Create a Google Account for Gmail, Drive and YouTube

An Intro to the Benefits of Having Your Own Google Account

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Thinking about getting your own Google account? Great, because with all the powerful products it has to offer, now couldn't be a better time to jump on the Google bandwagon.

When you create your own Google account, you'll be able to access and manage all of Google's products (Google web search, Google Chrome web browser, Gmail, Google+, Google Drive, YouTube and more) from one convenient place where you only have to maintain one username and password.

It's free to sign up and start using everything, and while most people just stick to using all of Google's products for free, you'll have the option to purchase premium offerings for some of them if you choose to do so.

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Creating Your Account

To create your Google account, click the link below or copy and paste it into your web browser.

accounts.google.com/signup

You'll be asked to enter some basic information into the sign-up form like your name, an optional username for a Gmail email address, password, birthdate, phone number, current email address and location. Make sure you keep your new Gmail address (if you created one) and password in a safe place. Once you've passed the verification process and accepted the terms of service, you can click "Next" to have your account created.

Google will confirm that your account has been created, and you'll be able to continue on to view and manage your "My Account" options for security, personal information, privacy and account preferences.

You can access these sections any time by heading to myaccount.google.com and signing in.

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Using Google Products with Your Google Account

Looking toward the top right corner of the screen in your Google Account, you should see several menu icons.

Clicking on the one that looks like a little keypad will bring up a popup menu of Google product icons. The most popular ones will be listed first (like Search, Maps and YouTube) and there will be a "More" link at the bottom you can click to access additional products.

You can start learning about all of Google's different products, which are free to access and use through your Google account, by clicking here and then clicking on the corresponding product you wish to start using. And 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 menu of your Google Account, you'll also see a little bell icon next to the keypad icon. This is where you'll receive notifications. Similar to how Facebook notifications work, the little bell icon will tell you how many new notifications you have when you receive them and you'll be able to click it to see a popup box of the latest ones to check out. Simply click the gear icon in the top left of the popup box to access your settings if you'd like to turn off your notifications.

Lastly, you'll see your profile photo (if you uploaded one) or a blank user profile icon to the far right of the top menu in your Google Account.

Clicking this will show up a popup box that almost resembles your own virtual card with Google information on it, giving you a quick way to access your Google+ profile, your privacy settings and your My Account options. You can also add a new Google account if you use multiple accounts and sign out from here.

And that's it! While Google's product offering is vast and their features are powerful, rest assured that they're some of the easiest and most intuitive tools to use. Just start using them and you won't be sorry.

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Updated by: Elise Moreau