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How to use multiple devices on your Google account

If you're lucky enough to own more than one Android device you've probably already confronted this dilemma: how to manage multiple devices on a Google account. Basically you have a couple of options, you can either use the same account on both devices, meaning that your Google content will be mirrored on both devices, or you can create an alternative account for the secondary device and manage your connections manually. Here's how to do both.

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Even with this many devices you can still set up your Google account exactly how you like it. / © AndroidPIT

One Google account on multiple devices

If you sign into a new device with the same Google account that you are already using elsewhere, a few things will happen: you will get emails on both devices as well as any Hangouts messages, YouTube subscriptions and other Google account preferences on both devices. The good thing about this method is that any Google Play Store purchases you may have made will also be available on both devices, so you won't have to pay for another license to install that app on a secondary device (unless, of course, you want a specific tablet version of the app). You'll also be able to keep up to date with what's happening and work from either device. The bad thing is that you may feel that all of this doubling up on notifications is annoying or is simply needlessly repeated because you only ever use your tablet for gaming, for example.

AndrodPIT Google account
An Android device can handle several different Google accounts, as can Google apps. / © AndroidPIT

Multiple Google accounts on multiple devices

This way is still very easy, but requires a little more setup to get it working just how you want it to. Basically, you're already signed into your primary device with your main Google account, then, on the second device you create a new Google account as the main account and add your primary Google account as well. This now gives you the opportunity to select which account you would like to associate with various apps. Perhaps you want photos taken on both devices to be uploaded to the same Google Photos account, but you don't want your YouTube video history or Chrome search history appearing on a device your children often play with. Or you just don't want any notifications going off and interrupting your quality Dead Trigger 2 quiet time.

AndroidPIT Google account settings
It's easy to switch between Google accounts in Google apps. / © AndroidPIT

Sync, backup and other account options

Both versions let you choose your sync settings on both devices, so you can still be logged in as the same Google account holder on both devices and just disable notifications (on your gaming tablet, for example). Also, simply not logging into things like Hangouts or Gmail on the secondary device is also an option. It all depends what you want your second device to be used for and how connected you want to be on both devices. If you're prone to gaming on both devices, you can simply use the same Google Play login information on both or use Facebook to sign into the games you want synced across devices. Of course, you'll also need to be careful with your sync and backup and restore options on both accounts, again depending on just how you want them both set up. It's Android, so you can get it just right with a little effort!

How many Android devices do you have? How do you manage your accounts across devices?

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  • Thanks Kris usefull article.
    I have 5 devices, lately samsung s7, it does not sync properly, it freezes with " sync experiencing problem and will return soon" always, does creating another google account help? is it possible to sync while having two accounts? especially contacts sync without loosing contacts photos. I Would like to add subject image of freezing sync if possible. Thanks, Your mossive knowledge is impessive.
    Mousa 15/6/2016, KSA

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