How to check the primary Gmail account on an Android phone

Do you need to setup and configure or simply locate the Gmail account on your Android phone? Look no further, all the information you will need to have your Gmail setup properly can be found right here.

Knowing your Gmail

Knowing what your Gmail actually is, as well as the account information associated with that Gmail, is ALWAYS a good idea. If you ever forget your phones unlock pattern or you need to factory data reset your Android phone or the phone malfunctions, gets lost, heaven forbid it gets stolen or even if you are looking into upgrading to a better Android phone then you’re definitely going to want to know what your Gmail is. As long as you can log into your Gmail again, either on that phone or a replacement Android phone, then your Gmail account will pull back and re-sync a lot of your phones information automatically. This includes your contacts, calendar, and even applications that you downloaded from the Play Store. It can be a real life saver in many situations and most certainly a time saver when repairing or replacing an Android phone.

To check what your Gmail account is

  • Go to your Settings. (Home key, Menu key, then Settings)
  • Tap Accounts. It might say “Accounts and sync” or it might just say “Accounts”
  • Look for your Gmail. Your Gmail should be shown on the Accounts page. It might be listed under Google. It should end with @gmail.com

Record your Gmail Information

I recommend that you write your Gmail account information down and put it in a place you can remember like with your phone or wireless provider’s receipts. That way you have access to it if you need it.

Many people set up their Gmail account once when they first get their phone and never really need to log into it again and forget what it is. Or when purchasing the phone the store representative will set it up but forget to tell the phones owner what it is or tell them the importance of their Gmail.

Don’t recognize the Gmail

If you don’t recognize your Gmail account by following the steps mentioned above then I recommend you go to a computer and visit mail.google.com and then try to log into your account. Chances are you know your information already you just can’t remember.

If you can’t remember your password or even your account the mail.google.com is very user friendly. Just tap on “Can't access your account?” under the Sign in area. There are many options available when trying to recover your information.

There is no Gmail under the Account Settings

If you follow the step above and go into your settings, tap accounts, and you don’t see an email that ends in @gmail.com then you might not have a Gmail account set up on your phone yet.

Note: you need a Gmail account to download applications such as games from the play store. If you have ever downloaded any applications from the Android marketplace known as the Play Store then you have a Google account aka Gmail account already.

If you don’t have a Gmail account then go ahead and set one up. Having a Gmail is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you have full functionality of your phone and to make sure that your information is more secure.

Setting up a Gmail Account

To add a Gmail account to an Android phone:

  • Go into your Settings
  • Tap Accounts (or Accounts and sync)
  • Tap “Add Account” (usually at the bottom of the window)
  • Tap Google
  • Create (if you do not already have a Gmail account then tap “Create”, if you do have a Gmail account already then type “Sign in”)
  • Fill out the fields (you’re going to be presented with some fields to type in your information. If a keypad to type with doesn’t pop up automatically then press on the box/field you want to type in and the keypad will pop up. Fill out these fields and proceed with the setup procedure. Note: the User Name field is what you want your email address to be. If you already have an email address with another email provider such as @hotmail or @msn or @comcast or @bellsouth or @yahoo etc. then to keep things simple you can just use the beginning of that email and it will just end with @gmail.com. So for Example if you had an email address like myemail@hotmail.com then in the User Name you could type in myemail. You don’t have to do this but it often makes your Gmail easier to remember. Also remember to input your alternate email address, such as a personal or work email, so that if you forget your Gmail accounts password you can have the password emailed to that alternate/other email.
  • Follow the prompts and you should be good to go. Just write down your Gmail when you finish just in case you forget it and need to log into it again and enjoy.

Multiple Gmail Accounts

If you go into your Account Settings and you see multiple Gmail accounts then the primary Gmail account and the Gmail account that the phone is syncing to is going to be the first Gmail that was put on the phone.

If you cannot remember or don’t know which Gmail account was added to the phone first then there is a trick to finding out which of the Gmail accounts is the primary one.

Access the Gmail account that you believe is the primary account by going to Accounts (under Settings) and clicking on the Gmail account in question. Once open there should be a “Remove account” option available. Click on “Remove account” (it might say delete account on some phones).

If it is your Primary Gmail account then the phone will error and give you a message letting you know that it won’t let you remove the account. Android phones usually do not allow you to simply remove the primary Gmail account from the phone. The only way to remove a primary Gmail account from and android phone is to perform a factory data reset on the device. The error message usually says something like “This account is required by some applications. You can only remove it by resetting the phone to factory defaults (which deletes all your personal data). You do that under the Settings…”

That should help locate your primary Gmail account if you have multiple accounts.

Already have a Gmail account

If you already have a Gmail account and it’s not showing under Account Settings then simply log into it by following the same steps that we took when setting up a Gmail account.

Go to Settings > Accounts > Add Account > Sign in.

After clicking “Sign in” simply type in your current Gmail account and its password tap proceed by pressing “next” or “done” and you’ll be good to go.

Don’t forget your backups

Your Gmail account is programmed by default to backup your calendar, contacts and some other information on your Android phone but as a good habit you might want to manually sync your phone every so often or at the very least check to make sure that its auto syncing like it should.

To do this I recommend reading Using Gmail to backup your Android smartphone.

Congratulations you know your Gmail

You now have a primary Gmail account and know how to access it should you ever need to re-sync your information from your Gmail to an Android phone. I hope you found the article informative and insightful. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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2 Comments

Google Play

I have a new phone and everything is working well except when I try to register a Google account it won’t let me so I can't install Google Play. Even if I manage to install Google Play it won’t work because I need a Google account, do I need to refresh the phone or root it?

Does anyone have any ideas about this problem or can someone please offer some advice?

Thanks

Yep, you’re going to want to setup a Google account

Hi Mehmet,

I moved your comment to this article as I think it’s a little more relevant to your current situation.

First of all, good job for wanting to setup your Google account on your new phone, and you are right you will need to setup a Gmail account on your phone in order to download applications from the Play Store. Your Gmail account is like your Play Store ID and if you buy any applications on the Play Store and then need to download them again as long as you do it under the same Google Account you won’t have to pay for it again. Not to mention that your Gmail account backs up a lot of the information on your phone automatically including your Contacts, Calendar, etc.

If you do not have a Gmail account yet then you can set one up a few ways, but through a computer works as well as through your phone, assuming that your new cell phone has a working data connection.

Check out the article above to make sure that you have tried setting up your Gmail account properly. And if you have not created a Gmail account before then make sure that you choose the “Create” option as opposed to the “Sign in” option. Many Gmail account names have already so you might have to try a few account names to get one that you’re happy with. Just make sure to right down your Gmail Account information should you ever need it later.

If your phone is new then you shouldn’t have to download the Google Play Store it should come preinstalled on your cell phone. You can access it through your phones Apps (Applications). I don’t think you need to factory reset your phone and you certainly shouldn’t have to root it to get a Gmail account setup properly. Just follow the guide above and you shouldn’t have any problems.

If you have any issues setting up your Gmail account then let me know what kind of phone that you have, what version of android your phone is running on (if possible) and exactly what the phone is doing when you try to register an account. The more details the better, it will help me narrow down the cause and provide you with a solution.

Either way let me know how it goes, I look forward to your reply.

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