How to: Use Gmail to send and receive email from your other accounts

There are a few hoops to jump through, but when it's all said and done you'll able able to manage multiple email accounts in Gmail


As much as we wish we could all use just a single email address for everything, it isn't always possible or advisable for one reason or another. It's not uncommon to have email addresses from Outlook, Yahoo, your ISP and others in addition to Gmail — to say nothing of having a work email account. Luckily Gmail is capable of handling email from your other accounts, provided you're willing to go through the setup process and get everything tweaked just right. You don't have to install a bevy of email apps on your phone or manage anything on your own server, either, which makes this even simpler.

If you're tired of going to different services to check for email and want it all in one place instead, this is the guide you'll want to read. Read along and see how to aggregate all of your email activity into just Gmail.

Send email from another account using Gmail

In order to fully condense the use of another email address into just your Gmail account, you'll need to first configure Gmail to be able to send mail from that account. After going through this process, you will be able to send email from within your Gmail account that looks as though it was sent from a non-Gmail address — pretty slick stuff.

You'll have to do all of this configuration from the web interface of Gmail, as the advanced abilities aren't baked into the Gmail app. That's probably for the best, though, as you'll have to manage a few different windows and accounts at the same time. Carve out a little time on evening and get it done on the computer.

Go to your Gmail settings on the web

In Gmail on the web, go the settings by clicking the gear in the top-right corner of the interface and clicking "settings." On the next screen, click the tab at the top of the interface labeled "Accounts and Import." You'll then want to click "Add another email address you own," which will show up underneath your main Gmail account in the "Send mail as:" section.

Enter your other email address

Email Address Entry

When you click that link, it'll pop open a window that walks you through the steps of configuring another email address. First, you'll enter a name for the account (auto-filled with your own name), and then the full email address. By default, the address will be treated as an alias — this means you'll be able to send email that looks exactly as it would coming directly from that address, rather than from another provider. Click "next step."

Choose SMTP server

Choosing an SMTP server sound scary, but in most cases Gmail will be able to configure this for you. It looks at the email address you entered on the previous step and handles the complicated parts to send and receive email. The only reason to change this is if you have a more constrained email account that causes messages sent via Gmail to have a "sent by on behalf of" signature. If that's the case, you'll need to go with the second option to use the SMTP servers of the service you're trying to connect. Next step.

Send verification email

Now, Gmail will send an email to the account you're trying to connect in order to verify that you have access to that account. Click "send verification" and check that other account in a new tab or window so that you can retrieve information from it. Onward.

Receive verification email, enter code

In your other email account, open the email you receive from — if it isn't in your inbox, check your spam folder. This email contains a multi-digit code that you can copy and paste into the previous window, as well as a link you can click to verify your access to the account instead. By entering the code into Gmail or clicking the link from the email, you're completing the setup process.

And you're done!

Switching between email accounts

If all went according to plan, you'll now see an option to choose which email address you'd like to send from when composing a message. If you have another email address, you can repeat the process. You can choose which account is set to send by default at any time, and the changes will be applied across the web and Android apps.

Receive email from another account with POP3

Now for the other side of the equation — receiving email from your other accounts directly into Gmail. The standardized way to accomplish this is with a protocol called POP3, which will let Gmail periodically pull email from another account and have it arrive in your Gmail inbox.

To get started, head back into the Gmail settings on the web and look for the "Add a POP3 mail account you own" option, which is directly underneath where you just added your other email accounts. Click that link, and a window will pop up to get you started.

Enter your email address, password and configuration options

POP3 Setup in Gmail

Just like before, you'll be prompted to enter the email address which you'd like to receive email from. Hit next, and you'll find a slightly more complicated screen to do all of the configuration at once. You'll need to enter the username (usually the part before the @ symbol) and password for the account, as well as select a POP server and port, then check some of the settings.

If you're using a major email provider, Google will be able to detect the proper POP server and port, so you won't have to worry about those. Forcing SSL is a good idea and is checked by default, but you'll need to decide whether you want to check the others. The first option, "Leave a copy...," is one that's good to check, as it'll leave a copy of every email on the other service's server, rather than deleting it when it is pushed to Gmail — at minimum, we'd leave this checked until you can verify email is flowing properly.

The option to label incoming messages is also a smart one to check. This means every email that comes in via another account will be labeled differently than the email that comes to your actual address. You can always tweak the label later, but to get started it's helpful to have some separation there. Going further, you can also have messages archived by default, so they distinctly go into just the label and not the inbox — that's personal preference, but might be a good idea for when you first add the account so your backlog of email doesn't hit the inbox.

Let everything sync, receive email

Gmail settings menu

After you've made all of your import decisions, click "add account" and wait for everything to sync up. Depending on the amount of mail you have in your other account, it could take some time to all arrive. If you're having trouble or just want to edit the account details, you can always go back into the Gmail settings, click "edit info" for that account and change any details necessary.

If the email starts coming in, then you're all done! You've properly set up Gmail to receive email from your other email accounts.

What if my email provider doesn't support POP3?

If for some reason your email provider doesn't support POP3 email retrieval, your other option for getting email into Gmail is using forwarding from that service. Each provider does things differently, but you'd basically be setting up a rule on that provider that forwards every single email to your Gmail address. Since this creates additional hoops and problems you probably want to stick to POP3 whenever possible, but forwarding could be your only choice in some cases.

Things to know now that you're a master of all email accounts

Now that you have your other email accounts properly sending email to your Gmail account and have the ability to reply from the correct address as well, there are a few things to know.

