Managing Multiple Google Accounts

The College supplies all students, faculty, and staff with a Google Apps for Education account, which uses you Amherst email address as your username. Many people also have personal Google accounts which can lead to questions about exactly which account you are in at any one moment. This article explains how to juggle multiple Google accounts.

Google Apps for Education

Google Apps for Education provides collaborative online workspaces for all students, faculty, and staff.

Currently enabled for the College's instance of Google Apps for Education are

  • Google Apps
  • Google Drive
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Hangouts
Features and Benefits: 

Unlimited Storage: Google Drive offers unlimited storage for files, folders, backups and everything you consider of importance.

Collaborate: When you share a Google Docs file on your Google Drive, you and your collaborators can view and edit the file simultaneously.

Share files: You can easily share any file on your Google Drive with anyone else who has a Google account.

Live Collaboration: Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Hangouts allow for real-time collaboration on documents or presentations.

Your files available from anywhere: Files you put on your Google Drive are accessible to you from any computer that has a web browser and an internet connection. 

Sync files: If you regularly use two (or more) computers, tablets and/or smart phones, you can install Google Drive software on each and automatically sync your files, thus letting you work on the same files from any of your devices. Note that files in Google Docs format do not sync; rather, your local Google Drive folder contains links to the online location of your Google Docs files.

Large file transfers: Most email systems (such as the College's) limit the size of attachments, but Google Drive lets you share any sized file.
You can also use the Amherst College FileSender utility for large size file transfers.

Web Conferencing: Google Hangouts allows for web conferencing to take place with up to 15 participants.


Google Apps for Education is accessible with any web browser, though some advanced features only work with Google Chrome.

Additional Information: 


File Recovery: Google Apps doesn't use Amherst College servers, so we have no way to examine the contents of your Google Drive or recover lost or accidentally deleted files. You can use Google Drive software on your Mac and Windows computers, and your Andoid and iOS devices, to automatically sync standard files with your online Google Drive. However, because you can't sync files that are in Google Docs format (see above), these files exist on your Google Drive only. If you want a backup of a Google Docs file, you need to use the Download function to create a copy on your computer.

Data Security:We strongly recommend that you do not store files containing sensitive College data--including data covered by FERPA, HIPAA, and the Massachusetts data security act--on any non-College server, including your Google Drive.

File Formats: You can share any type of file on your Google Drive, but can only work collaboratively on files that are created or converted to Google Docs format.

Other Apps: Google Apps for Education includes many other apps such as Calendar, Sites, etc. We expect to expand our ACApps offerings in the future.


A Chromebook is a low-cost, specialized notebook computer that runs Google's ChromeOS, a computer operating system based upon the Chrome browser. Chromebooks are optimized to work with Google Drive. If you have any questions about using a Chromebook with your Google Apps account, please contact the IT Help Desk at AskIT