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Create an AdWords manager account

If you’re an agency or someone who manages multiple AdWords accounts, a manager account is a powerful tool that could save you time. A manager account is an AdWords account that lets you easily view and manage multiple AdWords accounts -- including other manager accounts -- from a single location.

A manager account isn't an "upgrade" of your AdWords account. Instead, it's an entirely new AdWords account you create. Think of a manager account as an umbrella AdWords account with several individual AdWords accounts linked to it. As always, owners of individual AdWords accounts can sign in to their accounts and maintain access to their information.

Here we’ll explain:

Why use a manager account

A manager account is an umbrella AdWords account that’s designed to help you easily monitor and manage other AdWords accounts. With a manager account you can:

  • Use a single sign in to access all managed AdWords accounts, including other manager accounts.
  • Search, navigate, and manage all of your accounts from a single, easy-to-read dashboard.
  • Create and manage campaigns for your managed accounts from within your manager account.
  • Easily compare performance across all accounts and run reports for multiple accounts at once.
  • Use consolidated billing to get just one, simple monthly invoice for all of your managed accounts.
  • Use alerts to efficiently monitor all of your linked accounts.
  • Quickly create and link AdWords accounts from within your manager account.

Who should use a manager account:

  • Large advertisers with more than one AdWords account
  • Third parties such as:
    • Agencies
    • Search engine marketers (SEMs)
    • Automated bid managers (ABMs)
    • And other online marketing professionals who manage multiple client accounts or a large number of campaigns

Creating a manager account

Here’s how to create a manager account:

  1. Visit https://www.google.com/adwords/manager-accounts/ and click Sign up for free.
  2. Enter the email address you want to use for this account. The email address must not already be used to sign in to other AdWords accounts. (Get tips for creating new email addresses).
  3. Give your manager account a name. This is the name that your clients will see in their managed account.
  4. Choose how you plan to use the account, either as an account to manage your own multiple AdWords accounts, or to manage other people’s accounts.
  5. Select your country and time zone. This time zone will be used for your account reporting and billing and can’t be changed. You might want to choose the time zone you work in.
  6. Select a permanent currency for your account. This selection will associate your manager account with an appropriate currency for any specific billing needs for your account (e.g. Manager Defined Spend). You might want to choose the currency in which you do business. Your client accounts will be billed in their individual chosen currencies.
  7. Check the box to accept the rules of use and click Save and continue.
  8. Once your email is verified, your new manager account is active!

Linking an AdWords account to your manager account

To begin using your new manager account, you’ll need to link it to an existing or new AdWords account, or to another manager account. Then, you can view information across multiple AdWords accounts and switch between all linked accounts using just one login.

An individual AdWords account can be linked to no more than 5 manager accounts, and your managed account structure can be no greater than 6 levels deep. Also, a manager account can't be directly managed by more than 1 other manager account.

Manager account hierarchy Linking an existing AdWords account

When you link an existing AdWords account to a manager account, the original account remains unchanged and its account history remains intact. For example, invoicing and payment methods are not affected when an account is linked to a manager account. The original users of the newly managed account continue to have access to the account's billing and sign-in information. From the original user's perspective, the account will look the same as ever, and is accessible with the same sign-in information as before, and with the same permissions. Keep in mind that when you link an existing AdWords account, it won’t have administrative ownership by default.

You can also link another manager account to your account, which lets you manage and view data for all of the AdWords accounts that are linked to that manager account. A manager account can't be directly managed by more than 1 other manager account.

To link an existing AdWords account or another manager account to your manager account:

  1. Obtain the AdWords Customer ID number (which appears in the top corner of AdWords account).
  2. Sign in to your manager account at https://adwords.google.com.
  3. Click the Accounts tab.
  4. Click the Performance sub-tab.
  5. Click the + Account button.
  6. Choose "Link existing accounts."
  7. Once you’ve reviewed the terms for linking accounts, enter the AdWords account's Customer ID number in the client accounts field. To link multiple accounts at once, enter one Customer ID per line.
  8. Click Continue, then Submit.
  9. When you click Submit, the AdWords account will receive an account notification and email that invites them to link to your account. Any user with administrative access on the invited account or on a linked manager account with administrative ownership can accept your invitation by clicking the gear icon, then selecting Account settings from the drop-down menu. Then, they’ll select Account access from the side navigation and click Accept invitation.
  10. During this process, you'll see a pending notification for the (soon-to-be) managed account in your manager account's "Pending invitations," which can be accessed from the side navigation. Once the invited account accepts your invitation, you'll receive an email confirmation and the account will be automatically linked to your manager account.
Create and link a new AdWords or AdWords Express account

