Mobile optimization is a key, important feature in our smartphone and tablet tech that allows us to keep our productivity at those expected, lightning-quick speeds. However, you’ve probably guessed that these trimmed-down versions of popular services appear somewhat lacking in features, and so we’re here with a guide to give you full desktop access to these login pages and more on your mobile device; today, we tackle one of the most popular email services in use: Gmail.
While there used to be a churning wealth of competing email service providers, all offering free access to an email inbox under a custom address that you could choose upon signing up, Gmail has all but muscled any other names out of the arena. You still have other options, but the sheer spread of options available to Gmail users makes the service an irresistible temptation for those that need a strong, secure email platform. Additionally, it’s still free, and so is the huge amount of cloud-based storage space that comes along with your account. In fact, if you don’t yet have a Gmail account, I suggest you make your way over and sign up for one, right now. It provides a level of quality and customization that you wouldn’t expect from something that’s free.
However, if you’ve found your way to this guide, then there’s a good chance that you already have a Gmail account, and you’ve run into one of the frustrating walls that many Gmail users encounter on their mobile devices. In all fairness, users occasionally run into the issue on the desktop version of Gmail as well. It should be stated ahead of time that this isn’t an error in Gmail, and it certainly isn’t a flaw in any design. It’s simply an understandable obstacle that, while rarely encountered, often leaves users at a loss as to how they might solve it.
Once you’ve signed up for a Gmail account, no matter if you’re on a mobile device or a desktop computer, it’s very likely that your web browser is going to automatically sign you into Gmail’s services whenever you revisit the site. For the average user, this is particularly handy since it allows you to skip the pesky step of entering your email address and password every time that you want to pop in and take a peek at your inbox.
However, here’s the frustrating part–since Gmail’s services are free, they often attract the attention of users that require more than one email address. Conveniently, Gmail allows you to create and manage as many inboxes under as many different custom email addresses as you want to! It speaks to the accessibility of the mail platform that you’re able to do this, but it’s often a cumbersome (or even disguised) process when you want to log out of one email inbox and simply return to the Gmail login screen.
Thankfully, the Gmail interface hasn’t changed that much over the years, and as a result, the process for solving this particular nuisance has remained largely the same. It should also be stated that we won’t be working with the Gmail app that’s available on mobile devices, though I strongly recommend that you check it out! If you find it to be a pain in the butt to log in and out of your various Gmail accounts, the mobile app will make it easier than any guide, tip, or trick ever will change your experience on the desktop version.
That said, let’s begin!
The Gmail Interface
Since Gmail is the most-used free email service by an exceptionally wide margin, it’s been optimized to work across almost every popular web browser that’s currently in use. This is a win/win for us, both in the sense that we can use Gmail anywhere and everywhere and also in that the following quick and dirty guide can be applied to your Gmail experience no matter how it takes shape.
As long as you’re still using the default Gmail interface settings, all of our inboxes look the same at a very basic level. We might have added folders, tags, tabs, and other organizational standards that help to remove clutter and spam while also directing our messages into organized places for the sake of our own sanity, but the site will always retain its same, basic look.
Folders on the left side, tabs along the top, above the messages, handy search bar worn atop all of it like a crown, and your profile management drop-downs in the top right corner. As long as you can see these, basic elements, we can proceed.
Remember, organizing your email isn’t our goal in this guide–our goal is to get you quickly back to the original login screen for Gmail.
Signing Out of Gmail
Since the integration of Google+, a fantastic social media platform that doesn’t see as much use as it deserves, Gmail accounts have readily and quickly been tied to peoples’ Google+ profiles. This makes it easy for users to access the wide variety of tools that come along with the Gmail accounts, and it also makes logging in and out of your email account considerably simpler.
If you want to get back to the login page, you’ll be required to sign out of your current account. There’s no way around that.
- In the top right corner of the Gmail interface, select your user profile icon.
- Next, select “Sign Out.”
From here, your experience might look slightly different depending on what web browser you’re using.
- If you’re using Google Chrome, your Gmail login page will still have your Gmail account listed as a potential login option. however, you’ll also have all of the options that are typically available when visiting Gmail for the first time. If you want to create a new email account, you’ll have the option to do so, right alongside logging into your already-existing account.
- In the instance that you’re using a different browser, not much will be different, but you won’t have the direct integration with Gmail that Chrome offers. Being that they share a Google parentage, this is understandable. The login page will still give you all of the usual options, whether you want to log into a different Gmail account, or create an entirely new one.
Thankfully, the mobile optimized version of Gmail isn’t terribly different from the desktop version, and the same recommended steps can be used to achieve the same result. That said, I will highly recommend once again that you give the mobile app a try. It streamlines this whole account management process into a single, simple tap, and allows you to effortlessly switch between accounts without any pesky necessity of signing in or out.
Managing Your Gmail Addresses
If you have multiple Gmail addresses to manage, getting back to that home login screen is a process that you’ll become quite familiar with. Just as I recommend that you give the Gmail mobile app a try, so too will the Google Chrome web browser integrate more cleanly with your Gmail experience, allowing your to more effortlessly juggle those stuffed inboxes when you need to switch between them.
Using the POP3 settings in your Gmail account, you can combine multiple Gmail accounts into a single inbox. This can be difficult to wrangle for anyone that isn’t advanced at using the mail service’s tools, but with a little bit of work, it can definitely be managed. I’ll repeat again that this sort of finesse should only be attempted by advanced users, and that trying to do this without some expertise under your belt can result in an awful mess of jumbled mail.
Web Browsers and Cookies
Additionally, your web browser is likely using cookies and cached field entries in order to recall your information for Gmail, as well as several other websites. If you want your computer to forget your automatic sign in information for Gmail and other similar websites that automatically redirect you to a personal inbox or profile page, you can delve into your browser’s settings to delete any stored cookies and remembered entry fields.
Be aware that you’ll have to do it for each browser that you’re currently using, but it is an effective way to stop being redirected past familiar login screens.
The fact that Gmail has remained a free email service while still expanding its comprehensive features to match many paid services is impressive. When coupled with all of the other Google platforms that tie into Gmail access–Google Drive, Google Photos, Google+, and more–the offer becomes practically irresistible, and it’s easy to see why competition against the Google giant has struggled. The competing mail services from Yahoo and Microsoft simply haven’t been able to keep up, or offer such a wealth of services and cloud-based storage completely free of charge.
Hopefully, the above guide will help you to overcome your few and far-between Gmail woes, especially as they relate to accessing the site’s login home page. Thankfully, the solution to the common frustration is similar on both mobile and desktop platforms, but if we have missed anything, feel free to chime in and say so in the comments below!