Understanding Android Accounts – Setup,Settings And Sync

android-accountsWhen you setup various Apps (e..g. Skype, Gmail,Yahoo Mail) on Android you may be prompted to create or select an account to use.

These accounts are online account consisting of an username/password combination. and are created as part of the service you are using.

Important- These accounts are for accessing online services and are not used for managing your Android device.

All online accounts that you use on your Tablet/phone are added to the Android accounts list.

To add new accounts and manage existing accounts on your Android device go to Settings>Accounts.


When you add, for example, a new email account to Android it will automatically appear under the Accounts.

You can also add accounts to the android accounts so that you can use them with an online service.

Google Accounts on Android

When you first set up Android you are prompted to enter a Google account, or setup a new Google Account.

The setup process does let you skip this, and you can always add an account at a later date.

Google accounts are free and can be used to access many Google services like Gmail, Youtube, and more importantly the Google Play Apps store.

If you use Android without a Google account you will not have access to the Apps store on Google play or be able to backup your device online.

Creating A Google Account

To create a Google account go to Settings>Accounts>Add Account. Select the account type e.g Google.

You are given the option of creating a brand new account or using an existing one. Choose the appropriate option and follow the instructions.

You will be asked to join Google+ and enter a credit card for online purchases. You can decline both.

When finished the last screen shows what is being synced to your Google account.

If the Google account you add is enabled for Gmail then it is automatically added to the Gmail client.

Account Synchonisation

Synchronisation keeps your data up to date. It is very important with Apps like email where you want to make sure that the email on your tablet is completely up to date.

If you go to Settings>accounts you will see all of the accounts configured on your device.


If you press the menu icon (top right) you can enable and disable synchronization for all of the accounts.

If you do that you get a warning  message as shown below:


Generally synchronization should be enabled, but if you are using your Tablet/phone with a data plan over a mobile phone network then the global sync disable will stop all synchronization and save you possibly exceeding your data limits.

Managing Individual Accounts and Apps

If you tap each account you can control the sync settings for each account and App associated with that account.

For example if you tap on the Yahoo account a screen opens showing the sync status. If you press the menu icon top right you can do a manual sync


If you tap on the account user name then another screen opens that lets you enable/disable synchronisation for that user.


If you Tap the Google account you will find that Google accounts are associated with many more Apps and you can control the synchronisation for each App, and Google account (if you have several).

Removing/Deleting Accounts

If you no long use a particular service then you can remove the account from your device by selecting the account.


The account opens up and you can see the various account options.


Click the menu option (top right).


and remove the account.

Common Questions and Answers:

Q- Does every online service create an Account under Android Accounts?

A- No it seems not. Amazon Kindle requires an account but it doesn’t appear under the Android Accounts.

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