To create a new AdWords or AdWords Express account and link it to your manager account:

  1. Sign in to your manager account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Accounts tab.
  3. Click the Performance sub-tab.
  4. Click the + New AdWords account or + New AdWords Express account button and choose whether you want to create a new AdWords account or AdWords Express account.
  5. Complete the form, and click Create account.
  6. Once your account is created, click Done.
  7. To activate your new managed account and begin running ads, you’ll need to provide billing information from within the new account, or set the new account up on consolidated billing. To set up billing in the new managed account, click the account name in the “Client” column. Then click the gear icon , choose Billing, and select Billing preferences to begin. Learn more about setting up consolidated billing.
  8. Click your manager account's Campaigns tab to start creating campaigns for your new managed account. Learn more about creating and managing campaigns from your manager account.

Note

When you create and link a new AdWords or AdWords Express account, that account will automatically have the administrative owner setting turned on.

Unlinking an account from your manager account

If you stop managing a particular account, a user of the manager account or the managed account (with the appropriate access level) will need to unlink the two accounts. Once this happens, you will no longer be able to access the managed account.

When you unlink an account that was using the manager account’s remarketing tag or any shared remarketing lists, the lists that rely on the shared tag will no longer populate, and the account will lose access to any of the manager’s shared lists. Any of the account’s ad groups that target these lists and any campaigns that exclude these lists will stop running. If the account was sharing its own lists, this change may affect ad groups and campaigns in other accounts that are targeting these lists.

If you unlink an account that was using your cross-account conversion tracking tag, that tag will no longer ​record conversions for clicks that take place after the account was unlinked. However, the cross-account conversion tracking tag will continue to record conversions for clicks that took place before the account was unlinked for the duration of the conversion window (typically 30 days). If the managed​ account had its own conversion tracking tag installed on the site previously, it will resume tracking conversions. ​Learn more about cross-account conversion tracking.​

Important: Unlinking from a managed account that’s on consolidated billing does not change the managed account’s billing settings. After you unlink the account, all active and pending budgets will remain active and the account's ads will continue to serve and be billed to the original account.

If you no longer want your manager account to be billed for the managed account you’re planning to unlink, make sure you end all budgets under that managed account before you unlink. If you unlink accounts before doing this, you won’t have access to the billing page and will need to call Google directly to request assistance from Google support staff.

To end budgets prior to unlinking:

 

  1. From the managed account, click the gear icon and choose Billing.
  2. Click the Orders link. Then find the budget order you'd like to delete, end, or edit.
  3. Once you find the budget order, look under the Actions column. To delete a budget order that's pending activation or review, click Delete. To end an active budget order, click End order.
  4. When finished, click Submit.

If you see an “Account budgets” link instead of an “Orders” link, follow these instructions to end budgets:

  1. From within the managed account, click the gear icon and select Billing.
  2. Click the Account budgets link. Then find the budget you'd like to delete, end, or edit.
  3. Once you find the budget, look under the Actions column. To delete a budget that's “Under review,” click Cancel. To end a budget that’s “Pending” activation, click Delete. To end an active budget, click End.
  4. When finished, click Submit.
     

If you will be linking the account to a manager account you already have access to, then you don’t need to take any action since the same manager account will still be billed for the accounts under it.

To unlink an account from your manager account:

  1. Sign in to your manager account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Admin tab.
  3. Select the accounts you'd like to unlink.
  4. Click the Edit drop-down menu and select Unlink accounts.

Inviting users to your account

From your manager account’s “Account access” menu, you can invite users to your manager account, manage your user invitations, and see who has access to your manager account and what level of access they have.

