How to Open a Gmail Email Account

By Kristyn Hammond

Though it is newer than both of its major competitors—Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail—Google's Gmail serves millions of subscribers worldwide. Renowned for its spam protection, simple mobile-syncing capabilities and large inbox space, Gmail is a good fit for many types of users. Signing up for a Gmail account will give you access to Google's account services, including Blogger, Adsense and Adwords, a Google Profile page, Google Docs, iGoogle and many others.

Step 1

Navigate to Gmail's website or to the Google Accounts page to register for a new account; links are provided in the References section, below.

Step 2

Click the red "Create an Account" button on the right-hand side. This button is above the user sign-in section of the page.

Step 3

Enter all required information, including first and last name, desired login name, password, security question and answer, recovery email address, location and birthday. Read Google's terms of service and click the blue "Next step" button.

Step 4

Click the blue "Continue to Gmail" button on the bottom left-hand side of the screen to complete registration and sign in.

Step 5

Read the three email messages sent to your account from the Google team. These three emails will teach you about importing contacts to Gmail, customizing Gmail's appearance and accessing Gmail on your mobile phone.

Step 6

Click the gear button at the top right-hand side of the screen and choose the "Themes" category. Here you can customize the look of your Gmail account by choosing a ready-made theme or selecting your own colors.

Step 7

Select the "General" tab and configure your Gmail settings. Settings include options such as display language, page size, text style and view style.

Step 8

Connect your new Gmail account to your mobile phone by clicking the "Get Gmail for your phone" button in the email sent to your account by the Gmail Team. This will take you to the "Gmail for Mobile" page where you can configure your mobile device.

Tips & Warnings

  • Signing up for a Gmail account automatically signs you up for Google Talk, Google's chat client. You can chat with other Gmail users and contacts from your email dashboard.
  • Create a strong password to keep your account safe from hackers.
  • Never use your birthday, Social Security number, pin numbers, drivers license number, phone number, or first or last name as a password.