As the title says, is it possible to setup a Google account on an Android device in a way that it will only be used to access Gmail?

I have several apps from the big G installed on my phone (obviously, I dare say), namely Gmail, Play store, Maps, Keep, and so on.

I also have three different Google accounts, the main purpose of this is the need of having distinct email addresses. Let's call "A" the main account (the one that I also use for other Google services like Play Store, Contacts, Calendar and so on) and "B" & "C" the remaining two, only used for email.

I'd like to setup "B" & "C" so that they are only used with Gmail app, and won't pop up in every other Google app, where they are not needed nor wanted. Is it possible to do so?

I have already set them to just sync with Gmail and not other things like contacts and calendars, but that's not what I'd like to accomplish. I want them out of the way where they are not needed.

  • 1
    But if you do as you've said you have (uncheck what you don't want synced) then they are pretty much out of the way. you wont get notifications, you won't see extra content. You wont seen anything extra until you manually request it. By default every app will then use you're one account that you've set up to be your main account. I use two accounts on my phone with selected items set to sync and other not - I've never had an issue with the secondary account getting in the way.
    – Novocaine
    Jan 5, 2015 at 9:52

8 Answers 8


I found a workaround for my problem that works splendidly.

After having installed the latest version of the Gmail App, I have discovered that when I go to Settings > Account > Add account, I can configure a generic email address (i.e. not necessarily a Gmail one) to be used with the said App. It supports both IMAP and POP3 protocols.

enter image description here

(sorry for the Italian, but it should be understandable nonetheless).

I suppose that this feature was meant to use email addresses from other providers inside the Gmail App, but it will accept any email configuration, even a Gmail one.

So I selected IMAP for my second and third email addresses, and now I can access those accounts just for Gmail; this way they won't be able to get in they way on other Apps.

On Google Help Center I have found the settings required to configure an IMAP account on an external client, which I have used. I'm reporting them here for completeness.

To configure the 'Email' app on an Android device for access to Gmail, just follow the steps below:

1. Enable IMAP in your Gmail settings.
2. Open the Email application.
3. Tap Menu and the Settings
4. In the top corner, tap  select Next to get started with setup.
5. Enter your full Gmail address and password, then select Next.
6. On the next screen, you can give the account a nickname and choose the name to display on your outgoing messages. Tap Done.

And you're done. You can verify your settings from the Inbox view by tapping Menu, select Account and then scroll to Server settings.

Incoming settings
IMAP server: imap.gmail.com
Port: 993
Security type: SSL (always)

Outgoing settings
SMTP server: smtp.gmail.com
Port: 465
Security type: SSL (always)

Now that your account is set up, learn how actions in your client sync with Gmail.

  • Amazing. I had no idea that this was possible in the GMail app. This should be the first answer! :)
    – Munim
    Jan 7, 2015 at 5:19

While you add the Google account or even afterwards (from account settings), you can select the content and services to sync. You can select only Gmail, leaving alone all the other services you don't want like Google+, drive, sheets, docs etc.

There's no need to setup a third party email client. All (most) Google apps are aware of this functionality and will work correctly.

  • 1
    Thanks, that's how I already did, but I wanted those accounts to access only Gmail and not other Apps, not just to have them out of sync. It's not the real solution but it works as a workaround anyway :)
    – user86241
    Jan 5, 2015 at 20:48

Just use AOSP/alternative email client for the second account instead of adding another account to your phone just to use it for mail. You can also forward your mails automatically to your main account and label it as you wish.


As you have mentioned you are using Kit-Kat, just open alternative email client as user87790 has said.It just comes as separate app named as Email. Open the app. Select add new from the bottom left corner with add new mark(Plus mark with pencil). Add new account enter your account details. Add both the accounts b and c in the same way you enter the password with email in Gmail app. If you want to see emails from B an C separately just select the account from drop down. Or if you want to see everything from both the accounts select Combined view from drop down.


This not necesserly Android-related, but you mentioned you use those accounts only for emailing. Please see this and this link.

It is possible to send and receive mails from different addresses using only master account and therefore you would have no need to add separate accounts to your Android device.


Using "IMAP email account" instead of "Google Account" works great if email is the only thing you need.


Use the F-Droid repository to install K-9 Mail. (https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=com.fsck.k9). This way you do not have to use a Google account to install a mail application, and while you access GMail through the non-Google app, you can also take advantage of additional features of K-9 such as OpenPGP support (https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=org.thialfihar.android.apg).

  • 1
    @samsung your comment is inaccurate. Firstly a Google account is the same as a gmail account. Secondly and most importantly the OP is looking to use the additional Google accounts for gmail ONLY, not the other way round as you've stated.
    – Novocaine
    Jan 5, 2015 at 9:48

It is very well possible. Sign in with that particular account only from gmail app and it will not sync with anything else.

You must log in to answer this question.