Invite a new user to access your manager account

Here’s how to invite someone to access your manager account and choose their access level:

  1. Click the gear icon in the top corner of your manager account and choose Account settings.
  2. Click Account access from the side navigation.
  3. Click the +Users button.
  4. Enter the new user’s email address, name (optional), and choose an access level.
  5. Click Send invitation.
  6. Your invitee will need to accept your invitation and create their own AdWords sign in using the email address you sent the invitation to, or another of their choosing. They won’t be able to use an email address that’s already associated with an AdWords account. We’ll notify you when your invitee responds.
  7. After accepting the invitation, they will also need to confirm the email address.
  8. After the invitee has accepted and confirmed their email address, you must confirm and grant the invitee access to your account. To do this, click the gear icon in the top corner of your account, then click Account settings.
  9. Click Account access from the side navigation and confirm their access to your account by clicking Grant access.

To see who you’ve invited to the account and who already has account access, go to the “Account access” menu as follows:

  1. Click the gear icon in the top corner of your manager account and choose Account settings.
  2. Click Account access from the side navigation.You’ll see any “Pending invitations” and a list of “Users with account access.”

To revoke or resend a pending invitation from here, click the Actions drop-down menu in the “Pending invitations” section and choose either option.

To remove a current user’s access or change their notification settings from here, click the Actions drop-down menu in the “Users with account access” section and choose either option.

Managing access levels

Similar to individual AdWords accounts, users of manager accounts can be assigned 4 levels of access: “Administrative, “Standard,” “Read only,” and “Email only.”

How much someone can see and do within a manager account and the accounts linked to it depends upon the level of access they’re granted for that manager account and whether the manager account is an administrative owner of an account.

Manager accounts

  • Anyone with access to linked manager accounts that are above your manager account in the account structure can make changes to your manager account.
  • Users with access to manager accounts that you manage (below your account in the account structure), won’t be able to make changes to your account.
  • Managers can terminate relationships with managed accounts at any time, as long as those accounts have users or an administrative owner manager account, by unlinking the account from their manager account.
  • Administrative access users on administrative owner manager accounts can control user access for their managed accounts. Learn more in the “Administrative owners” section below.

Individual AdWords accounts

  • Users can still access their own individual AdWords accounts at any time and administrative access users can terminate the relationship with the manager account at any time by unlinking their account from the manager account.
  • Although multiple AdWords accounts can be linked to a manager account, users of these AdWords accounts only have direct access to their own accounts.
  • Administrative access users on an individual AdWords account can still manage the access levels of users on the account. They can grant people access, change their access levels, and terminate their access.
  • Managers may monitor ad performance, update campaigns, and otherwise manage account tasks for their managed accounts, but do not have access to change proprietary information, such as a managed account’s sign in information.

Learn more about sharing and managing levels of account access for individual AdWords accounts.

Here's an overview of the different access levels for manager account users and what they can do:

Access level for manager account user What the manager account user can do in the manager account What the manager account user can do in linked managed accounts
Administrative access
  • Link existing accounts and create new linked accounts
  • Unlink other manager accounts and individual AdWords accounts
  • Invite users 
  • Cancel invitations sent by other users
  • Remove a user 
  • Change access levels for users
  • Accept and decline link requests

If the manager account isn't an administrative owner, a user with administrative access can:

  • Invite users with "Standard," "Read only," or "Email only" access levels
  • View, edit, and manage any part of linked accounts and campaigns
  • Change user access from "Standard" to "Read only"
  • Change user access from "Read only" to "Standard"
  • Receive notification emails for linked accounts
  • Receive emailed reports, if added to email list

If the manager account is an administrative owner, a user with administrative access can also:

  • Invite users with "Administrative" access
  • Change user access from "Administrative" to "Standard" or "Read only"
  • Change user access from "Read only" or "Standard" to "Administrative"
  • Grant another manager account administrative ownership
  • Remove administrative ownership
  • Accept and decline link requests from other manager accounts
  • Unlink another manager account
  • Turn remarketing list sharing on and off
Standard access
  • Browse the manager account
  • View, edit, and manage any part of linked accounts and campaigns
  • Sign in and run reports for linked accounts
  • Receive notification emails for linked accounts
  • Receive emailed reports, if added to email list
Managed-Standard access
This access level is assigned when a manager account user lowers another user’s access level from “Administrative” to “Standard,” and that user was originally invited to the account by someone else.
  • Browse the manager account
  • Link existing accounts and create new linked accounts
  • Unlink from accounts managed by this manager account
  • View, edit, and manage any part of linked accounts and campaigns
  • Receive notification emails for linked accounts
  • Receive emailed reports, if added to email list
Read only access
  • Browse the manager account
  • View, sign in, and run reports for linked accounts
  • Receive notification emails for linked accounts
  • Receive emailed reports, if added to email list
Managed-Read only access
This access level is assigned when a manager account user lowers another user’s access level from “Administrative” or “Standard” to “Read only,” and that user was originally invited to the account by someone else.
  • Browse the manager account
  • Link existing accounts and create new linked accounts
  • Unlink from accounts managed by this manager account
  • Sign in and run reports for linked accounts
  • Browse linked accounts
  • Receive notification emails for linked accounts
  • Receive emailed reports, if added to email list
Email only access
  • Receive notification emails for manager account
  • Receive notification emails for linked accounts
  • Receive emailed reports, if added to email list

