your secondary Gmail accounts to your primary inbox, you can easily assign a unique email signature to each of them.


  1. Go to "Settings" > "See all settings" > "General".
  2. Scroll down to "Signature:".
  3. Select "Create new" if you don't have a signature yet, or select each email address added to your account to edit its signature.
  4. Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page.



How to set up Gmail Multiple Inboxes

Once you've connected your other Gmail accounts, you can set Gmail up as such that it groups together emails from each of those accounts in your main inbox view. To do so, you need to enable Gmail Multiple Inboxes.



Steps to set up Gmail Multiple inboxes 

  1. Go to "Settings" > "See all settings" > "Inbox".
  2. Select "Inbox type: Multiple Inboxes".
  3. Under "Multiple Inbox Sections", assign search queries to your inboxes.
  4. Give your inboxes a name (optional).
  5. Choose how many conversations inboxes display
  6. Select the position of your multiple inboxes.
  7. Click "Save changes".

The multiple inboxes Gmail feature allows you to see emails going into different inboxes nicely categorized per inbox in your main inbox view.


Here's how to set it up:


Step 1: Go to "Settings" > "See all settings" > "Inbox"

Gmail settings Inbox



Step 2: Select "Inbox type: Multiple Inboxes"

Gmail settings multiple inboxes

An alternative way to enable multiple inboxes is by clicking the settings wheel from your inbox, scrolling down, and selecting "Multiple Inboxes" there. You can also click "Customize" and Gmail will automatically enable multiple inboxes and redirect you to the related settings screen.

If you don't yet see the multiple inboxes in your Inbox settings, go to the "Advanced" tab and enable multiple inboxes there.


Step 3: Under "Multiple Inbox Sections", assign search queries to your inboxes

Gmail settings Inbox Search query

You can create up to five different inboxes under Settings > See all settings > Inbox > Multiple Inbox Sections. Use the "Search query" fields to tell Gmail which emails to send to this inbox. 

  • For all the emails coming from a specific address, use "from:emailaddress".
  • For all the emails coming from multiple addresses, use "from:emailaddress1 OR emailaddress2".
  • For all starred, unread, or otherwise by Gmail categorized emails, use "is:unread", "is:starred", ...
  • For emails sent to one of your other Gmail accounts, use "to:you@yourothergmail.com". To use this search query, you need to have Gmail set up to send emails from different addresses, which will discuss further down this post.
  • For emails with multiple characteristics, use Gmail search operators.
  • For all emails with a specific label, use "label:labelname".


A label could refer to a client, a workflow, and a team, or it could refer to a specific task like "follow-up" or "later". If you haven't created any labels yet that you want to use to differentiate your multiples inboxes, you can do so as follows:

  1. Go to "Settings" > "See all settings" > "Labels" and click "Create new label".
  2. Enter a label name and click "Create".


Alternatively, go to your inbox, scroll down to the bottom of your left side pane, click "More" > "Create new label".


Note that if you create your multiple inboxes based on labels, it's best to assign a label to your emails as soon as you compose them. That way, both your email and the reply it gets will automatically go to the correct inbox.


To apply a label to a new email:

  1. Click "Compose" to start a new email.
  2. Click the three "More" dots in the bottom right corner.
  3. Click "Label".
  4. Select a label.
  5. Click "Apply".


Extra tip: If you hover over a label in the left side pane of your inbox, the three "More" dots appear. Click them to assign a color to each label to make them visually stand out.


Step 4: Give your inboxes a name (optional)

Gmail settings Inbox Section name

If you want your inboxes to appear with a specific name in your general inbox view, you can set that name in the "Section name" field of every inbox. If you don't, the inbox will carry the name of the search query you're using to create it.



Step 5: Choose how many conversations inboxes display

Gmail settings Inbox conversations per page

By default, each of your inboxes displays a maximum of nine conversations. You can change that number in the "Maximum page size:" section on the Inbox settings tab.


Step 6: Select the position of your multiple inboxes

Gmail settings Inbox Multiple Inbox position

By default, your new inboxes will be shown above your general inbox. If you wish to chance that, you can do so in the "Multiple inbox position:" section.



Step 7: Click "Save Changes"

Gmail settings Inbox Save changes


Simplify Multiple Inboxes with Gmelius

As we saw above, Gmail has built-in ways to handle multiple accounts from one inbox. However, it doesn't allow you to share just one or a few of the multiple inboxes you created. You either share your entire Gmail with your team members (yikes!), or you're still forced to work with a separate inbox for emails that multiple team members need to be able to read and respond to.


Unless you use Gmelius.

Gmelius Shared Inbox

Gmelius allows you to create a truly shared inbox in Gmail by allowing you to add team members to specific Gmail inboxes only. The benefits are plentiful:

  • There's no more need to forward and cc.
  • There's no risk that someone doesn't get an email they're supposed to get.
  • You avoid that two team members reply to the same email.
  • You can easily spread the inbox workload among team members.
  • You can collaborate in real-time, with Gmelius syncing any updates by team members in real-time.


On top of that, Gmelius allows you to assign emails to specific team members so everyone always knows who's working on what. This means there's no confusion about what still needs to be done and you'll never leave an email unanswered for too long. 


When you know how quickly you should respond to emails not to annoy both coworkers and clients, you know this is a big deal.



Step 1: Install Gmelius

Install Gmelius

Sign up for a Gmelius account today and install the browser extension.


Step 2: Add your team members to your Gmelius account

Invite team members to Gmelius

Go to the "Team" section in your Gmelius account and add your team.


Step 3: Create a new shared inbox

Create a new shared inbox

Go to your Gmelius dashboard. Click the shared inbox panel, and then click "New shared inbox".


If the email address you want to share is a Gmail or Google Workspace account, you'll first need to add that email address as a user to your Gmelius subscription.


And if you use Google Groups for different projects or email lists, Gmelius also allows you to convert those groups into shared inboxes and collaboratively manage it directly from your personal inbox.


Step 4: Start using your shared inbox!

Gmelius shared inbox in Gmail

That's it! You can now add workflow statuses to emails in your shared inbox, assign emails to team members, have team discussions right in Gmail by using the Gmelius conversation panel, and more.



Take Control over Your Gmail Accounts today

Switching back and forth between different Gmail accounts causes you to lose time, focus, and - potentially - the goodwill of important contacts and clients. By following the steps in this article and managing multiple Gmail accounts from one inbox, you'll be able to tackle email more smoothly, avoiding overwhelm and mistakes.


Sign up for Gmelius to bring the same kind of efficiency to your team with collaborative inboxes that allow you to assign and tackle emails directly in Gmail, with real-time sync ensuring that everyone is always up-to-date.

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