Setting up a Gmail account is easy. You will begin by creating a Google account, and during the quick sign-up process you will choose your Gmail account name. In this lesson, we'll show you how to set up your Google account for Gmail, add and edit contacts, and edit your mail settings.
To create a Gmail address, you'll first need to create a Google account. Gmail will redirect you to the Google account sign-up page. You'll need to provide some basic information like your name, birth date, gender, and location. You will also need to choose a name for your new Gmail address. Once you create an account, you'll be able to start adding contacts and adjusting your mail settings.
Just like with any online service, it's important to choose a strong password—in other words, one that is difficult for someone else to guess. For more information, review our lesson on creating strong passwords.
When you first create your account, you will be automatically signed in. Most of the time, however, you'll need to sign in to your account and sign out when you're done with it. Signing out is especially important if you're using a shared computer (for example, at a library or office) because it prevents others from viewing your emails.
In the top-right corner of the page, locate the circle that has your first initial (if you've already selected an avatar image, it will show the image instead). To sign out, click the circle and select Sign out.
Occasionally, you may want to make adjustments to Gmail's appearance or behavior. For example, you could create a signature or vacation reply, edit your labels, or change the theme. These adjustments can be made from your mail settings.
Like all major email providers, Gmail lets you keep an address book of contacts so you don't have to memorize everyone's email addresses. You can also add other contact information, like phone numbers, birthdays, and physical addresses.
By default, when you send an email to a new address, Gmail adds the address to your contacts. You can then go to your contacts to edit the person's information as needed.
You may already have a contact list from another email address, and it would be a lot of work to re-enter all of this information manually. Gmail allows you to import your contacts from another email account, and you can even import all of your email messages from that account. Several email providers are supported, including Yahoo!, Hotmail, and AOL.