The user access report

If you want to see all the users who have access to a manager account or its linked accounts, you can download a user access report. Here's how to download the report:

  1. Click the gear icon Gear Icon  in the top corner of your manager account and select Account settings.
  2. Click Account access from the menu on the left.
  3. In the "Users with account access" section, click the download icon.
  4. Select your file format from the drop-down menu and click Download.

Access levels for individual AdWords accounts

Users of AdWords accounts can also be assigned “Managed - Standard” and “Managed - Read only” access levels (in addition to the usual AdWords account access levels). 

In addition to the normal “Standard” and “Read-only” functions, users with these access levels can also unlink from their manager accounts. Learn more about access levels for users on individual AdWords accounts.

Tip

There’s always the chance that multiple managers could make conflicting changes to the same account. To avoid this, you’ll want to have clear communication amongst all users about roles and responsibilities for account management and changes to the account. 

Administrative owners

Managers can have administrative ownership for a managed account, which is a permission level that lets them manage user access on that account. Administrative access users on manager accounts with administrative ownership can do the following:

  • Grant and remove access for all users on the managed account.
  • Change access levels for all users on the managed account.
  • Accept/decline link requests to the managed accounts from other managers
  • Turn on and off administrative ownership for other managers.
  • Remove users from a managed account.
  • Turn on and off remarketing list sharing for a managed account

​If a manager creates a new account, the manager will automatically become an administrative owner of that account. Even if a user with administrative access is added to that account, the manager will continue being the administrative owner.

Here’s how to make a manager an administrative owner:

  1. Click the gear icon Gear Icon in the top corner of the managed account and select Account settings.
  2. Click Account access from the menu on the left.
  3. In the "Client managers" section, click "On" or "Off" next to the appropriate manager in the "Administrative owner" column.

Managing your account structure

You can give someone access to only some of the accounts linked to your manager account by taking advantage of a manager account’s ability to link to another manager account.

Example

Amy manages 5 accounts that include 2 accounts for direct sales and 3 accounts for channel sales. She wants her partner, Bill, to manage the channel sales accounts. To accomplish this:

  1. Bill creates his own manager account.
  2. Amy links Bill’s new manager account to her own manager account. Bill now has a sub-manager account that's managed by Amy's account.
  3. Amy changes the manager for the 3 channel sales accounts to Bill’s manager account.

Now Bill has access to the 3 accounts he needs, while Amy can still view each of those accounts from her top-level manager account.

Unlinking an account from its manager

An individual AdWords account can unlink from a manager account without losing their own account's campaign history or access to any AdWords features. Here’s how:

  1. Sign in to the managed AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top corner.
  3. Click Account settings.
  4. Click Account access from the side navigation.
  5. Scroll down to the "Client Managers" section. In the row of the manager account you want to unlink from, click the Actions drop-down menu and choose Terminate access.
  6. Click OK.

Once unlinked, the AdWords account can ask their new manager to link their account to the new manager account.

Unlinking and cross-account conversion tracking

If you move an account that was using your cross-account conversion tracking tag, but the managed account still falls within your account structure, the cross-account conversion tracking tag will still work on the managed account. However, if a managed account moves outside of your account structure, that tag will no longer ​record conversions for clicks that take place after the account was moved. Note that the cross-account conversion tracking tag will continue to record conversions for clicks that took place before the account was moved for the duration of the conversion window (typically 30 days).

