Frustrated by Google account restrictions (especially Apps vs Plus)?

As anyone who follows me on Twitter will vouch, I have been getting increasingly narked with Google’s accounts recently!  As you may know, many of Google services do not support Google Apps (i.e. paid) accounts – most notably Google+.  Hence switching from Docs to Plus to Feedburner to Analytics has been a real trial, as multiple accounts are involved.  Add in the option to merge some data from one account to another having to use a temporary login account, and I’ve been close to throwing the towel in!

But… there is an answer.  An answer that I was not aware of and I think isn’t generally well known.  You can login to more than one Google account simultaneously in the same browser:

Google is rolling out a feature I mentioned in a previous post: signing in to multiple Google accounts simultaneously from the same browser. When you go to the Google accounts page, you might see a new option: “multiple sign-in”. If you don’t see the new feature, it will probably be enabled soon.

Image:Frustrated by Google account restrictions (especially Apps vs Plus)?

After clicking on the “change” link, Google informs that this is an advanced feature and that it will only work for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Google Reader, Google Voice, App Engine and Google Code. When multiple sign-in is enabled, a drop-down is displayed next to your email address at the top of the page, so you can quickly switch to a new account.

“If you use multiple sign-in, the first account you sign in to 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.”

Do this for each of your Google accounts as your browser seamlessly knows which ID to use, and if there is any confusion, gives you an option to change account on the fly:

Many thanks to Donnie Berkholz of Redmonk for passing on the tip!

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!