Create a Google Account for Gmail, Drive, and YouTube

Enjoy the benefits of having your own Google account

Google
Photo © Getty Images

If you don't have a Google account, you're missing out on all the services that come with it. When you create your own Google account, you can use and manage all of Google's products including Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube from one convenient place with a single username and password. It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up for a free Google account before you can start using everything that the web giant offers.

How to Create Your Google Account

To create your Google account:

  1. In a web browser, go to accounts.google.com/signup.
  2. Enter your first and last names in the field provided.
  3. Create a username, which will be your Gmail address in this format: username@gmail.com.
  4. Enter a password and confirm it.
  5. Enter your Birthdate and (optionally) your Gender.
  6. Enter your mobile phone number and current email address. These are used to recover access to your account if that is ever necessary.
  7. Select your country from the drop-down menu.
  8. Click Next Step.
  9. Read and agree to the terms of service and enter the verification term.
  10. Click Next to create your account. 

Google confirms that your account has been created, and sends you to your My Account options for security, personal information, privacy and account preferences. You can access these sections at any time by heading to myaccount.google.com and signing in.

Using Google Products With Your Google Account

In the top right corner of the Google screen, you will see several menu icons. Click on the one that looks like a keypad to bring up a pop-up menu of Google product icons. The most popular ones—such as Search, Maps, and YouTube are listed first. There is a More link at the bottom you can click to access additional products. The additional Google services include Play, Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Google+, Translate, Photos, Sheets, Shopping, Finance, Docs, Books, Blogger, Hangouts, Keep, Classroom, Earth, and others. You can access each of these services using your new Google account.

Click Even more from Google at the bottom of the pop-up screen and read about these and other services on Google's product list. Familiarize yourself with the services Google offers by clicking on the corresponding icon in the pop-up menu. If you need help learning how to use anything, just use Google Support to search for the question you have or problem you want to solve for the corresponding product. 

Heading back to the top right corner of the Google screen, you'll see a bell icon next to the keypad icon, which is where you receive notifications. It tells you how many new notifications you have when you receive them, and you can click it to see a pop-up box for the latest notifications. Click the gear icon in at the top of the pop-up box to access your settings if you want to turn off notifications.

Also at the top of the Google screen, you'll see your profile photo if you uploaded one or a generic user profile icon if you didn't. Clicking this opens a pop-up box with your Google information on it, giving you a quick way to access your account, view your Google+ profile, check your privacy settings, or log out of your account. You can also add a new Google account if you use multiple accounts and sign out from here.

That's it. While Google's product offering is vast and the features are powerful, they are beginner-friendly and intuitive tools. Just start using them.