The key to managing multiple Google Apps email accounts

Over the last few months, I’ve accumulated a nearly unmanageable number of Google App-hosted email addresses from four different domains. If you find yourself in this situation, the challenge is to avoid duplicating your email workflow across the vast landscape of all your accounts. I love Gmail, but not enough to maintain four different contact lists.

The solution is managing all email through a single Gmail account. With email addresses hosted outside Google, I found it straightforward to have one Gmail inbox and send emails from it through another server. But Google seemed bent on making it hard to find the process for sending them from one Gmail email address through Google’s own Apps email hosting for my domains.

To put it simply, if you use Gmail’s default method, emails get the clunky “On behalf of” attached. So that Gmail address you cooked up in your Lost fanatic phase, yeah, clients can see that. The answer, thanks to a little epiphany, was to follow their process for setting up Gmail to work with a local email client (Thunderbird, Outlook, etc). There they list the the address for Google’s email server. Then, all it takes is entering your Google Apps email and password and boom, single-inbox gold. After the countless searches in Google’s own documentation, it turns out the answer was inside of me the whole time. How mystic. 

I can see you want a step-by-step. Here it be:

Step 1: In your main Gmail account, go to “Settings”

Gmail Settings

Step 2: Under “Accounts and Import”, either “Add another email address you own”, or if you already have it added, choose “edit info”.

Step 3: When you get to the screen that asks, “Send mail through your SMTP server?”, choose the option, “Send through SMTP servers”. (See image below)

Step 4: For the SMTP server field, enter “”. Then enter your email for that domain under “Username” and the password for the account. Leave everything else default and save. 

Email address setup


Now, you also need to set up that email to forward to your primary email so you actually get all those incoming messages. Poke around on how to do that if you need help. It’s much easier to find.

Matt Riopelle