Android: Change Main Google Account

Once you setup your Android device and link it to a Google Account, the account you used becomes the central account for GTalk, Gmail, Maps and other Google services. But what if you want to change the account? The Android OS doesn’t provide a way to simply enter new account information. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Non-rooted users

If your device isn’t rooted, the only thing you can do is perform a hard reset on the device. You can normally do this under Settings > Privacy > Factory data reset. Doing this will wipe all data and settings from the device.

Unfortunately, if you really need to change the main Google account, this is the only option unless you gain root access.┬áIf you wish to gain root access, you’ll have to research how to root your specific device. Many devices can be rooted using Gingerbreak.

 

Rooted users

If you have root access to your device, you’re in luck. There is a handy trick you can use to change the main Google account without performing a hard reset.

1. Download and install Root Explorer.

2. Open Root Explorer and select Allow to allow root access if prompted.

3. Navigate to the /data/system directory.

4. Tap and hold the accounts.db file, then select Rename.

Android Root Explorer - Accounts DB file

5. Rename the file to accounts.db.old to make a backup of the file.

Renaming accounts DB file

6. Restart your Android device.

7. Once the device restarts, open an app that requires a Google account such as Market, Gmail or GTalk. You will be prompted to create a new account or login using an existing account. That’s all there is to it.

Comments

  1. Michael King says

    You da man Mitch! Worked beautifully. Furthermore, you seem to be the only person on the net that knows this. And me now. And everyone else who read this :)

  2. Galaxy Note says

    THX SOOO MUCH!!!

    Google asks me for stupid verification sms code (i have account more then 3 months..)

    I spend more than 3 hours trying to do or baypass verification…

    After all that i simpli found this and put other mail as primary!!!

    Thx a ton dude! Good luck! =D

  3. Thanks! says

    Worked for me with Motorola Defy + CM7.

    I searched the whole internet for a solution without full wipe, and finally i found it! Thank you!

  4. radu says

    i have ES file explorer that give access to root files. my /data folder is empty. i searched the entire root for accounts.db but it was not found. Is there anyone that can tell me why?

  5. Jeff Roach says

    Cleared cache, tried again. No luck. Google management of accounts has been and continues to be absolutely horrible.

  6. Mitch says

    Tested and worked fine with all Google services including Plus on my Droid 1. Maybe try clearing the cache under Settings > Applications > Manage Applications then trying the steps above again.

  7. Jeff Roach says

    Nope. Didn’t work. Google+ still looks for the old account. I have to admit, as much as I love Android and can’t stand iOS, this never happens on an iPhone.

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