The Outlook logo.

A significant advantage of using Outlook on your computer is you can have multiple email accounts in one place. Here’s how you can manage everything successfully.

If you’ve only used Outlook at work, you might not realize it can handle multiple accounts from multiple providers, including Microsoft, Gmail, Yahoo!, and pretty much any others you can think of.

If you want to add email accounts to Outlook, we walk you through the process here. After you have all your accounts set up, you can manage all of them in Outlook. Let’s take a look at how you do this.

How to Switch Between Email Accounts

After you add another email account, you’ll see it in the sidebar under your original account. To switch from the first account to the second, just select its inbox.

The second email account under the main account in the Outlook navigation pane. Click the Inbox under the second account.

You can add the second account’s inbox to the “Favorites” section of the Navigation pane. This is useful, but then you have two Inbox folders in the Favorites section, which might get a bit confusing.

Because the Inbox is one of the core email folders, you can’t rename it. Instead, Outlook automatically adds the name of the email account to the Inbox folder in the Favorites section, so you know which is which.

A Gmail account in the Favorites panel.

How to Find Emails From Multiple Accounts

Outlook doesn’t provide an option to view all emails in the same folder. This is because each mailbox is a synced copy of one on a server your provider manages.

However, you can click the search box at the top of the main window in the mail view and change the location to “All mailboxes.”

Click the search box and select "All Mailboxes."

When you choose this option, you can search for something in all mailboxes, including emails, tasks, calendar appointments, attachments, or anything else in Outlook.

How to Add Folders to Each Account

You can add folders to an account even if the mail provider doesn’t support them. For example, if you have a Gmail account, and you prefer folders to labels, you can add them. Just right-click your account, and then click “New folder.”

Right-click the account, and then click "New folder."

The folder appears as a “child” of the one you right-clicked. For example, if you right-click the Inbox, the new folder will be a subfolder of the Inbox. If you right-click the email account, the new folder will be the same level as the Inbox. We named our new folders “Subfolder of the inbox” and “Subfolder of the account.” You can name your new folder anything you want (except protected names, like “Inbox,” “Sent Items,” etc.).

Right-click the Inbox, to create a new subfolder. Right-click the email account to create a folder on the same level as the Inbox.

If your email provider doesn’t support folders, these won’t appear in your online email. Gmail, in particular, though, is quite clever when it comes to folders. It automatically applies a matching label to any email you put in your Gmail account folders in Outlook.

The Gmail app with the new labels highlighted.

If you apply that label in Gmail, Outlook picks up on this, but it doesn’t move the email to the corresponding folder. Instead, it puts a copy of the email into the corresponding folder. This is because, in Outlook, you can only put an email in one folder. In Gmail, though, you can apply multiple labels to the same email.

If you apply multiple labels to an email in Gmail, Outlook has no way of knowing which folder it goes in, so it creates a copy for each folder.

If you prefer to create your labels in Gmail, Outlook will sync those, just like Gmail syncs folders from Outlook. To do this, just create a label in Gmail.

A new label in the Gmail app.

Outlook automatically creates a new folder with the same name.

The Outlook Navigation pane with a new folder named the same as the Gmail label.

How to Send Mail From Different Accounts

When you add an email account to Outlook, the “New Email” window automatically enables the “From” line, so you can choose from which account you want to send the email. The sending account defaults to whichever account you were in when you clicked “New Email.”

The "From" line in the "New Email" window.

Click the arrow next to “From,” and you can select any account you have in Outlook. This works when you reply or forward an email, as well.

Click "From" and select the email account you want to use from the drop-down menu.

How to Remove an Account from Outlook

It’s simple to remove an account from Outlook. Just right-click the account, and then select “Remove [account name].”

Click "Remove [account name]."

A confirmation dialogue appears. If you’re sure you want to remove the account, click “Yes.”

Click "Yes" to remove an account.

This won’t affect your actual email account in any way; it just removes Outlook’s access to it. For example, in Gmail, any labels created to match the folders you created in Outlook will remain, and any emails with those labels will still have them.

Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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