Add users who have existing Google Accounts

Before adding users to your organization, check if they have a personal Google account with the same email address that you're using for their managed Google account.


  • Members of a family group can't join Google Workspace
  • Two accounts can’t share the same email address.

Conflicting accounts most commonly occur if users sign up for free (or consumer) Google services before your organization signs up for a managed Google account.

Learn more about conflicting accounts.

What isn't a conflicting account

Personal Google accounts that don't use your organization's Google address as the primary or alias email address. For example, a personal Gmail account ( isn't a conflicting account.

If a user has a conflicting account

As a Google Workspace administrator, you have these two options for users with a conflicting account:

  • Option 1: Invite your users to transfer or rename their existing account (using a tool in the Google Admin console). 
  • Option 2: Require users to rename their existing consumer account and keep this account separate from Google Workspace.

Note: It can take up to 24 hours for a new account name to take effect.

Option 1: Invite users to transfer their account 

You use the Transfer tool in the Admin console to:

  1. Check whether any users in your organization have existing personal Google accounts that share your organization's email address.

    If no one does, you don't need the tool. Instead, go to Options for adding users.

  2. Use the tool to email the users that share your organization’s email address.
  3. Request that the users transfer their existing Google account to your organization's managed Google account or rename their personal Google account.

For details on using the Transfer tool for unmanaged users, read Find and manage existing Google accounts.

Option 2: Require users to rename their account

First, you need to add users to your managed Google Workspace account using the email address that they used for their personal account. For details, read Options for adding users.

Then, the next time the user signs in to their personal account, they're asked to change the email address associated with that account. They have the following options:

  • Rename the personal account with a new Gmail address.
  • Rename the consumer account with a non-Gmail address that the user already owns. You can use this option only when the non-Gmail address isn't already used as a Google account email address.
  • Sign in with a temporary username that Google provides (for example, With this option, users are prompted to rename the account every time they sign in. The prompts stop after the user selects a permanent solution (new Gmail or non-Gmail address). 

Users have full control over renaming their personal accounts—administrators don't participate in this process.

Important: If you choose this option, the consumer account will remain as a separate Google account, and will not be part of Google Workspace. 

What happens when an account is renamed

User data

When the user renames their personal account with a different email address, all data in the user's personal account remains in the account. The data in the personal account remains safe and accessible only to the user.

Email aliases

Some people use their organization’s address as an alternate email address (or email alias) for their personal Google account. When a user renames their account, the alias is removed from the personal account after you create their managed Google account. The user is notified of this change the next time they sign in to their personal Google account.

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