Setting up a Gmail account is easy. It’s also free. And Gmail accounts are highly useful for lots of different things, some of which I’ll get into later in this article.

If you don’t have a gmail account yet, it’s never too late to jump in and set one up. I’m going to show you how.

Setting up a Gmail account involves the following steps:

  • Go to Gmail.com
  • Click on “Create an account” from the Gmail home page.If you are already signed in to another Gmail account, you’ll be taken to your Gmail account home page at this step rather than the Gmail home page. To create a new Gmail account, you’ll need to sign out of the one that’s active in your browser. To do so, click on the circle on the top right of the browser, then click on the “Sign Out” link. Now you’ve signed out of whichever Gmail account was being used in your browser and ready to create your own Gmail account.
    Sign Out from Gmail Account
    If you had to sign out of another account to start creating your own Gmail account, you’ll be taken to the Google Accounts page, which will list whichever Gmail accounts are connected with the browser. To create a new Gmail account from this page, you’ll just need to click on “Create Account” rather than clicking on any of the other Gmail accounts that are shown in the browser.
  • The Gmail account creation page is shown below. You can see that it requires a first and last name, and you’ll need to choose the part of your email that goes on the left side of “@gmail.com”. You can use letters, numbers, and periods in your Gmail address. Other characters are not permitted.You’ll also be asked to provide a password that is strong enough to keep your account from being easily hacked. Google requires you to use 8 or more characters in your password, including a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Making your password longer and including a random mix of letters with numbers and keyboard characters (like !, ^, &, ~, etc.) will make your account more secure.
    Create Google Account, Gmail Signup PageYou’ll notice that this Gmail account creation screen says that you’re creating a “Google Account” I’ll talk more about what that means below.
  • Click “Next” to be taken to the page where Google gathers some personal information to associate with your Gmail account. You can enter a phone number, which you can use to help you recover your account in a situation where you have lost your password or can’t login for another reason. Google also allows you to enter a recovery email address that serves the same purpose, allowing you to get back into your Gmail account in a situation where you are locked out.Google requires you to enter your birthdate as a way of verifying that you are old enough to use its products that have age restrictions. They also ask for your gender for their own marketing and internal purposes, but you can choose not to provide that information to them.
    Google Accounts Data Collection Account Recovery Options
  • The next page of the signup process is the Privacy and Terms page. You’ll need to read those and accept the terms by clicking “I agree” at the bottom of the scrollable list of legal description about how Google uses your information and what the terms of use are for your new Gmail account.
    Google Privacy Terms Conditions Agreement
  • Once you’ve agreed to the Gmail terms and conditions, your new account is set up. You are taken to the welcome page, from which you can click “Next” to choose which of the three different available dashboard views you’d like. Choose your view and click “Ok”, and you’ll be taken to your new Gmail mail account.
    Gmail Inbox Mail Portal

Now that you’ve set up your new Gmail account, you can send and receive email messages, organize those messages, an do all of the other functions you’d expect to be able to do with any free email provider.

More of the Nitty Gritty Details About Gmail Accounts

I want to provide some background about how Gmail accounts fit in with Google’s network of products, including YouTube, Google Play, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and several other offerings that people use as part of their daily productivity system.

Gmail is one Form of a Google Account

To use most of Google’s products, including those most popular ones listed above, you are required to have an account with Google through a system they refer to as Google Accounts. Although you can set up a Google Account using an existing email you might have from work, school, or from another free email service (like Hotmail or Yahoo), setting up a Gmail account is probably the easiest way to set up a Google Account.

Once you’ve set up your Gmail account, you can use that account as the login to any of those other popular and handy Google products.

If you’re logged into your Gmail account in your web browser, you are automatically logged in when you access any other Google product. Your Gmail account essentially serves as your handle or access point to all of those other services.