Motorola Droid Forum

Support How to change main gmail account without doing a factory reset?

I know this could be done on earlier phones, but I can't find a way to change my main gmail account on the Droid (Android 2.01) without doing a factory reset. Anyone know how to do this?

If a factory reset is the only way, what's the best way to do a backup/restore?



#1 MountainX, Jan 5, 2010
I tried looking but couldn't find a way w/o doing factory reset.....maybe I missed something...
#2 chippy, Jan 5, 2010
Factory reset is only way as far as I know.

Use Astro to back up all your apps, or use Atrackdog to back a list of all your apps.

All your data is in the cloud (contacts, calendar, email) if you're using Google and have sync enabled, so you don't need to back them up.

Get and use SMSback (or something like that) to back up your SMS messages.

For any apps that support it, export their settings to your SD card.

Then reset.

Since you're changing your primary email account I believe none of your apps will be reinstalled'll have to install them manually from the marketplace or from your backups...
#3 Redflea, Jan 5, 2010
Thank you.

Do you know if I will be able to restore my paid apps without buying them again after I switch primary gmail accounts? I would think they would have no way to know that I purchased the apps already...

BTW, I found a how-to over in the HTC Hero forum, but I think the Droid is too different from pre-2.0-Android.
#4 MountainX, Jan 5, 2010
I believe the apps you buy are tied to the GMail account you bought them with, so if you change your e-mail you will have to pay for the apps again - :/
#5 tsaunders, Jan 5, 2010
Settings-> Accounts and Sync-> you should have your gmail, facebook and possibly corporate accounts at the bottom of the screen.

If I go into my gmail account and hit menu...I see an option to remove account.

But I obviously have not tried it yet.......

That should allow you to attach the phone to a new gmail account....but you will lose all history/apps

Does this not work?
#6 magnus, Jan 5, 2010
This is true. I did a reset on my phone and accidentally set it up with the wrong gmail/googleapps account. None of the marketplace apps were there and doing the astro restore of the apps added them all as unknown source apps and they wouldnt get updates..

Needless to say i did another reset and use the correct account the next time:p
#7 GreedyBird, Jan 5, 2010
I understand the question, but there is a generic email app that can be assigned to any email. You could just add it there, if you didn't want to go through readding all your apps. Sorry, if I'm stating the obvious.
#8 YankeeDudeL, Jan 5, 2010
Actually, that wasn't obvious to me, so thanks for stating it. I wonder if I could temporarily add my old gmail address, restore my paid apps, then remove that old gmail address? I have a feeling the Droid is going to tell me that the old gmail address is required and cannot be removed (just like it is doing now)...
#9 MountainX, Jan 5, 2010
Sweet! Everybody is so in the know on this site, I didn't think I'd actually get to help anybody w/ anything, lol. I really don't know if that'll work, but do let us know how it goes.
#10 YankeeDudeL, Jan 6, 2010
Instead of adding your old email address, why not leave things the way they are and simply add the new address to the other email app, thereby leaving your paid apps and such intact....

FWIW, the way I understand it is that the Gmail address used to buy apps from AM has to be the *primary* email address, but I may have gleaned that info incorrectly....
#11 johnlgalt, Jan 6, 2010
Ok, have you tried this yet?

I just went to my Gmail via my PC. In the upper right hand corner is a "Settings" link. In that settings menu, you can go to the "Accounts and Import" tab (second from the left). Second down is the "Send Mail As" and an option to "send mail from another address".

See if that helps ya out.
#12 YankeeDudeL, Jan 6, 2010
I have tried this. When I got the phone I set it up to pull down my personal Gmail account. However, I my company e-mail address is hosted by Google Apps. I tried using the standard e-mail app to pull down this account, but am running into problems. The settings work all work and the account is set up, but it won't pull down any e-mail messages. It says its loading messages but then it stops and displays "Load more messages". Hitting that gets it to attempt to load messages again, but I et nothing but another "Load more messages" message.

