How to set up a Google account on an Android device

Whatever you want to do with Android, there is most probably a feature for it, and if there is no built-in feature, then there is undoubtedly an app for it. However, without a Google Account set up with the Android operating system of your mobile device, these features and apps are out of your reach. Android relies on your Google Account to be able to do all it can do for you. So how can you pair a Google Account with your Android-powered device? Read on through this tutorial to find out how to do it, both on a brand new Android device that you just bought, as well as on an Android device that you have used for a while and is already configured.

NOTE: We used a Motorola Nexus 6 smartphone running Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The procedure is similar on all Android-powered devices, so you should be good to go even if you are running a different version of Android or you have a smartphone or a tablet from Samsung, Huawei or another manufacturer.

How to set up a Google account on a new Android device

When you buy an Android smartphone or tablet or when you reset it to its factory defaults, you have to go through a few configuration steps. After you choose the language used by Android and you connect to a wireless network or enable the mobile data connection, your device also asks you to configure the Google account that you want to use on it.

Android also lets you create a Google Account immediately, if you do not already have one, but for this guide's scope, we assume that you already have a Google account. That means that you have to enter the email address or the phone number you use for it. Type it in the "Email or phone" field and then tap the Next button.

On the next screen, Android asks you to enter the Google Account password. Type it inside the "Enter your password" field, and then tap Next.

If you want to make sure that you entered the password correctly, tap the eye icon on the right side and the password is made visible.

Next, if you have enabled the 2-Step Verification for your Google Account, you are asked to enter a verification code. Depending on how you configured 2-Step Verification, you can get this code from the Google Authenticator app, through an SMS message, or other methods. Once you have entered the security code, tap Next.

Next, Android asks if you want to use your device to sign in to your Google Account in apps and browsers from other devices, such as on your computer or another smartphone or tablet. If you enable this option, when you try to connect to your Google Account, your Android device will display a Yes/No screen on which you can approve the sign-in, or not. If you would rather not use this Google feature, tap Skip.

Finally, Google asks you to agree to its terms of service and privacy policy. If you agree, your Google Account is set up on your Android device. If you do not agree, the account is not configured.

Depending on your smartphone or tablet, and the Android version running on it, you might have to walk through a few additional configuration steps that deal with the operating system. Regardless of your device's particular features, you also get to configure the way Google services will work on it. You should be able to enable or disable features such as "Automatically back up device data," "Use Google's location service to help," "Improve location accuracy," and "Help improve your Android experience." Turn these services and features on or off as you see fit, and tap Next.

The process for adding a Google Account is almost always the same on all Android devices, although some might include some more additional configuration steps regarding their particular features, while others might have fewer. Either way, now you can enjoy all the benefits that are associated with owning a Google Account and an Android device.

How to connect a Google account to an Android device that is already up and running

All the accounts you have set on your Android device are found and configured in the Accounts section of the Settings panel, so go ahead and open it. Scroll through your apps list until you find the Settings app and tap on it to open it.

Once you open the Settings panel, scroll the list downwards until you get to the Personal section, where there is the Accounts option. Tap on this option to open the accounts list. If you use Android 8.0 Oreo, this option is named "Users & accounts."

Here you can see all the configured accounts on your device, together with the option to set up an additional account. Tap on the "+ Add account" button.

The following screen lists the types of accounts that you can set up on your device, depending on what apps you have installed and what type of accounts they use. We want to set up a Google Account, so look up the relevant option in the list and tap on it.

The system asks for your account details, starting with your Gmail address. We assume that you already have a Google Account created in advance, so input your Google email address in the corresponding text field and tap on Next to continue. Otherwise, you can create a Google Account from scratch, by tapping on the "More options" link.

Input your Google password in the corresponding text field and tap Next to continue.

Before you can finish setting up your account, Google needs your agreement of the Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy, so now would be a good time to get yourself up to speed with them and then tap on "I agree" to continue.

You are now returned to the original Accounts screen: on it, tap on Google.

On the Google Accounts screen, you can see that the Google Account has been configured on your device and appears listed in the available accounts list.

Now everything is in order, and you can use the new Google Account that you just set up on your device.

Conclusion

Now you know how to set up a Google Account on your Android smartphone or tablet so that your Android device is fully functional. The Google Account you just paired with your Android device syncs to your Google Cloud, keeping track of many and different types of information, like the apps you purchase and install, the Wi-Fi networks you connect to or the personal settings you prefer when using your device. If you have several Android devices connected to the same Google Account, it is a lot easier to sync all this information between them, than to set the same things every time you change the device you are using. Before you go, post any comments and questions you may have below, and we will do our best to help.