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#1
Old 07-28-2013, 10:59 PM
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Removing a gmail account from a specific computer

I need to fix my wife's laptop so that extraneous gmail accounts are not available. Is there any way, once a specific gmail account has been enabled on the computer, to instruct the computer to stop accessing that account?

Gmail's FAQ's are silent on the issue.

Thanks in advance.
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#2
Old 07-28-2013, 11:07 PM
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You can reset any saved passwords on your browser, but other than that, not really. If someone has the password and login for a specific account, they can log in to it. If you can log into one, you can log in to any.. You could block Gmail completely, but that would keep her from logging into her account, as well.
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#3
Old 07-28-2013, 11:32 PM
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Disappointing. Is there at least a way to change which account gmail defaults to?
#4
Old 07-28-2013, 11:33 PM
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
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I'm a bit confused, but I think it comes down to what EatTheSun said. Just hit the log out button in Gmail/YouTube/Google and don't log back into that account.

Additionally, you can go to a log in page, go to the username box, hit the down arrow and Ctrl-Delete the username from the box, but it's still going to come down the user just not logging in anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Disappointing. Is there at least a way to change which account gmail defaults to?
Log into the account you want it to be logged into and tell it to stay logged in.

Last edited by Joey P; 07-28-2013 at 11:34 PM.
#5
Old 07-28-2013, 11:43 PM
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Is your aim to provide simplicity for the primary user of the computer, or security for your own account?
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#6
Old 07-28-2013, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EatTheSun View Post
Is your aim to provide simplicity for the primary user of the computer, or security for your own account?
And that would depend on what the endgame here is. You mentioned blocking gmail, but depending on what the OP ultimatly wants to do, to totally stop someone from (easily) logging into gmail, that would also involve blocking youtube and Google (and possibly G+, I'm not sure if that's separate from Google.com). There's probably some other things they own that I'm not thinking off, plus other places you can log onto gmail as well from.

Oh, and the Android Play store. That's Google too, IIRC. I know it works with the Google Wallet.
#7
Old 07-28-2013, 11:56 PM
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I think the easiest way is going to be to just log on, tell it to stay logged on and don't log off. But until we have more info as to what exactly you're trying to accomplish, that's about the most help I can offer.
#8
Old 07-29-2013, 12:12 AM
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We're in agreement there, I was just trying to get a little clarity, as well.
#9
Old 07-29-2013, 12:45 AM
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Surely gmail is a web service. As such, it is not really meaningful to talk about it being enabled or disabled on a particular user's computer.

If you want to prevent someone getting into particular accounts, change the password and log out, and take care that your browser is not set to automatically log back in with the new password.
#10
Old 07-29-2013, 01:27 AM
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Your computer doesn't store your gmail inbox, does it? It just saves some cookies with your user names and passwords (if you tell it to save them), right? I guess it's a matter of clearing the correct cookies.

But that's not going to stop someone else from entering their user name and password after you do that.
#11
Old 07-29-2013, 01:41 AM
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No is the answer. Gmail will default to the last gmail account accessed. This function is very embedded. I tried to get around it so I could launch specific gmail accounts from desktop links and it still defaulted to the last account accessed.

Last edited by astro; 07-29-2013 at 01:41 AM.
#12
Old 07-29-2013, 01:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
No is the answer. Gmail will default to the last gmail account accessed. This function is very embedded. I tried to get around it so I could launch specific gmail accounts from desktop links and it still defaulted to the last account accessed.
Not just that, but it will switch accounts if you log into a different service under another user name. If I'm in my work gmail account, and then open another window to log into my personal YouTube account, the gmail window will switch over to my personal one that's attached to YouTube. Of course, this is at home where everything logs in automatically. If I do something similar at work, where no passwords are saved, it will still switch, but to the login screen. I don't see any way around it.
#13
Old 07-29-2013, 04:14 AM
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Okay, my wife is blind,and her laptop had been set up to only open emails from the webmail on her ISP account. This account is now hosted as a gmail account, but it's accessed through her logon at dslextrreme.com, not through gmail.com. Last week in order to assist a houseguest with obtaining services from a Library of Congress service for blind users, I created a gmail account for the guest (my computer was broken at the time). Yesterday, in the middle of a remote training session, her instructor tried to open her email, and it logged into her friend's gmail account.

The friend has now returned home, where she doesn't have a computer, but that could change any time. For this reason, I'm hesitant to simply delete her account. I just want it to not be the one that presents itself when my wife tries to open her email.
#14
Old 07-29-2013, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Okay, my wife is blind,and her laptop had been set up to only open emails from the webmail on her ISP account. This account is now hosted as a gmail account, but it's accessed through her logon at dslextrreme.com, not through gmail.com. Last week in order to assist a houseguest with obtaining services from a Library of Congress service for blind users, I created a gmail account for the guest (my computer was broken at the time). Yesterday, in the middle of a remote training session, her instructor tried to open her email, and it logged into her friend's gmail account.

The friend has now returned home, where she doesn't have a computer, but that could change any time. For this reason, I'm hesitant to simply delete her account. I just want it to not be the one that presents itself when my wife tries to open her email.

I believe the lesson is to click "signout" when you are finished.
#15
Old 07-29-2013, 04:33 AM
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Gmail will normally only "remember" one account, so once you log in to another, it won't automatically log in to the old one until you do it manually first. It does this using cookies stored on your computer, rather than through some setting on Google's servers.

Go to the email you don't want to see, then logout. If necessary, delete your cookies. If you want another one to log in by default, log in to that one and make sure you have the "Stay signed in" or "Automatically log me in next time" option selected.