If the managed account had its own conversion tracking tag installed on the site previously, it will resume tracking conversions (unless it is replaced by another manager account’s cross-account conversion tracking tag). ​Learn more about cross-account conversion tracking.​

Unlinking and consolidated billing

Important: If you move a managed account that’s on consolidated billing from one manager account to another, it does not change the managed account’s billing settings. After you move the account, the new manager account won’t have access to the account budget. All active and pending budgets will remain active and the account's ads will continue to serve and be billed to the original account.

If you no longer want your manager account to be billed for the managed account you’re planning to move, make sure you end all budgets under that manager account before you move it. If you move accounts before doing this, you won’t have access to the billing page and will need to call Google directly to request assistance from Google support staff.

To end budgets prior to moving the account:

 

  1. From the managed account, click the gear icon and choose Billing.
  2. Click the Orders link. Then find the budget order you'd like to delete, end, or edit.
  3. Once you find the budget order, look under the Actions column. To delete a budget order that's pending activation or review, click Delete. To end an active budget order, click End order.
  4. When finished, click Submit.

If you see an “Account budgets” link instead of an “Orders” link, follow these instructions to end budgets:

  1. From within the managed account, click the gear icon and select Billing.
  2. Click the Account budgets link. Then find the budget you'd like to delete, end, or edit.
  3. Once you find the budget, look under the Actions column. To delete a budget that's “Under review,” click Cancel. To end a budget that’s “Pending” activation, click Delete. To end an active budget, click End.
  4. When finished, click Submit.
     

If you will be moving the account to a manager account you already have access to, then you don’t need to take any action since the same manager account will still be billed for the accounts under it.

Creating an optional login AdWords account from your manager account

You can create a new AdWords or AdWords Express account right from your manager account without an additional email address or password. This AdWords account will have no users on it, and there will be no way for a user to directly access the account unless you invite them directly.

Creating this account doesn’t give the users of your manager account more control over the day-to-day management of the optional-login AdWords account. However, it will mean that the manager account has the ability to invite “Administrative access” users to the account, accept user invitations, terminate another manager, accept an invite for another manager, and reject another manager.

Critical account alerts for optional log-in AdWords accounts are sent to the email address associated with the manager account. However, the manager account won’t receive other notifications for the managed account by default. To receive these email notifications, go to “Account settings” from the gear menu, click "Notification settings" from the side navigation, and change settings as needed.

How to create an optional login account within your manager account:
  1. Sign in to your manager account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Accounts tab.
  3. Click the Performance sub-tab.
  4. Click + Account.
  5. Select the type of account you want to create: AdWords or AdWords Express.
  6. Give the new account a name (this is the name you and your managed accounts will see).
  7. Select a time zone country and time zone from the drop-down menus. These settings can’t be changed later, so choose carefully.
  8. Select a permanent currency for this account. Review the available payment options for local currencies before you decide. Not all currencies are available in all areas.
  9. Click one or both of the checkboxes if you want this manager account to receive “personalized ideas and special offers” or “AdWords newsletters with best practices and offers” related to the new AdWords account.
  10. Click Invite a user to this account (optional) if you want to allow another user access to this AdWords account. Otherwise, you can choose to create the account with no user. To invite another user, enter their email address and select the level of access you want to grant them: “Administrative access,” "Standard access," or "Read-only access."  Learn more about access levels in manager accounts.

Keep in mind

  • You can't unlink an optional log-in account from your manager account without first inviting a user to the account with “Administrative Access.” Learn how to invite a user to the account.
  • You can’t create an optional-login account using AdWords Editor. You must create the account using the AdWords interface.

Tip
Do you need additional email addresses to sign in to your managed accounts? Only one AdWords account can be associated with a Google Account login, so you must use distinct, functioning login emails for each of the client accounts and manager accounts linked to your manager account.

To obtain more login emails for your managed accounts, we recommend taking advantage of a free email service, such as Google's Gmail, or a free email service available from another provider.

You may also want to see if your current email provider supports the functionality in which adding '+__' before '@domain.com' creates a unique address without changing the destination of the message.

For example, if your email address is 'john@mybusiness.com,' you may be able to use 'john+1@mybusiness.com,' 'john+2@mybusiness.com,' etc. as distinct login emails for your managed accounts. Emails sent to 'john+1@mybusiness.com,' etc. would go to your 'john@mybusiness.com' inbox.

Alternatively, some email providers offer more than one email address per customer. Emails to the different addresses can then be redirected to the same inbox.

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