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Merging Multiple Gmail Accounts
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A shared inbox to unify all business communicaton

A Quick Guide to Merging Multiple Gmail Accounts

Apr 15, 2024
10 min read
Hiver HQ

Table of contents

If your business uses Google Workspace, chances are that it has multiple group email accounts. One could be for sales ([email protected]),one for customer support ([email protected]),one for outbound campaigns, and so on. 

In such a scenario, you’d find yourself juggling between these multiple accounts. This takes up a lot of time and effort, and it also unnecessary grunt work. 

This is where the concept of merging Gmail accounts comes into play. By consolidating multiple Gmail accounts into one, businesses can streamline their communication, reduce the risk of missing important emails, and enhance overall productivity.

If you are looking for a guide on merging Gmail accounts, here’s everything you need to know. 

Key Takeaways

  • Streamline Communication: Merging multiple Gmail accounts into one central account can streamline email communication. It reduces the time and effort spent managing multiple inboxes.
  • Enhance Account Security: Utilize Gmail’s security features like Two-Factor Authentication to ensure all your communication is secured.
  • Email Forwarding Setup: Implement forwarding from secondary accounts to the primary one.
  • Consolidate Contacts: Merge contacts from multiple accounts for a comprehensive network
  • Centralize Google Drive: Merge Drive files for streamlined access to all documents.
  • Backup Before Merging: Secure critical data by backing up emails and attachments prior to merging.
  • Monitor Email Limits: Be aware of Gmail’s sending/receiving limits to avoid disruptions in communication.
  • Synchronize Across Devices: Ensure consistent email access by regularly syncing Gmail on all devices.
  • Manage Connected Apps: Review and adjust third-party app integrations with Gmail accounts before merging them.

Table of Contents

What Does it Mean to Merge Gmail Accounts?

Merging Gmail accounts is the process of combining two or more Gmail inboxes into a single primary account. Instead of logging into multiple accounts to check and manage emails, users can access all their messages in one place.

For instance, imagine a business professional who has separate Gmail addresses for sales communications and customer support inquiries. By merging these accounts, they can receive and send emails from all these accounts through a single primary inbox. This not only simplifies email management but also ensures that no important communication slips through the cracks.

A shared inbox that centralizes all communication within Gmail See how

A Quick Guide to Merging Gmail Accounts

With a systematic approach, the process of merging multiple Gmail accounts can be smooth and efficient. Here’s a step-by-step guide for businesses to merge their Gmail accounts successfully:

1. Setting Up Email Forwarding for Secondary Accounts

Email forwarding allows emails sent to one account (secondary) to be automatically forwarded to another account (primary). Ths way emails sent to the secondary account will still be accessible in the primary inbox.

Lets’s suppose a company has separate accounts for customer support and sales inquiries. By setting up forwarding, they can ensure that all customer and sales-related emails are directed to a central account, making it easier to manage and respond to these emails.

Steps to do it:

Step 1: Log into the secondary Gmail account.

Step 2: Navigate to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’.

Step 3: Click on ‘Add a Forwarding Address’ and enter the primary Gmail account address. Click on “Next”

Forwarfing and POP/IMAP for merging gmail accounts
Navigating to ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’

Step 4: Step 4: You will be prompted to verify the primary account. A verification link will be sent to your account. Click on the “Link” and your forwarding address will be set.

forwarding confirmation for merging gmail accounts
Verification link

2. Consolidating Google Contacts from Multiple Accounts

Over time, businesses accumulate contacts across various Gmail accounts. Consolidating these contacts means bringing them all under one primary account.

For example, imagine a company that started with a small team and used individual Gmail accounts for different projects or clients. Over time, as the company grew, they established a main corporate Gmail account for all official communication. 

The older accounts might have valuable contacts from early clients, partners, or collaborators. By consolidating these contacts into the main corporate account, the company ensures that newer team members or departments can easily reach out to these early contacts without having to ask around or search through multiple accounts.

Steps to do it:

Step1: In the secondary Gmail account, navigate to Google Contacts.

Step 2: Select the contacts you wish to export.

Step 3:Click on ‘Export’ and save the file in your desired format from the pop-up window.

exporting to merge gmail contacts
Exporting Contacts

Step 4: Now, in the primary Gmail account, navigate to Google Contacts and select ‘Import’.

importing to merge gmail contacts
Importing Contacts

Step 5: A pop-up window will appear. Upload the previously saved file and you are done. 

3. Migrating Google Drive Files and Shared Documents

Businesses often store important documents, presentations, and files on Google Drive. Migrating these files ensures that all essential data is accessible from the primary account.

For example, an R&D department might have numerous project files in their Drive, while the marketing team has campaign materials in another. Migrating ensures that all departments can access and collaborate on shared documents seamlessly.

Steps to do it:

Step 1: In the secondary Gmail account’s Drive, select the files and folders you want to migrate.