Your situation seems a little unusual. I'm not certain exactly how or why the laptop is only supposed to open emails on the ISP account, and what this has to do with Gmail. The email addresses are all @gmail.com, but you can log in to them from another website? Is it impossible to log in from gmail.com?
#16
Old 07-29-2013, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bozuit View Post
Your situation seems a little unusual. I'm not certain exactly how or why the laptop is only supposed to open emails on the ISP account, and what this has to do with Gmail. The email addresses are all @gmail.com, but you can log in to them from another website? Is it impossible to log in from gmail.com?
Gmail does domain email hosting - my work gmail account is [email protected] Workplace.org (of which the @ addresss is also our website) no one would know it was a Gmail account unless I told them. So the OP's situation makes sense. kaylasdad, deleting the guest account cookies should do the trick, and making sure your wife's account is signed back in with "stay signed on" selected should make it the default again. It sounds like it just went to the last email account that was opened, which Gmail is wont to do IME.

Last edited by SeaDragonTattoo; 07-29-2013 at 05:09 AM. Reason: broke email auto-link
#17
Old 07-29-2013, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
No is the answer. Gmail will default to the last gmail account accessed. This function is very embedded. I tried to get around it so I could launch specific gmail accounts from desktop links and it still defaulted to the last account accessed.
Use several browsers.
#18
Old 07-29-2013, 05:09 AM
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I believe this is a cookie issue.
#19
Old 07-29-2013, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Use several browsers.
This, or for this particular case have the guest use a guest-access login on the laptop itself so that nothing done will mess with the wife's stuff.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 07-29-2013 at 05:13 AM.
#20
Old 07-29-2013, 05:43 AM
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Is there any reason you and your wife are not using an email client program on your pc? Such as Outlook or Windows Live. I never use webmail because I like to have all of my email accessible whether there is a web connection or not. Plus using an email client is more user friendly.
#21
Old 07-29-2013, 06:05 AM
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That varies by user. I've never found a hotel that had no-web access without web-access; the opposite, too many times. And I find google's own user interface perfectly user-friendly, plus it doesn't require me to set up anything else and I can use it from any computer.

Last edited by Nava; 07-29-2013 at 06:06 AM.
#22
Old 07-29-2013, 06:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaDragonTattoo View Post
Not just that, but it will switch accounts if you log into a different service under another user name. If I'm in my work gmail account, and then open another window to log into my personal YouTube account, the gmail window will switch over to my personal one that's attached to YouTube. Of course, this is at home where everything logs in automatically. If I do something similar at work, where no passwords are saved, it will still switch, but to the login screen. I don't see any way around it.
You can be logged in to more than one Google account at once. I always am at work. I have my work email and my personal email open, in the same browser (different tabs). Under the account name at the top right you just click the drop down menu and choose which account you want in that tab.

You can have at least three google accounts open at once; probably many more. I have a Google account with a Yahoo email address which I use for posting on Google Groups and I can have all three in the dropdown menu, no problem.
#23
Old 07-29-2013, 06:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Use several browsers.
This is the method I use.

I currently need to have four different Gmail accounts available concurrently on my main computer, each able to access the related YouTube, Google Drive, etc pages as well as Gmail itself. Constantly logging into and out of accounts in a single browser would be a nightmare.

So, I have one account running in Firefox, one in Chrome, one in Safari, and one in Opera. I have links on my taskbar for each (as Astro wanted to do in post #11) so I can launch each quickly.

A bonus of using different browsers is that there is a visual clue as to which account is currently onscreen, which makes it less likely that I will upload a video to the wrong YouTube account.
#24
Old 07-29-2013, 07:01 AM
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You have three easy options....
1)Make sure the guest logs out and then Ctrl-Delete's her user name from the drop down box. It's easy, but too easy to forget. But it's what you should do now to clean up her tracks.

2)Have her use a different browser. That is, if your wife uses IE, have the friend use Firefox. If she uses Firefox, have the friend use Chrome. As long as everyone is on a different browser, your wife won't even be able to tell someone else used the computer as far as email accounts being logged into the wrong name or not being able to pull things up as quickly since the history is screwed up. For example, right now, I can type s-t-down arrow-enter" and get to The Straight Dope User CP" But if I have friends use my computer, suddenly doing that (and not paying attention) will take me to Starbucks.com because one of them went to that page.

3)Have her use Private browsing. This is, IMO, what she should be doing and it's what I always do if I use someone else's computer. This will have a different name on each browser. It makes everything act exactly the same, but doesn't leave any kind of trail. No cookies are set (which makes some websites not work), no websites or email accounts remain logged in, no drop down boxes have new things in the autofill etc...But, if she's browsing the web with your wife, the current history/autofills etc are still present so that can be helpful.

Last edited by Joey P; 07-29-2013 at 07:03 AM.
#25
Old 07-29-2013, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
That varies by user. I've never found a hotel that had no-web access without web-access; the opposite, too many times. And I find google's own user interface perfectly user-friendly, plus it doesn't require me to set up anything else and I can use it from any computer.
Fair enough but you are coming from a perspective of universal internet connection and unlimited data caps. Not everyone has that.

For example we go to our holiday home regularly and there is no internet there. However it is useful to be able to browse emails and work with documents all of which are already held on my off-line laptop.
#26
Old 07-29-2013, 11:32 PM
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As mentioned above, you CAN certainly be logged in to multiple Gmail accounts on the same computer at the same time, and the last active one will remain active. Signing out of Gmail will sign you out of all logged in accounts.

You can also deal with this by:

* Creating another Windows/OSX user account
* Creating another BROWSER user account (both Firefox and Chrome support this; not sure about IE)
* Using another browser that your wife doesn't already use (this will give your guest a whole separate set of cookies and logins)
* Using an Private Browsing (Firefox)/Incognito (Chrome)/InPrivate (Internet Explorer) window, which will give your guest a TEMPORARY blank set of cookies that go away as soon as she closes the browser
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