First, know that with this configuration, actions you take within Gmail on your other accounts will not sync back to your other email provider. If you receive an email from another account into Gmail and reply, you won't see that reply when you go check your email in that other provider. The same goes for labels, deleted messages and read messages — nothing syncs back. It's a limitation of POP3 and this system, but it's kind of how it has to be.

Next, know that with POP3 you're not getting true "push" email. This means a message sent to another account and wrangled in by Gmail won't arrive as quickly as an email sent directly to your address. Luckily Google handles the polling interval and gets you the email as fast as possible, but with POP3 that isn't instantaneous.

If you're looking for a way to bring together all of your accounts to one app or interface, but retain two-way sync and push email, you may want to consider a third-party email client. There are several different options on the desktop, as well as on Android — a popular choice is always K9 Mail (opens in new tab) for anyone using IMAP or Exchange on multiple accounts.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • This is kinda complicated. I remember the time I wanted to connect my .edu email account to my gmail and it was painful! Posted via Android Central App
  • I just use the native email app that also comes with my android phone for my other emails, just post user name and password, that easy
  • Google can scan my work email as well...
  • Now that's my kind of avatar. You're gorgeous! Posted via Android Central App
  • Get some... Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.
  • This is awesome, I was looking for a way for Goggle to scan all my email accounts to build the most detailed profile possible.
  • C , Posted via Android Central App
  • So much more simple & safe to just use a client like K@mail, works flawlessly with my 5 accounts & Google doesn't get access to those accounts
  • Via yuuu ü Posted via Android Central App
  • I'd rather use my other account to send Gmail. I hate how the Gmail app is like the only email app that cannot disable conversation view.
  • I'm pretty sure you can disable conversation view. I have certainly done it before. Posted via Android Central App
  • Anyway this works with IMAP? You can enable IMAP via web gmail but it doesn't seem intuitive regarding setup.
  • I just have other email push/forward to Gmail. Much simpler.
  • It seems like GMail does no longer support "Send through Google" as an option for other email addresses which is a shame since it renders email forwarding services useless for gmail or am I the only one with that problem?
  • It doesn't work for me either. I still have addresses previously setup, but I only get the SMTP option now.
  • Gonna do this tonight. Thanks for the tip AC. Never knew this was possible Posted via my LG LS740 and The Android Central App
  • This is one of my favorite features in Gmail. It's not complicated to set up. It's transparent to those with whom I correspond.
  • One android email client to rule them all... Cloudmagic. All three of my accounts sync there seamlessly. Posted via Android Central App
  • Agree! Wish they had a webmail interface! Posted via the Android Central App
  • This. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Having trouble with joining my work email.
    Anyone else have issues with work email Posted via Android Central App
  • What email service are you using for work email? We use Office365 at work and it works flawlessly.
  • Jeff I sigh in at office 365
    Just not sure what to do, as my email is not @office 365 Posted via Android Central App
  • So I ran into this wanting to manage multiple IMAP accounts from a single client. Not hard with android but near impossible apparently from a chrome app. So I loaded 2 imap email accounts in a gmail. Ehhh. Not really good. Great cross platform support but combined inbox is not what I am looking for. Anyone else have a similar prob? Maybe I'll start a service :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Can always set up the incoming mail (via POP3) to skip the inbox and only hit the specific folder made for that email account. You can set up Android notifications to notify you of that label just like the inbox, too. That way everything would be separated.
  • I wish there was a way to archive emails from other accounts. Is there? I use Gmail to manage two other accounts and I can't stand how I just have this whole glob of emails... Posted via Android Central App
  • It seems a bit more rational to me to disable the GMail app and instead use the stock one to manage your accounts!
    No danger of Google scanning your inbox for spam and somehow incriminating you that way. No circumventing your workplace's security restrictions that way, either! Folder management seems to be far more capable using my Samsung's email app as well.
    Once GMail is removed, you'll also waste less RAM on apps trying to sync, because there will be one less!
  • Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • Absolute NoGo. I don't wanna jump through hoops to do, what other mailclients on my smartphone can do out of the box. Thanks, but no thanks.
  • D Posted via Android Central App
  • . G Posted via Android Central App
  • Great article. Always liked the gmail app for the ease and looks and now I have both my hotmail and gmail working on it. Tested it out and I can send and receive emails with both my gmail and hotmail all on the gmail app. Posted via Android Central App
  • Finally a way to have a scan for all my mail . Bit complicated , but worth the pain . Posted via Android Central App
  • I'll stick with cloud magic. Works really well with multiple email accounts. Great app! Posted from my LG G3 or Nexus 5
  • Woot! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Or I could just use another app, like CloudMagic which works with all my accounts (gmail/hotmail/yahoo), and doesn't require anything other than the username and password to each account.
  • Of course the default email app (htc one m7 t-mobile) already does this, it just doesn't sort them like gmail does. But at least I can email from what email I want and I have all 5 of my email accounts in one place.
  • Or..... You could just use the Email app. Just remember, for Outlook, set the sync time to "last three days". This successfully enables the app to delete messages on both the device and actual server.
  • If I could figure out how to delete an email in the app, with out having to open it, (multiple emails to delete at the same time) I could get over how ugly it is. Posted via Android Central App
  • I logged on to my web Gmail account and followed the instructions and now I can send email from either my Gmail account OR my Business email complete with signature which is great....BUT what I really need to do is this from my Nexus 7 tablet. Can anyone help me to get the Gmail App mirror Gmail on the web?? I don't want to "add account" because I only use my tablet when I travel twice a month and I don't want the app to download the 500 or so emails I have already dealt with over the last few weeks to be downloaded and then I have to delete them. I just want to be able to reply to an email while traveling using my work email like I can if I log onto web mail. help