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Is aufrufen the same as aktivieren?

1.Ich werde morgen mein Gmail-konto aufrufen.

2.Ich werde morgen mein Gmail-konto aktivieren.

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There's a difference between both sentences.

The first one means:

I'm going to log into my Gmail account tomorrow.

So you're going to check for new e-mails or you're going to send one.

The latter on the other hand means:

I'm going to activate my Gmail account tomorrow.

In this case you have a new account which needs activation first, before you can log into it.

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aufrufen has two different meanings:

  • jemanden aufrufen = to request somebody to show himself/give notice of himself. „Der Arzt ruft den nächsten Patienten auf.“
  • jemanden aufrufen etwas zu tun = to request/demand/ask somebody to do something

The first of these meanings has nothing to do with activate. But it can be used as you did in your first sentence.

The second of these meanings is close to activate in the sense of activating/stimulating persons to do something. In your second sentence, not a person but the Gmail account is activated=stimulated to be usable. Alas, aufrufen wouldn't be used in German for that meaning. aktivieren would be used instead.

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With other words: aktivieren and aufrufen are not synonymous. They cannot be used interchangeably. They are not the same. And actually I had to read your answer several times to understand the connection you see. – Em1 Oct 7 '13 at 12:02
@Em1 This is a conclusion, yes. But you cannot use my answer and your conclusion interchangeably, because my answer contains some more information. – Toscho Oct 7 '13 at 18:41

In context of websites,

  • aufrufen means hit. If its an account you therefore may need to log in.
  • aktivieren means activate as in complete a registration
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