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Gmail, Google’s free email service, is nearly 20 years old, having launched as an invite-only public beta on April 1, 2004. In its early days, there was the lack of invite-only and the fact that it seemed like Google was building a better mousetrap. Gmail accounts became highly desirable in ways that other free email services were not. Right or wrong, there has long been a perception that AOL, Yahoo, and Hotmail addresses are somehow inferior to Gmail.

Gmail officially moved out of beta status after being used by the general public for more than five years, and since then, it has become ubiquitous. With 15GB of storage, a clean interface, and all kinds of features that allow you to filter your Gmail inbox, it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Google’s ecosystem. However, the features don’t come close to ending here: for example, for the privacy-conscious, Gmail lets you send password-protected emails, with the password sent to the recipient’s mobile phone number. So if, for some reason, you haven’t joined in yet, let’s take a look at how you can set up your own Gmail account and join the over a billion current active users.

how to set up gmail


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To set up a new Gmail account from your web browser:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Create Account.
  3. Click the type of account you want from the resulting drop-down menu – Personal, Child, or Work/Business – but for the purposes of this guide, we’re going with my personal use.
  4. Enter your name and click Next.
  5. Select/enter your date of birth and gender (there are options for ‘Rather not say’ and ‘Custom’), then click Next.
  6. Click the radio button next to your preferred option among the two suggested email addresses or create your own Gmail address – and enter the email address of your choice if you chose that option – then click Next.
  7. Enter the password of your choice in both the Password and Confirm boxes, then click Next. Make sure you use something that is relatively secure and don’t use something that you use for another account.
  8. Enter your mobile phone number and click Next so that Google can begin the process of verifying that you are a human being and not a spam bot.
  9. Enter the code that was texted to you and click Next.

Final Gmail Browser Setup Steps

gmail laptop mockup

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There are still a few more steps you need to take before your Gmail account goes live:

  1. If you have another active email address that you want to use for account recovery, enter it in the Recovery email address field and click Next. Otherwise, click Skip.
  2. Gmail will ask you if you want to add a phone number to the account for security purposes, the number you entered earlier will auto-fill in the phone number field. You can change the number if you want, but regardless, you can click Next to proceed with whatever number you choose or click Skip to proceed without entering the account phone number. .
  3. Make sure the account information you entered is accurate, then click Next.
  4. Read Google’s “Privacy and Terms” agreement, scroll down and click I Agree at the bottom of the page.
  5. Click Confirm to confirm the personalization settings or click More options to check what you can tinker with. There, you can opt out of saving your web and app activity to your Google Account, being shown personalized ads, and/or saving your YouTube history to your Google Account. When you’re finished, click I agree at the bottom of the More options page.

That’s it! You have set up a new Gmail account! But what if you want to sign up on your phone instead of a desktop/laptop browser?

mobile instructions

gmail app icon

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To sign up for Gmail, you’ll need to do so through the mobile app. If you want to use Gmail on an Android phone, it’s almost certainly already installed, and if you want to use Gmail on an iPhone, you’ll need to download it from the App Store. From there:

  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll be immediately asked to set up one, so follow the onscreen prompts. If you already have an account and you want to add a second, new account, tap the Menu button in the upper right corner and then Add another account.
  3. Tap Google.
  4. If prompted, authenticate (fingerprint/passcode, etc.) to verify that you are the owner of the phone.
  5. Tap Create Account at the bottom of the login interface, then select For my personal use or For work or My business. Again, we’re using the former for this guide.
  6. Enter your name and tap Next.
  7. Enter your birthday and gender and tap Next.
  8. Tap on the suggested email of your choice or create your own email address. If you choose the latter, enter the address of your choice and tap Next.
  9. Enter the password of your choice and click Next.

final instructions for mobile

gmail app

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To continue account setup in the Gmail app:

  1. When you’re asked if you want to add a phone number, tap Skip or Yes, I’m in. If the latter, it will use the number assigned to your phone. You can also tap More options and choose to either not add a phone number, opt-in and add your number to all Google services, or add the number for account security purposes only. Tap your choice and then tap Done.
  2. Tap Next so that your number can be verified.
  3. Review Verify that your account information is correct and tap Next.
  4. Review Terms of Service, scroll down and tap I agree.
  5. When asked to confirm personalization, you can confirm or view more options. If you tap the latter, you can tap the relevant options to choose whether you want to save your web and app activity to your Google Account, show personalized ads, and/or share your YouTube Whether or not you want to save the history to your Google Account. Then tap I agree.

That’s it, you’re all set!