Google has quietly added the ability for users to sign into as many as three Google accounts at the same time from the same browser. Such multiple sign-ins are a major convenience in instances of shared computers and browsers.
Google has quietly added the ability for users to sign into up to three
Google accounts at the same time from the same browser, saving users the
inconvenience of logging on and logging off to switch between accounts.
The Google Operating System blog noted
that when users go to their Google
Web page, they will see a new "multiple sign-in" option
under the "e-mail addresses" option.
Users who enable it will see a drop-down menu next to their e-mail address
that lets them choose which Google account they wish to sign into. Underneath
this menu, a warning tells users to check their address to make sure they're
using the correct account.
Google said the tool will work for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites,
Google Reader, Google Voice, App Engine and Google Code. Multiple sign-in
support is not yet included for Google Docs, Google Talk and Google Wave.
The feature is valuable for households where more than one user accesses his
or her Google account from the same desktop, laptop, netbook or tablet
For example, if a family of four has a community computer in the kitchen or
living room that's used to access Google accounts, each family member would
have to sign the previous user out of the Google account before the new user
could sign in to access his or her own Google account.
Now, with the new multiple sign-in feature, users can just click the
drop-down menu to pick their account. Google explains how it works in its help center
"If you use multiple sign-in, the first account you sign in will be
your default account. If you visit other Google products that don't support
multiple accounts after you've signed in, you will automatically sign in to
your default account for that product. If you sign out of any Google product
while signed in to any account, you will be signed out of all your Google
Accounts at once."
Moreover, multiple sign-in will disable offline Gmail and offline Calendar,
as well as any browser bookmarks.
Not everyone will see multiple sign-in yet. A Google spokesperson told eWEEK that multiple sign-in is an
"advanced feature for power users, and we've just started rolling it
A note at the top of Google's multiple sign-in help center Web page says,
"We're working hard to enable this feature for everyone, and we appreciate
your patience in the meantime."