In order to access your Gmail account on a standard laptop or desktop computer, simply navigate to www.gmail.com. You can also do the same on a Smartphone or tablet, although some mobile devices allow you to set up a direct icon to online email. Once you arrive at the Gmail landing page, if you are not already logged in on the computer you are using, you will see a login screen as pictured below.
Complete the log in process:
- Enter your username in the “Username” box. Your Google user name is your Gmail address or the portion of your Gmail email address prior to the @ symbol. For example, if your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, then your user name would be “email@example.com” or “patty.”
- Enter your password in the “password” box. Google’s password entry is case sensitive, so make sure your caps lock button is off.
- Click “Sign In” to be taken to your inbox.
Staying Signed In
When logging into Gmail, it is important to note whether the “stay signed in” box is checked.
If the box is checked, then Gmail will keep you signed in for a certain amount of days even when you navigate away from the page or turn your computer off. This can be a valuable time saver if you use your Gmail inbox frequently, because you will not have to enter login information every time you pop in to check your mail. However, this can be a security concern if other people use the computer. If you stay signed in and they navigate to Gmail, they can see all of your email and take action within your correspondence. You should never use the stay signed in button if you are on a public computer in a library, classroom or other venue.
Most browsers will offer to remember any passwords you enter. Browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox will associate an entered password with a username. For example, if you enter username “patty” and password “peppermint123″ then click “Sign in”, the browser will ask “Remember password?” Although the verbiage may be different for each browser, the concept is the same. If you click yes, then the browser will automatically input the password “peppermint123″ for Google sign in when you enter the username “patty”. The same precautions apply here as they do with staying signed in.
If you cannot remember your username or password, click the “Can’t access your account” link directly under the “Sign in” button. The next page requires you to choose:
- I forgot my password
- I forgot my username
- I’m having other problems signing in
If you forgot your password, you can choose a few retrieval options, including resetting it by an alternative email or answering security questions. If you forgot your username, you can go through the same steps. In some cases, Gmail can text you the information if you supplied the appropriate contact information when setting up the account.