April 19, 2011

How to merge different Google Docs accounts

I regularly get requests from people I share Google Docs with to re-share with a different account. That is, I know their primary university email address, so I share with that, and then I get an email asking to share with their gmail account. It turns out that a largely hidden, but very useful feature exists that makes it possible to link multiple email addresses to a single Google Docs account so that which ever of those email addresses a doc is shared with, you will have access to it through your single primary account.

For example, my google acct id is @gmail.com, but I want docs shared with @cs.umd.edu to also be available there (rather than having 2 or more google docs silos). This does not affect your email or anything else - but rather is just a way to consolidate docs.

To set this up, log into google at http://docs.google.com (or google.com, etc.) and select Account Settings:

Then, add an email address by clicking on Edit under Personal Settings.

This will affect all new documents shared with you. If you have existing docs that you want to make available with your gmail account, you can:
  • Login with your other account and share it with your gmail account
  • Ask the person that originally shared the doc to re-share it with your gmail account
If you find your self with multiple google docs accounts that you want to merge (because people had shared docs with a university account), then you should:
  • Save all docs from your extra accounts that you want (by exporting or sharing with your gmail acct)
  • Delete that account
  • Go through the process above associating that email address with your gmail acct.
Hopefully that is more helpful than confusing...

1 comment:

Salem said...

MY account was setup this way, but forced me to create multiple docs accounts.

one for my @gmail.com account
one for my @mydomain.com account

Not sure why it is not working for me.