Any suggestions?
#13 nickm, Feb 19, 2010
I just got my Hero this past weekend and didn't have my gmail account info with me. Of course they made me set up one while I was there..
I changed it tonight by doing this and had no problem:

First you need to press - Menu key >Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > Google Apps > "Clear data" > OK.

This will delete the Google account details on your mobile.

To enter new details press Menu Key> Settings > Data Synchronization > Google and you'll be prompted with the set up dialogue. Enter your new account details. It took my phone a few minutes to sync the new account but all is running well now!
#14 txrednc, Mar 22, 2010
My problem is wanting to switch my main google account so i can use my work one for my calendar, but i havent figured out how to do that without factory resetting (sprint htc evo)
#15 smith2sc, Jun 25, 2010
You can do this if your phone is rooted:
All you have to do is use Root Explorer and go to /data/system/ find accounts.db and rename it to accounts.db.bak so I could just name it back if I had a problem instead of doing a restore. I also did a Nandroid backup.. Reboot your phone and goto settings>accounts and sync>add account and your good to go!!!!

**I would definitely recommend doing a NANDROID backup before, just in case you delete the wrong file accidentally.
#16 alegalalien, May 17, 2011

Sorry for a 14 month delay, but I use the GMail app for both my regular gmail AND my google apps for your domain accounts. Works flawlessly.

Otherwise, without being rooted, from the settings panel, go to accounts, and remove it from there.

Clue for those with multiple accounts: you can keep your phone's main account the same as before, and disable the features your don't want on that account and enable them on secondary accounts. For example, my primary account has over $100 worth of paid apps, so I don't want to change it, but I want to use the contacts from account #2, books from account#3 and calendar from my GAFYD account. I disable contacts from all accounts but number 2 ( under sync options), books from all but 3, etc.
#17 johnlgalt, May 18, 2011
I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out how to deal with this problem as well...I made the mistake of adding my college student e-mail address (which is via gmail) to the GMail application, and it apparently set that as my default over my personal address. If I remove it, would it remove all apps and such that I have downloaded under this account? I hadn't even realized until I went to do a review on an app (the name that showed up was my full name, which I never use) that I had been downloading from the market under that account. I really don't want to have to factory reset or root my phone just to switch my personal all-purpose gmail account (which is still in the app, just not the default anymore) back, instead of using my student address...
#18 SG2Tiger, Nov 4, 2011
I wonder if you go into applications, all apps, and select g-mail/market/etc. and clear defaults/cache, it'll just require you to reset what they are and you could change them?
#19 grimloktt, Nov 4, 2011
reset for GMail will only reset the app, not the accounts. You have to remove the accounts themselves. Slightly different.

You could remove all your accounts and then start fresh.

The new market allows for multiple accounts, so you can in fact have one account as your primary account on your phone and use another account (after adding it to your phone) for your apps.
#20 johnlgalt, Nov 4, 2011
I used this method on my Razr and it worked great. Thank you for the tip.
Thank goodness there is always someone with the answer if you look long enough.
#21 ytsud, Dec 3, 2011
I can't find ''Google Apps''. There is however an app called Google Services. Do I clear the data there? I want to change the account.
#22 yasmina, Dec 26, 2011
i have a my touch HTC 3g...i paid for an unlock...but now it doesn't allowed me to sign in to android market, it has the company account and i can't change it to mine...without reseting... dont want to do this
#23 Misa23, Dec 29, 2011
In case this helps anybody ...

I also had this problem whereby I had to change my Google account password and then found that my Android phone (Vodafone Smart 858 - Android 2.2.1) was failing to sync mail, contacts etc. and it looked like only a factory reset was possinble...

However I found that when I went to the Android Market on the phone it told me that it could not log in and asked for my password. I entered the new password and then found that Google syncing was working again so the new password must've taken effect there too. (Android Market also presented a couple of CAPTCHAs on the way to signing in).

Hopefully this will help somebody out there. :)
#24 Miaow, Jan 8, 2012

That did it! thanks!
#25 slick9456, Jan 24, 2012