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How to set up a Gmail account in less than two minutes

Setting up a Gmail account is easy, fast, and free. Here's how to do it.
By
June 16, 2022

Setting up a Gmail account is very easy and it’s worth having at least one. Not only is it free but you can use it to sign into and personalize every service belonging to Google (of which there are many.) Setting up an account only takes a few minutes, you don’t necessarily need a phone number, and there’s no limit to the number of Google accounts you can have. In case you’re confused, a Google account and a Gmail account are one and the same thing. Here’s how to set up an account.

Read more: The ultimate guide to Gmail

QUICK ANSWER

To set up a Gmail account, go to https://mail.google.com in your browser, or open the Gmail app on your phone. Click Create an account and follow the on-screen prompts.


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How to set up a Gmail account (desktop and mobile)

The process for setting up a Gmail account is more or less the same, whether you are on the desktop or the mobile app. This tutorial will focus on the desktop, but if you’re using the mobile app, you’ll see more or less the same thing. It’s easy to follow along.

gmail inbox

To set up a Gmail account, the first thing to do is visit Gmail’s website and click the blue Create an Account button. This brings you to a page where it will ask you for your full name, desired username, and password. If the username you want is not available, it will throw up a red error message and suggest an alternative. If the alternative is not appealing (and they’re usually not), keep trying variations of your desired username until you get the one you want.

new gmail account signup
Mark O'Neill / Android Authority

Since Gmail has been on the email scene since 2004, you have to use a lot of creativity these days to get a half-decent username. Gmail has so many users it can be hard to come up with something good, as a lot of them are already taken.

Once you type in all the requested details, click the blue Next button. You’ll then get a page where you have to enter a date of birth, as well as some optional information such as your phone number. As I said before, a phone number is not required, but if you later have trouble accessing your account, the lack of a phone number could make it much more difficult. At the very least, put a backup recovery email address in.

gmail new account signup screen 2

If you do give a phone number or recovery email address, you’ll get a verification code by SMS or email. Type that code into the Enter verification code box and select the Verify option.

Once you’re done, click the Next button, after which you’ll have to go through Google’s Privacy and Terms. Click the blue arrow facing down a few times, pretend you’ve read them, and select the I agree option. The Gmail interface will load up in a matter of seconds, allowing you to start sending and receiving emails, as well as logging into other Google-owned properties, such as YouTube.

Before you forget, you should also set up two-factor authentication, as a further layer of security against hackers.

How to forward emails to your new Gmail account (desktop)

gmail settings email forwarding
You most likely already have an email address, and it’s obviously a good idea to forward new emails to the new Gmail address, while people get used to the new address. You can only set email forwarding up on the desktop, though.

We have previously shown you how to forward emails from Yahoo to Gmail, Outlook to Gmail, and from another Gmail address. Unfortunately, if you’re an old-school AOL user, you’re out of luck, as they don’t offer email forwarding at all.


Read more: Is Gmail not working? Try these fixes

FAQs

You would need to sign up for Google Workspace instead. This is a paid service and usually works out to a few dollars a month. As well as Gmail, you also get additional business-related features, and you can connect your website domain email to it.

You can set up IMAP in the Gmail account settings.

You can set up SMTP in the Gmail account settings.

A normal Gmail account is free (unless you need to pay for extra storage). A Google Workspace account is approximately $5 per month, per user).

Yes, you need a Gmail account for Google Ads. It must also have your billing information on it.