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A Google account allows you to do many things! One of them is share folders (previously called collections) and documents with people around the world, under Google docs, either by inviting them, or by being invited by them.

A Google identifier is a personal e-mail address, associated with a Google account.

A “gmail” address, such as “”, is already associated with a Google account.

In order to connect to an existing Google account of yours, you will need to enter your Google identifier (an email address) and the corresponding password, the password you associated with this identifier upon creating the account: If you forget your password, there are ways to recover it, usually by means of your mailbox associated with this identifier, or your cell phone, or some alternate email address. It is wise to follow Google recommendations by providing an alternate email address and/or a cell phone number upon creation of your account, or later on.

How to create a Google account? Just follow the steps below.

1- Choose a Google identifier

If you are using Gmail, you may want to choose your Gmail address as Google identifier, since you have nothing to do: your Gmail address is already associated with a Google account, it is a Google identifier, and the password is the same as for connecting to your mail.

If you already have a Hotmail or Yahoo email address, or some other (non Gmail) personal address, you may want to use it as your Google identifier.

However, you may prefer to choose your official (university or company) e-mail address: if you get alerts from people sharing documents or collections with you, these alerts will go to your official e-mail address, which may be wiser than getting these alerts on your personal unofficial mail.

Note that if you choose a non Gmail address as Google identifier, the password you will associate with this identifier upon creating the account need not be the same as the one you use for reading your mail.

2- Go to Google Drive or Google docs or Google accounts

We advise you to use Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox, although Google docs is also compatible with Internet Explorer (but sometimes slightly less user friendly).

It does not matter whether you go to “Google Drive”, “Google docs” or “Google accounts”, as long as you are not already connected with some other identifier than the one you intend to associate with a new Google account. Google Drive is the successor of Google docs, allowing local disk synchronization of your shared folders or documents with the cloud.

You can select the language of your choice, e.g., “English US” or “Français”. For Google Drive, you will see one of the two screens below, inviting you to sign in under an existing identifier, or sign up with a new one.

2.1- Sign up screen in English

If you have chosen the English language, you will see this screen:

Click on the Create an account blue link.

2.2- Fenêtre d’inscription en français

Si vous avez choisi le français, vous verrez cette fenêtre d’inscription:

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Ciiquez sur le lien bleu Créer un compte.

3- Create an account now

Click on the “Create an account now” link under “Don’t have a Google Account?” label, underneath the “Sign in” box, to the right of the Google docs page. This will drive you to:

From this “Sign up” window, you can choose to get a new “gmail address”, or use an e-mail address you already have, with providers such as Aol, Hotmail, Orange or Yahoo, or with your university or company.

We strongly advise you to use your official university or company address, as you will then get email alerts to this official address, rather than to some personal address: of course, the choice is up to you; for ENSEIRB-MATMECA students with an official ENSEIRB-MATMECA email address, however, the choice of this official address is mandatory.

To choose a different email address (not a new “gmail address”) you should click on the I prefer to use my current email address blue link; otherwise, just fill and check the requested items and validate using the Next step blue button.

4- Creating a Google account using an existing e-mail

After having clicked on I prefer to use my current email address blue link (see previous screenshot), you get this window:

  1. Enter your usual (first) name(s), here “Paul Y”;
  2. Enter your last name (family name), here “Gloess”;
  3. Enter your email address (that will be used as a Google account identifier), [or click on I would like a new Gmail address blue link, if you finally prefer this option];
  4. Assuming you entered your email address in the previous step, choose a password (that will be used as a Google account password) and confirm it: note that this password may be different from the password of your email address;
  5. [Optional] Enter your birthdate (Month, Day, Year), if you like;
  6. Enter your gender;
  7. [Optional] Enter your mobile phone number (useful for account recovery);
  8. Prove you are not a robot, by entering the text you see, not always easy to read (apparently “4492859 28” in this example), or check the Skip this verification (phone verification may be required) link if you prefer;
  9. Select your location (country) from the menu;
  10. Check the I agree to the Google Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, after reading them;
  11. Click on the Next step blue button: you are almost done, up to Google verification of your email address.
Here is a screenshot of the state you are in just before clicking on the Next step blue button:

5- Account creation confirmation

Please note that if you have chosen a new Gmail e-mail address for Google account identifier, Google won’t request any confirmation from you. Your account is already confirmed, and you can use Google drive (see Step 7- Google drive sign in).

Otherwise, you should get to this page:

You should rapidly check your mail and confirm that this is indeed your address! If you wait too long, Google might erase your account, and you might have to start all over!

6- Checking mail for confirmation request

Please note that you do not receive a confirmation request if you have chosen a new Gmail e-mail address for Google identifier, in Step 3: in such a case, this step is irrelevant.

Here is the confirmation request you should receive in your mailbox otherwise

Clicking on the first link will confirm the creation of your Google account under the chosen Google identifier, “if AT” in this example, and drive you to a Google account acknowledgement page, in your favorite browser, inviting you to create your Google+ profile (photo, phone number, …, you don't have to do this now):

Google+ is a social network, like Facebook, but much more recent. You do not have to join Google+, even though you now have a Google account, but this can facilitate communication with your collaborators: you can Add a photo and/or supply additional information on yourself, by clicking on the Next step blue button. You can also be faced with this invitation to join Google+ and supply a secondary recovery email address:

Whether you join Google+ or not, you are ready to use Google drive and sign in with your Google account identifier and password.

7- Google drive sign in

Every time you want to enter Goggle drive, just go to, and sign in, using your Google identifier and password:

Note that signing in will give you access various Google tools, not just Google drive.

After successfully signing in for the first time, this is what you see:

You do not have to install anything on your computer, in order to start using Google drive from your Internet browser, in spite of the invitation to download Google Drive client by means of the Download Drive for Mac or Download Drive for Windows blue button. You can get read of this invitation by clicking somewhere else, on My Drive or Shared with Me links for instance.

Google Drive client is not necessary in a first approach, but it is a convenient recent feature (similar to DropBox) not advisable until you are familiar with the Internet browser interface and the underlying concepts. The client allows automatic synchronization between your Drive in Google cloud and a local folder in your laptop. Google Drive client is also available on iOs or Androïd smartphones and tablets.

7- Getting started with Google Drive

Initially, our Drive is empty, and none has shared anything with you.

To get started with Google Drive, you are invited to