Are you looking for an email account that’s free, easy to use, and quick to create? Gmail offers free accounts that give you access to well-designed email services, plus a host of other Google-related services and products. Here’s how to get started.
Step 1. Find Gmail
First, go to your favorite search engine and type in “Gmail.” You’ll see a list of results on the page. The first one should be for Gmail (google.com/gmail). Depending on which browser you’re using, the link may be a bit further down on the page.
Click on the large letters that say “Gmail – Google.” This link will take you to a brand new page that says “Create your Google Account.”
Step 2. Enter Your Name
On the left side of your browser window, you’ll see some icons informing you about various Google services, like Google Maps, YouTube, Google Drive, and more. We’ll talk about those later. For now, take a look at the right side of the browser window. You’ll see a form that you need to fill out. Click on the first white box, the one with “First” in light gray font. Enter your first name. In the next box, type in your last name.
Step 3. Decide on Username
Now you’ll need to select a username. This could be a combination of your first and last names, along with some numbers; or it could be a completely unrelated word. For example, if your name is John Smith, you could type in the username “johnsmith456,” or you could type something like “smithdaddy” or “awesomeguy” instead. Just remember, this username is going to be part of your email address. If you plan to use the Gmail account for professional connections as well as personal contacts, you’ll need a username that sounds polished and professional as well.
Step 4. Choose a Password
Now it’s time to create a password. A good password is at least eight characters long and consists of both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as at least one number and at least one special character. The more complex it is, the more difficult it is for a hacker to crack it. However, you do need to make sure that it’s something you can remember.
Once you design a good, strong password, you may want to write it down and place it somewhere safe in case you forget it. If you do forget, and you don’t have your password written down, Google has a process for helping you reset it.
Enter the password you created. You’ll need to type it in a second time to confirm that it’s correct.
Step 5. Enter Your Birthday and Gender
Now, move on to the next set of blank spaces in the form. Here you’ll select your birth month from a drop-down menu, then enter the day and year of your birth.
Next, Google will ask you for your gender. The current options are “male,” “female,” “other,” or “I’d rather not say.” Choose the one that most closely fits your current identity.
Step 6. Provide Your Contact Info
In the box below, you’ll need to enter a mobile phone number. First, select your nation of residence from the drop-down menu. Then type your phone number into the space provided.
Now Google is going to ask for your current email address. They need this to help protect your account and send you notifications if you are unreachable through your Gmail account. Plus, if you forget your password to the Gmail account, Google can help you reset it via text message to your phone or by sending a reset link to your other email address. If you don’t have a current email address, you can leave this box empty.
The final box requests additional location information. Once you select your location, click “Next Step.”
Step 8. Check Out the Tutorial
Congratulations! You’ve created your first Gmail account. There’s no payment involved— it’s all completely free. The same username and password gives you access to all Google’s services. If you want to check out your email account right away, just click “Continue to Gmail.”
Google shows you your new inbox, using a brief tutorial to inform you about how you can make the best use of it. Click “Next” to proceed through the tutorial, checking out the features and settings that you can employ. You can even customize the background of your inbox to an image that pleases you.
Step 9. Explore Your Gmail Account
At the end of the tutorial, click “Go to Gmail.” You’ll see your inbox, with your first email in it— a welcome email from one of Google’s community managers. To the left, there will be folders for your use, including your inbox, sent mail, drafts, spam, trash, chats, and more. Towards the top of the inbox, you’ll see three tabs— Primary, Social, and Promotions. These tabs enable you to sort and prioritize your incoming emails more easily. In the top right corner of your Gmail account window, there’s a gear icon with a little arrow beside it. Click the arrow to access settings, themes, and other configuration options.
You can access your Gmail account on any device, whether it’s a laptop, desktop computer, Android smartphone, iPhone, iPad, or Android tablet. Using Gmail, you can also do video calls and instant chat.
Step 10. Discover More Google Services
Once you set up a Google account, you’ll have access to Chrome, the easy, fast, and secure Google browser. Your Google account is also your link to Google Play Movies and TV, Google Play Music, and YouTube. Google Maps can help you get where you need to go. If you like to work on the go, Google Drive is a safe place to store your files so you can access them from anywhere. You can work smarter with Google’s services, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, AdWords, AdSense, and Analytics. So you see, Google isn’t just about Gmail. It’s about an entire array of useful services that you can use anytime, anywhere, thanks to your new Google account.