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Solve the Multiple Google+ Accounts Problem

If you’re like me, you have several random Google accounts, like so many perfectly functional but rarely used pants hanging in your digital closet. You could delete your account, but that probably feels too painful. I know I have several accounts I cannot get rid of because I use them at least once a week. These extra accounts aren’t really a problem, and switching among them all is easy. The problem with them now is when people start looking for you on Google+. How often have you searched a name and found three different profiles, all for the same person? How do you choose which one to circle? I would love for Google to find an elegant way to merge all of these profiles, but I can imagine how insanely complicated that would be with tons of privacy implications. So, until that gets sorted out, I have two recommendations for people who have multiple Google+ accounts.

1. Use only your personal profile. 

Sure, you have a different identity for the different accounts. One could be work, and one could be personal, but I recommend using the account you have most control over, which is probably your vanilla gmail account. If you want to keep your posts separated by personal and work, use circles. That’s what they’re made for.

Your work or school may want you to use the Apps account for Hangouts, which is fine, but it’s too onerous to actually maintain multiple Google+ posts, so you can keep the profile, but just use it for whatever is necessary.

2. Go the profiles of all the accounts you do not maintain and make this your profile image.

People will immediately get the message, circle the correct profile, and ignore the other one.

Alternate Option

Let’s say you really do want to maintain a second Google+ account for work or some other reason. A simple solution is to choose a profile picture that clearly identifies the profile as a work profile. Since I work at York, I might use this as my pic. 

Whatever you do, don’t make the world guess.


If you search for my name in Google+ you will find three profiles. One with my mugshot, one that says “out of service,” and one with a generic avatar. I know I own that third account, but I just can’t figure out which one it is. Any help would be appreciated.


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