Resolve conflicting accounts

You may find that some of your users create a personal Google Account using your email address at your company or school. If you then sign up for a Google for Work product and add those users to your organization's account, they'll have the same address in both their personal and work Google Account, which creates a conflicting account. When they next sign in to their personal Google Account, they'll be asked to resolve this conflicting account.

What is a conflicting account?

A conflicting account exists if a user created a personal Google Account with the same email address as a Google for Work account managed by your organization. Conflicting accounts most commonly occur if your users signed in to Picasa Web Albums, Blogger, or other Google services, before your organization signed up for Google for Work services.

conflicting accounts

What isn't a conflicting account? Personal Google accounts that don't use your organization's Google address as either the primary or alias email address. For example, a personal Gmail account (username@gmail.com) with no alias addresses is never a conflicting account.

What happens to conflicting accounts?

After you add users who then have conflicting accounts, they're prompted to rename their personal Google Account the next time they sign in. All data within their personal account remains in the account when it's renamed.

Users have full control over the renaming process; administrators don't participate in this process.

If the user has added their organization-managed address as an alternate email address (or email alias) in their personal Google Account, the alias is removed from the personal accounts and the user sees this notification of change the next time they sign in.

Avoid conflicting accounts

Here are two suggestions on how to avoid conflicting accounts:

  • Don't delete a user from your Google Account to address a conflicting account if that person is actively using your Google services for mail, calendar, and other services. Instead, resolve the conflict.
  • Before adding users to your Google Account, ask them if they've created a personal Google Account using your organization's email address. If they have, ask them to rename their personal account. When they do this, the data in their personal accounts remains safe and accessible to them.
Resolve conflicting accounts

If you've already created the user's Google Account, the next time that user signs in to a consumer product, they'll be asked to change their account. For example, if jane@mydomain.com has a conflicting account with your organization, Jane would see these options when she signs into a consumer product:

  • Change to an account with a Gmail address (jane@gmail.com or another available Gmail name).
  • Change to an account with a different email address (uses her jane@yahoo.com address).
  • Sign in with a temporary username Google provides (jane%mydomain@gtempaccount.com).
All conflicting accounts must be resolved. If a user chooses the last option, the user's account is automatically renamed to the temporary name that Google provides. The user is also prompted with these same options at sign-in time, until deciding on and selecting a permanent solution.

In all cases, the data in the user's personal accounts remains safe and accessible to them.