Prep Tech


Juggling Google Accounts

If you have a personal Gmail account, you may have noticed that Chrome can be frustrating when switching between it and your Prep account. Depending on which tab you are using, Chrome may switch itself over to one account or another when opening Google Apps such as Mail, Drive, or Calendar.

The reason for this is that Chrome is not meant to be logged into more than one Google account. Chrome works best when you have one Chrome window handling your Prep account and a separate Chrome window handling a personal account. Here's what I mean:

Chrome Profiles

Our end goal is to have two separate Chrome shortcuts on our computer, like this:
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This will allow you to just open the account you want and Chrome will already be logged into that account. You should never have to log out of an account in order to work from another.

The first step to set this up is to log your whole Chrome browser into one account. To log into your Chrome browser, look for the button in the top right of the window next to the minimize/maximize buttons.

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In the image, mine shows that I'm already logged into my Prep account. This means that any Google app that I open (Mail, Calendar, Drive, etc.) will always be for that account. If you've never logged in, you can left click that button and enter your log-in information.

Make sure you select the option to "link data" if you are asked. This will carry over browser preferences that you've set, such as bookmarks. Logging into your Google account through the Chrome browser will auto-populate your bookmarks on a new computer.

Creating a desktop shortcut

Once you've logged into your Chrome browser with your Google account, you can make a Chrome shortcut that will always open with this profile. To do this, first select Settings under the "three lines" button:
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Then, scroll down to find "People" and select the profile you just signed in as. You should see "(Current)" next to it. Once it's selected, click on the "Edit" button:
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From here, you can choose a picture to be associated with the account, name the account, then press the "Add Desktop Shortcut" button. Your shortcut will appear as soon as you click it.
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Adding a second account

To add a second account, you simply click on the same button in the top-right corner (the one that should now show your account name) and select "Switch Person." A second Chrome window will open showing your current Chrome profiles and you can select to "Add Person." From there you can enter another Google account (such as your personal account) and a new Chrome browser window will open with your personal settings showing (bookmarks, etc.).

From here, you repeat the above steps to add a second shortcut. When you're done, you will have separate Chrome icons on your desktop. When you need to check personal mail, simply select your Personal Chrome icon -- when you need to check work mail, go back to your desktop and select your Work Chrome icon. You can have them both open at the same, in separate windows.

Incognito Mode

You'll also notice when you click the "three lines" button that you have the options to open a new tab, a new window, or a new "incognito" window. Selecting to open a new incognito window will open a Chrome window that does not track web browsing history, cookies, etc. But, more importantly, the new window will not have any of your Google accounts associated with it.

This is valuable during presentation day in class. So, if you have one student after another that needs to log into their Google Drive to get their presentation, just open an incognito window and they can log in without you having to log yourself out. It also doesn't save their profile info, so when the window is closed they are logged out for good.

There's several steps with this one, so let me know if you need some help!

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to e-mail me any questions.