How to add, remove, and manage accounts on your Android phone

The Accounts tab in Settings gives you the power to wipe accounts from your phone and stop battery-killing apps from syncing.

accounts android
Credit: Greenbot

Everyone who owns an Android phone has a Google account, but there are lots of other apps on our phones that all require their own login credentials. The longer you have your phone the more they can pile up, and before long, your app drawer is filled with all sorts of services that may or may not be tied to an active account.

But you don’t have to open each app to manage them. Whether you want to add, remove, or tweak one of your accounts, Google has built a handy way to do it right inside the Settings app. Let us show you how to do it.

accounts android1 Greenbot

The Accounts tab in Settings holds the keys to all of the online accounts on your phone.

Under the Personal tab in Settings, you’ll find an option for Accounts. This is separate from the Google tab, where you’ll find a slew of preferences related to how your Google account operates on your device. Accounts keeps a running list of the social media, storage, and email accounts you have on your phone and gives you the power to delete them and control their background activities.

Once you open the tab you’ll instantly be met with an alphabetical list of any apps on your phone that have active accounts tied to them. All of your Google accounts will be fittingly collected under the Google tab, but any other email addresses you use will be tied to the appropriate client. So if you use Newton Mail and Gmail to manage your iCloud address, they will show separately.

accounts android Greenbot

These two screens might look the same, but the Add Account page also includes any apps that haven’t been linked with an account yet.

At the bottom of the list you’ll find an Add account button, which does exactly what you’d expect it to do. Tap it and you’ll get a list of all the apps on your phone that require an account, so you can link a new one or add another to Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, etc.

Select one of the apps in the list and you’ll be taken to its respective login page where you can login with a new username. (The Google button, which takes you to Google Play Services account page, requires fingerprint or passcode authentication first.) When you return to the Accounts page it will have been added to active list.

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You can adjust the sync settings for individual apps or turn it off completely in the Account tab.

Along with adding accounts, you can also manage how much data each is using in the background. Every app has its own sync settings, so you’ll be able to get a handle on any that may be harpooning your battery life. Most provide a simple on/off switch, but some offer more granular controls, particularly the Google app, which has 13 toggles for each of its various apps and services. You can also opt to turn off auto sync completely by tapping the three dots in the top-right corner and unchecking the Auto-sync data box.

While you’ll have to visit the individual apps to do things like change your password or turn on 2-factor authentication, you can still use the menu to remove any dormant or compromised accounts. For example, if you wanted to delete a Google account from your phone, you would tap the app icon, select the account you want to remove (if more than one is linked), and press the menu button in the top right corner. Then, in the drop-down menu, select Remove account, confirm it’s what you actually want to do it, and it’ll be instantly wiped away from your phone.

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If you want to get rid of an account completely, you can do that in the Accounts menu.

Repeat that process for any account you want to remove from your phone. However, remember that this method only unlinks the account. To delete the app completely, you’ll need to find the icon on your phone, tap and told it, and move it to the Uninstall droplet at the top of the screen.

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