Step 2: Right-click and choose ‘Share’, then enter the primary Gmail account’s email address.

file sharing to migrate documents while merging gmail accounts
Sharing files from the secondary account

Step 3: Switch to the primary account, access the shared files, and move them to the desired location in the primary Drive.

shared files after merging gmail accounts
Shared files in the primary account

4. Managing Multiple Google Calendars Post-Merge

If your business has events, meetings, or reminders set up in multiple Google Calendars, you’ll need to ensure that these are accessible and manageable post-merge.

For example, consider a company that expanded its operations overseas. The local team has a calendar filled with local events, holidays, and marketing campaigns, while the overseas team has its own calendar with regional activities and key dates. Merging these calendars ensures that both teams are aware of each other’s schedules, facilitating better coordination for global campaigns or joint initiatives.

Steps to do it:

Step 1: In the secondary Gmail account’s Calendar “My Calendars”. Click on the three dots beside the selected calendar and click on “Settings and Sharing”

Settings in calendar to merge gmail calendars
Settings and sharing option in calendar

Step 2: Under the specific calendar you wish to share, select ‘Share with specific people’.

adding accounts to merge calendars
Sharing calendar while merging gmail accounts

Step 3: Add the primary Gmail account’s email address and set permissions.

Step 4: In the primary account, you’ll now see the secondary account’s calendar events.

Why Do You Need to Merge Multiple Gmail Accounts?

Merging multiple Gmail accounts offers a solution to the complexities of managing various inboxes. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Centralized Communication: Merging Gmail accounts means all emails, whether they’re from clients, team members, or suppliers, land in one gmail account. This centralization eliminates the need to switch between different accounts, ensuring that all communication is tracked efficiently.
  2. Improved Time Management: Time is a valuable asset while running businesses By reducing the time spent on logging in and out of multiple email accounts or searching for specific emails across different inboxes, you can allocate more time to tasks that directly impact business growth.
  3. Reduced Risk of Missed Emails: With multiple inboxes, there’s always a risk of overlooking an important email. Merging ensures that all emails are in one inbox, reducing the chances of missing out on crucial information or deadlines.
  4. Enhanced Email Organization: With a single primary account, users can better utilize Gmail’s organizational tools like labels, filters, and categories. For example, a business can label all client-related emails as “Clients”, team discussions as “Internal Team”, and vendor communications as “Vendors”. This way, even with emails from different accounts pouring in, the primary inbox remains organized.
  5. Streamlined Workflow: Consider a scenario where a project manager needs to communicate with a client, and then update the team about the interaction with the client. If these communications are spread across different Gmail accounts, the workflow can get disrupted. Merging accounts ensures a smoother workflow, as all interactions can be managed from a single point.
  6. Enhanced Security: Managing security settings and updates for multiple accounts can be challenging. By merging Gmail accounts, businesses can focus on strengthening the security of one primary account, ensuring that all email communication is protected.

Recommended read: Email Security Best Practices

Pre-Merge Checklist: Things to Consider Before Merging Gmail Accounts

Before diving into the process of merging Gmail accounts, it’s crucial to ensure that you are well-prepared. A hasty merge without proper preparation can result in loss of data, pose a security risk, and even disrupt services. Here’s a checklist of the essential steps you should consider before merging multiple Gmail accounts:

1. Backup Important Emails and Data

Just as businesses routinely back up their critical files and documents, it’s equally vital to back up old emails. Emails often contain valuable information, client communications, contracts, and more. Before merging, there’s always a slight risk of data loss, so having a backup ensures that no essential data is lost in the process.

To back up data before merging Gmail accounts, users can utilize Google’s “Takeout” feature. Navigate to “Google Takeout“, select the data from Gmail you wish to export, and then download the archive to a safe location. This archive will contain your emails and attachments, ensuring you have a local copy before proceeding with the merge. You can also use other third-party tools like Backupify or MailStore for a cloud-based backup solution. Alternatively, you can also manually export data by saving emails as PDFs.

For example, imagine a sales team that has years of correspondence with clients, including quotations, agreements, and feedback. Losing such data could be detrimental to client relationships and future sales pitches. By backing up these emails, businesses safeguard themselves against potential data loss during the merge.

2. Ensure Account Security and Two-Factor Authentication

Security is paramount, especially when dealing with business communications. Before merging accounts, ensure that the account with which other accounts are to be merged, has robust security settings. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security, requiring a second form of identification beyond just a password.

For instance, consider a financial department handling sensitive data like invoices, payment details, and salary slips. If their Gmail account gets compromised, it could lead to significant financial and reputational damage. By ensuring 2FA is activated before merging, businesses add an extra layer of protection to their communications.

Recommended read: The Quick Guide to Google Apps Security for Your Busines

3. Review Connected Apps and Services

Many businesses connect third-party apps and services to their Gmail accounts for various functions, such as CRM integration, email marketing, or project management. Before merging, it’s essential to review these connections to ensure that there are no disruptions in these services post-merge.

Here’s how you can review the connected apps:

  1. Log into your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the profile picture or icon located at the top right corner of the screen.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select “Manage your Google Account.”
  4. Next, on the left-hand side, navigate to the “Security” tab.
  5. Scroll down to the section labeled “Your Connections to Third-party apps and Services.”
  6. Here, you can view and manage all the third-party apps and services connected to your Gmail account. You can review their access permissions and remove any that are no longer needed.

