So you want to have multiple sessions and access multiple email accounts simultaneously?
Cool. Let’s get started.
We use Zoho mail for some of the businesses we have in our portfolio (WPSandbox.net, qSandbox.com, StatOpt.com etc). The main business uses Google Workspace. In this post I will use Zoho as an example but you can access other email services such as gmail or others.
Zoho Mail is a nice email service which allows you to start for free.
The paid plans start at $1-2 per user which is super affordable.
There are several limits for the free plan though.
- Can’t use IMAP/POP3 so you can’t use Outlook or Thunderbird or other programs to access your emails from your computer or a mobile device.
- Can’t forward emails to another email address
- The disk space is capped at 5GB per user.
- 5 user limit
So if you don’t want to get a paid subscription yet you will have to use a browser to access the emails.
What are your options to access multiple Zoho Mail accounts?
Of course there are many ways to do it.
It really depends on how many emails you would like to be checking.
If there are two emails then you can be logged in one account and then have a private tab/window and access the other email account. You will have to keep the browser open all the time. Some of my laptops are set up to hibernate when closed so I can resume my work where I left off.
Well, if you have multiple computers/devices then set up the emails on each computer or device. Do whatever makes you productive.
Firefox has an interesting addon called Multi Account Containers that allows you to separate different browser sessions.
The issue I ran into with this one was when I was accessing the same site.
It would constantly ask if the site needs to be open in a work container and that was very annoying. It seems the separation/isolation is based on the domain name so if you’re checking Zoho emails residing in different data centers it could work.
When you initially sign up for the service it detects where you’re connecting and preselects the data center for you. You can change that but you have to be very observant. There’s a dropdown menu that you can use to switch between the data centers.
Zoho uses .com and .eu domains depending on the email data center.
Accessing Emails Using Separate Browser Profiles
With most browsers you can create a separate profile that will allow you to separate your personal emails or the emails of different projects. You will have to remember to switch between the profiles from time to time though.
My Solution to Access several Email Accounts
In my case I preferred to have constant access to the emails so I can quickly check the inbox every 2-4 hours.
The way I got it to work was using the Opera browser. It’s a fast and efficient browser.
It seems a single session is consuming between 250-350MB RAM on Windows which is cool.
How to set up the Opera browser to use different profiles
I installed the Opera browser
If you’re a digital nomad then you download the portable version of Opera so it doesn’t install additional things and you can even put the folders on a USB stick.
Then created a folder in a folder that’s synced by Dropbox. You can use Google Drive or other cloud storage folders.
I put it in dropbox so the same profile can be used on another computer. Smart, eh?
I modified the initial shortcut so it points to that folder using --user-data-dir parameter.
"C:\Program Files\Opera\launcher.exe" --user-data-dir=C:\Copy\Dropbox\Business\Accounts\wpsandbox.net\browser_data
Notes: Do make sure that the folder does NOT end in a slash.
There were issues for some reason but can’t remember exactly
I needed more emails to check so I have then created another folder and duplicated and renamed the shortcut (so it includes the email account e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) and used the newly created folder for the --user-data-dir parameter.
After each setup you will need to clean the interface a bit as it has too many things. I guess Opera needs to get some revenue to keep it going.
This was done on Windows 10 Pro but having separate profiles should work on other operating systems as well.
If you have any questions or suggestions let us know.
Image Credit: Mikaela Wiedenhoff (@mikaela_wiedenhoff on unsplash.com, image ID: AwmCuTXL97Q)