Though it is newer than both of its major competitors---Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail---Google's Gmail serves millions of subscribers worldwide. Renowned for its spam protection, simple mobile-syncing capabilities and large inbox space, Gmail is a good fit for many types of users. Signing up for a Gmail account will give you access to Google's account services, including Blogger, Adsense and Adwords, a Google Profile page, Google Docs, iGoogle and many others.
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Navigate to Gmail's website or to the Google Accounts page to register for a new account; links are provided in the References section, below.
Click the silver "Create an Account" button on the right-hand side. This button is below the user sign-in section of the page in a light blue box.
Enter all required information, including first and last name, desired login name, password, security question and answer, recovery e-mail address, location and birthday. Read Google's terms of service and click the silver 0"I accept. Create my Account" button to agree and proceed with registration.
Click the blue "Show Me My Account" button on the top right-hand side of the screen to complete registration and sign in. The congratulations screen acknowledges your account registration and introduces a few of Gmail's many options.
Read the three e-mail messages sent to your account from the Google team. These three e-mails will teach you about importing contacts to Gmail, customising Gmail's appearance and accessing Gmail on your mobile phone.
Click the "Settings" link at the top right-hand side of the screen and choose the "Themes" tab. From this tab you can customise the look of your Gmail account by choosing a ready-made theme or selecting your own colours.
Select the "General" tab and configure your Gmail settings. Settings include options such as adding an avatar picture, keyboard shortcuts, e-mail signature and vacation responder.
Connect your new Gmail account to your mobile phone by clicking the link in the email sent to your account by the Gmail Team. This will take you to the "Gmail for Mobile" page where you can configure your mobile device.
Tips and warnings
- Signing up for a Gmail account automatically signs you up for Google Talk, Google's chat client. You can chat with other Gmail users and contacts from your e-mail dashboard.
- Create a strong password to keep your account safe from hackers.
- Never use your birthday, Social Security number, pin numbers, driving licence number, phone number, or first or last name as a password.
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