For example, A marketing team might have their Gmail account connected to an email marketing tool. If this connection gets disrupted during the merge, it could affect ongoing campaigns, lead tracking, and customer engagement. By reviewing and ensuring all apps and services are compatible with the merged account, businesses can ensure a seamless transition.

Common Challenges (and Solutions) When Merging Gmail Accounts

Merging Gmail accounts, while beneficial, can come with its own set of challenges. Businesses need to be aware of these potential hurdles and be equipped with solutions to address them. 

Here’s a deep dive into some common challenges and their respective solutions:

Overcoming Gmail’s Sending and Receiving Limits

Challenge: Gmail has specific limits on the number of emails you can send or receive in a day. When merging accounts, especially for businesses with high email traffic, there’s a risk of hitting these limits, which can disrupt regular communication.

Solution: Monitor email traffic closely during the initial days post-merge. If you anticipate a surge in Gmail emails, consider staggering the merge process. Additionally, using third-party tools can be beneficial. Tools like Boomerang, Right Inbox, GMass, and Mailmeteor offer features that allow users to schedule emails, spread out sends, and manage email campaigns, ensuring that you don’t exceed Gmail’s daily sending limits.

Recommended read: Google Apps and Gmail Limits: What Everyone Needs to Know

Addressing Sync Issues Across Devices

Challenge: You may access your Gmail accounts across multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Post-merge, there might be synchronization issues where emails or updates visible on one device might not appear on another.

Solution: Ensure that all devices have the latest Gmail app or software version. Regularly check the sync settings on each device and consider manually syncing or refreshing the app if discrepancies appear. To manually sync Gmail, open the Gmail app on your Android or iOS device, and swipe down from the top of your inbox until you see a loading icon, indicating the sync process has been initiated.

Managing Duplicate Contacts and Calendar Entries

Challenge: When merging accounts, especially if there’s an overlap in contacts or calendar events, there’s a risk of creating duplicates. This can clutter the primary email account and lead to confusion.

Solution: Use Gmail’s built-in tools to find and merge duplicates. For contacts, navigate to Google Contacts and use the “Merge & fix” feature. For calendar entries, manually review and delete duplicates or consider third-party tools like GCalToolkit or Duplicate Cleaner which are designed to identify and remove duplicate calendar events.

Tips and Best Practices for a Smooth Gmail Account Merge

Merging Gmail accounts can be a transformative step for businesses aiming to streamline their digital communication. However, to truly harness the benefits and ensure a seamless experience, it’s essential to follow some best practices. Here are some tips to guide businesses through a successful Gmail account merge:

  • Regularly Review and Clean Up Forwarded Emails – Once you’ve set up email forwarding from secondary accounts, it’s crucial to regularly review these emails. This helps in identifying any irrelevant or redundant emails and keeping the primary inbox clutter-free.
  • Use Labels and Filters for Organized Email Management – Gmail’s labeling and filtering features are powerful tools for managing a clutter-free inbox. By setting up labels for emails from different merged accounts and creating filters to automatically categorize incoming emails, businesses can maintain a well-organized inbox.
  • Stay Updated with Gmail’s Latest Features and Updates – Google frequently releases updates for Gmail – this normally involves security enhancements and improvements in user experience. Staying updated ensures that businesses can leverage the latest functionalities and maintain a secure and efficient email environment.

Final Thoughts

The emphasis on streamlined digital communication cannot be overstated, especially in an era where remote work and digital collaboration have become the norm. Efficient email management, like merging Gmail accounts, is just one step in this direction.

Speaking of digital collaboration, you might want to check our Hiver. Hiver not only simplifies email management but also transforms Gmail into a powerful collaboration platform, allowing teams to manage tasks, track performance, and automate email workflows without leaving their Gmail inbox.

Sounds interesting? Try Hiver for Free

FAQs about Merging Gmail Accounts

Here are some commonly asked questions on merging Gmail accounts

  1. Can I Unmerge Gmail Accounts Later?
    Yes, you can effectively “unmerge” Gmail accounts by stopping email forwarding and revoking access permissions. However, it’s essential to note that emails already forwarded to the primary account will remain there unless manually deleted.
  1. How Does Merging Affect My Google Photos and Other Services?
    Merging Gmail accounts primarily affects email communication. Other services like Google Photos remain separate unless you manually transfer or share content. However, it’s crucial to review permissions for other connected Google services to ensure there’s no unintentional sharing.
  1. Is There a Limit to How Many Gmail Accounts I Can Merge?
    While there’s no strict limit on the number of Gmail accounts you can merge by email forwarding,  keep in mind Gmail’s sending and receiving limit for emails.
A B2B marketer, Madhuporna is passionate about breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-digest nuggets with a stroke of her pen (read keyboard). Her expertise lies in crafting research-driven content around customer service, customer experience, IT and HR. When off the clock, you'll find her binge-watching suspense thrillers or basking in nature.

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