Disable auto-sign in when accessing email via a web browser
Q When I launch my web browser and connect to Gmail it automatically logs in to my account. While I can see how this might be useful, I would rather it did not do this, as this computer is used by my wife and occasional visitors, including our teenage grandchildren. I sure it did not used to do this because I always had to type in my password, so what has changed? And how can I stop it?
A This behaviour may be caused by a couple of things. Possibly, you used the web browser’s password-management tool to store your Gmail credentials and log you in automatically. Perhaps you clicked a ‘Remember password for this site’-style button at some point in the past? Unfortunately, you did not tell us which browser you use and we don’t have the room here to explore every possibility (though Google offers an outline guide).
However, we think the more likely possibility is that you have inadvertently clicked the ‘Stay signed in’ tickbox that appears just below Gmail’s username and password boxes when logging in. It is right next to the Sign in button, making it very easy to click accidentally.
When you do this, Gmail places a cookie on your hard disk that is used to sign you in automatically the next time you visit the service using the same computer. This cookie has an expiry of two weeks and is renewed every time you visit www.gmail.com (in other words, unless you happen to leave more than two weeks between visits, you will continue to be signed in automatically).
Fortunately, the solution is very simple. Once logged in, click your username at the top right of the Gmail window and then click the Sign out button. Next time you log in, check that the ‘Stay signed in’ tickbox is left unticked.
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