Many of us have more than one email account, often with different service providers, for specific purposes such as work and home. While this helps us to keep the different parts of our lives separate, it does mean that we have to use a variety of different apps or log in to a range of websites to keep up to date with all our correspondence.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. The Gmail app lets us import mail from other accounts so everything appears in the one place. Not only that but you can also reply to messages – irrespective of which account they were addressed to – in just the same way as you’d reply to a Gmail message.
Here we show how to configure the Gmail app so it becomes a central location for all your email accounts. We’ll also see how to import address books from other accounts so all your contacts are accessible in Gmail.
1. Add an account
While you can do exactly the same thing from the Gmail website, perhaps on a PC, the Gmail app provides the easiest interface, so our instructions assume you’re using it on your mobile device. Select the main menu, scroll down, select Settings, then choose Add Account.
2. Specify personal account
Although you can also add another Google account, we want to add a non-Google one. So, on the Add Account screen, select Personal (IMAP/POP) and then tap OK. In addition to the service providers listed, others will work if they support POP. Check with your provider if it doesn’t work.
3. Enter your email address
Now you’ll be asked for the pertinent details of the account you want to import. First up you’ll need to provide the name of the email account – in other words, your non-Gmail email address. Enter this as it normally appears – for example, firstname.lastname@example.org – before selecting Next.
4. Provide your password
Gmail also needs to know the password for the non-Google account. Enter your password below the phrase ‘Sign in’. As usual, each character appears when you first type it but then changes to a dot, so do watch as you type to make sure you’ve entered it correctly.
5. Select account options
Next you have the option of altering the default settings. For most people, we’d suggest leaving all three options enabled. You might want to change how often it checks your account, though; if so, touch ‘Every 15 minutes’ and select an alternative before continuing.
6. Choose real names
We’re almost done and in the final setup screen, you have the option of giving this new account a name other than your email address and/or providing your name so it can appear on outgoing messages. Optionally, provide either or both before tapping Next.
7. Swap between accounts
Now or in the future, if you want to switch between accounts – including your Gmail account and possibly several third-party ones – open the left menu. The current account will be shown in the coloured bar at the top; touching the latter allows you to select an alternative.
8. Browse third-party emails
View the inbox for your new account and it’ll soon start filling up with your old messages; new ones will also start appearing as they come in. Reply to messages in just the same way as to Gmail messages and your replies will appear to have come from your third-party account.