Web & communication software

Manage Google Accounts: Cancel Google+, Multiple Sign-Ins

Right from the get-go, I didn't care for Google+ (I'm not alone; read fellow PCWorld writer Tony Bradley's complaints about Google+). Maybe it was the relentless media fawning over what seemed a tepid Facebook clone, or maybe it was because the service just seemed kind of pointless. Whatever the case, I've barely looked at Google+ since signing up for it.

But all of a sudden I'm getting an endless stream of e-mails telling me I've been added to a bunch of strangers' "circles." And although I can tweak my account settings to stop getting these notifications, I'm really just ready to bid goodbye to Google+ altogether. (No offense to those of you who like the service; I just prefer to stick with Facebook.)

Needless to say, I want to keep my other Google services (Docs, Calendar, Gmail, etc.), so I definitely don't want to cancel my entire account--just Google Plus. There's no immediately obvious way to do that, but it can be done. Here's how.

  1. Sign into your Google+ account.
  2. Near the upper right corner, click on your account name (or e-mail address, whichever is shown), then click Account settings.
  3. In the Services section, click Delete profile and remove associated social features.
  4. On the following page, choose Delete Google+ content, then click Remove selected services.

That's it! You're no longer part of Google+ or its circles. Of course, you can always rejoin later if Facebook's endless and annoying changes finally drive you over the edge.

Sign Into Multiple Google Accounts Simultaneously

Do you have more than one Google (or Gmail) account? If so, you've undoubtedly encountered the hassle of juggling them in your browser. You have to sign out of one in order to sign into another, and on and on. Major pain.

There were workarounds in the form of the Firefox add-ons, Greasemonkey scripts, and the like, but they were still something of a hassle. (Some people would even open different accounts in different browsers: one in Firefox, another in IE, a third in Chrome, and so on.) But did you know that Google has it's own workaround?

Google's "multiple sign-in" feature lets you access multiple accounts simultaneously, in one browser. Just sign into your Google Account, access the Account Management page, and then look for Multiple sign-in under Personal Settings. Click Change, then follow the prompts.

Currently, multiple sign-in works with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sites, Google Reader, Google Voice, App Engine and Google Code. When it's enabled, you'll see a drop-down next to your e-mail address at the top of the page. Two clicks and presto: you're switched to a different account.

If you've got a hassle that needs solving, send it my way. I can't promise a response, but I'll definitely read every e-mail I get--and do my best to address at least some of them in the PCWorld Hassle-Free PC blog. My 411: hasslefree@pcworld.com. You can also sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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