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Three easy ways to separate work and play on the same PC

Ian Paul | Aug. 25, 2014
All of us lead double lives these days since we both work and play online. During the day you may be working on a company document in Google Drive, while at night you're kicking back and chatting with friends on Skype.

Now click Add an account and at the bottom of the next screen select Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended).

Finally, at the bottom of the next screen choose Local account and follow the instructions.

If you're just creating an account for play a local account should be enough for most people. If you want to go through the hassle of setting up another Microsoft account to sync settings on two separate accounts just follow the initial onscreen wizard that asks for an email address.

Multiple Google accounts

If you're a hard core Google user, another way to manage your double life is to have two separate Google accounts and switch between them. Google sites have a built-in feature that lets you switch between accounts as long as you understand the rules.

Rule number 1 

Whichever Google account you signed in with first is the default account whenever you navigate directly to a Google site.

If you signed in with, for example, and then later signed in with, what happens when you type into your browser? You'd see the joeWork account's Google+ profile, because that's your default account.

To sign in with multiple accounts, first decide which account (work or personal) you want to be the default. Next, sign in to your chosen default account as you normally would. Let's say we chose the work account and we signed in with Gmail.

At the top right of the Gmail inbox, click on your profile photo to reveal a drop down menu then click Add account and sign-in with your secondary account, which in our case is the personal account.

As I said earlier, whenever you navigate to a Google site such as Google Drive or Gmail, you will automatically drop in to your default account (in our case the work account).

What if you want to see your personal account's Google+ page?

Rule number 2 

To view the personal account's Google+ page you can either follow a link from another joePersonal account page such as the Gmail inbox. Or you can use the account switching function at the top right of the page.

Following links should be fairly self-explanatory, so let's deal with the account switcher. On Google+, click your profile photo at the top right side of the page. Now, you'll see that your personal account is listed right under your default work account. To switch accounts, just select the personal account and your non-professional Google+ page opens up in a new tab.

Those are the basics for switching between Google accounts, but there are two other key things you need to know about using this method. First, Google Drive does not support multiple accounts. That means that if you sign-in with your work account, you will have to sign out and sign back in to access your personal account's Google Drive files.


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