Account Setup for Android Phones - dummies

By Dan Gookin

Your Android phone can be home to your various online incarnations. That includes your e-mail accounts, online services, social networking, subscriptions, plus other digital personas. Adding those accounts to your phone as you complete the initial setup and configuration process.

Obtaining a Google account

It’s possible to use your Android phone without a Google account, but you’d be missing out on a buncha features. So if you don’t already have a Google account, drop everything and follow these steps to obtain one:

  1. Open the computer’s web browser program.

  2. Visit the main Google page.

  3. Click the Sign In link or button.

    Another page opens, where you can log in to your Google account, but you don’t have a Google account, so:

  4. Click the link to create a new account.

    The link is typically found below the text boxes where you would log in to your Google account.

  5. Continue heeding the onscreen directions until you’ve created your own Google account.

Eventually, your account is set up and configured. Log off and then log on to Google, just to ensure that you did everything properly. Also consider creating a bookmark for your account’s Google page: Pressing Ctrl+D or Command+D does the job in just about any web browser.

  • A Google account is free. Google makes zillions of dollars by selling Internet advertising, so it doesn’t charge you for your Google account or any of the other fine services it offers.

  • The Google account gives you access to a wide array of free services and online programs. They include Gmail for electronic messaging, Calendar for scheduling and appointments, and an account on YouTube, along with Google Finance, blogs, Google+, Hangouts, and other features that are also instantly shared with your phone.

Adding accounts to your phone

You don’t have to add all your online accounts during the phone’s initial setup and configuration process. If you skipped those steps, or when you have more accounts to add, you can easily do so. With your phone turned on and unlocked, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen.


    The Home screen is the main screen on your phone. You can always get there by touching the Home icon, found at the bottom of the touchscreen.

  2. Touch the Apps icon.


    The Apps icon is found at the bottom of the Home screen. It looks similar to the icon shown here, although it has many variations.

    After touching the Apps icon you see the apps drawer, which contains all the apps (also called applications or programs) installed on your Android phone.

  3. Choose the Settings icon to start the Settings app.

    You may have to swipe the apps drawer screen a few times, paging through the various apps, to find the Settings icon.

    The Settings app allows you to access internal options, controls, and settings for configuring your Android phone. The Accounts heading in the Settings app lists all accounts currently associated with your phone. You should see your Google account plus other accounts listed. The last item in the list is a command, Add Account.

  4. Choose the Add Account item.


    If you don’t see an Add Account item on the main Settings app screen, look for an item titled Accounts & Sync. Choose that item to view the accounts associated with your phone, and then touch the Add icon, shown in the margin, to add a new account.

  5. Choose an account to add from the list that appears.

    Don’t worry if you don’t see the exact type of account you want to add. You may have to install a specific app before an account appears.

  6. Follow the directions on the screen to sign into your account.

    The steps that follow depend on the account. Generally speaking, you sign in using an existing username and password.

You can continue adding accounts by repeating these steps. When you’re done, touch the Home icon to return to the Home screen.