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Old 08-21-2011, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Multiple Google Apps Accounts on Chromebook

I have three Google accounts -- one personal, and two on Google Apps domains for my work clients. Right now, I run three browsers simultaneously so that I don't have to continually log in and out of my different accounts.

My question is this: Chromebook supposedly logs you into your Google account when it boots up. How would I handle my three accounts? Would I be able to open a couple more instances of the Google browser and login separately to my other accounts? Can I download and use other browsers besides Chrome? Or am I consigned to continually logging in and out of my one Chrome browser to switch accounts? Or worse?
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Incognito windows should sort you out - log in with your primary account, then CTRL+SHIFT+N to create a new incog window and use that to log in to another account, repeat for each account.

There is a keyboard key dedicated to switching windows, so this will be fast and easy.

You can't use local software on a chomebook, and this limitation includes other browsers.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks - I hadn't thought of that. That's a slight inconvenience, though, since the incognito browsers won't remember my browsing history.

One other wrinkle: I've noticed that since very recently my browser will sometimes allow me to work in two different Google Apps accounts at once. This started happening in Firefox, it seems to me, within the last month. I just tried it in Chrome and I'm having limited success -- I had two accounts going, then logged into my personal gmail account, then one of my Apps accounts dropped out, but I was still logged into one Apps account and my personal account.

Does anyone know what's going on with the changing behavior? Is it possible that we'll soon be able to use three or more accounts in the same browser? (Like we used to be able to do before Google transitioned to its "new Apps infrastructure" a year or so ago.)
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am continually logged into two Google Apps accounts on my normal Windows computers using Chrome and on my Chromebook. It is a lot more difficult and non-intuitive since Google went to their converged account implementation.

Since you indicate that you have had multiple accounts open at once, I assume you have activated the multiple sign-on function. Since Google Apps logons are cookie based, it doesn't matter if you have multiple windows or tabs of the same browser, they all use the same cookie repository.

In my PCs, I use multiple instances of the Chrome browser. In my Chromebook, I just use multiple tabs in the same browser window. I also keep the Contacts for both accounts open in two additional tabs.

Sign into one account, as normal. Then sign in again on another tab and it will bring up the same account as in the first tab. Then, go up to your account name (e-mail address) near the gear in the upper right corner and click on it to open up the dropdown list. Click on switch account (or sign in to a different account, whichever is shown). Either click on the other account name, or sign into that other account. I find that I always have to do the switch account thing twice to get the account change. The first time it just reloads the account that I was in.

That should get two accounts open. Just do the same thing for the third account (in a new tab).

The process is way more cumbersome than it was before, though now you can get to more applications with either account, which is what the change was all about. Hopefully the large customers will force Google to redo the implementation to something much more usable.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I use three different browsers -- Chrome, Firefox and IE to manage three accounts simultaneously. I don't have any problems at all using this method. When I try using different tabs of the same browser, that is when I have problems -- although, as I stated in my last message, it seems that it is somewhat possible to work in two accounts at once now.

How did you activate the "multiple accounts" feature? I don't recall having done this, even though it seems that I'm using it.

Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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To activate the multiple sign-in capability, click on your email address up by the Chrome "gear". In the dropdown list, select account settings. In the middle of the resultant settings page, under Personal Settings, there will be an entry named "Multiple sign-in". It will either indicate On or Off and also have an Edit link. Click on the edit link, select the "On" radio button, read and verify that you have read and understand all of the caveats, click the Save button and you're in business.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks! On my personal account, multiple sign-in was not allowed. One one of my Google Apps accounts, it was; on the third, I wasn't able to access the settings -- I think I'll need to sign out of the others to get into that. I'll see if this change makes a difference. Good to know!
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