Personal Computing - Using iGoogle

[see also iGoogle as Free VLE (virtual learning environment) ]

By making iGoogle the default page your web browser opens up with you can have a range of links and resources to manage your entire web experience (when you are logged in) and this can be your experience wherever you log in (e.g. the library). This can be done with Yahoo too and possibly other resources but my experience is with iGoogle.

By way of example below is my own iGoogle account with explanatory notes below. This posting also contains a complete how to guide on how to set up your iGoogle.

  1. A theme can be set. I have chosen this one assigned to my post code showing different times of the day. As you can see I took this screen shot not long after sunrise.
  2. Tabs can be added and in my example I have “other stuff” in three other tabs besides the home page
  3. This is a set of bookmarks pertinent to my daily online life. This way I can set iGoogle as my home page and be on any site I need within one click
  4. This is my g-Mail email account which I have chosen to show a preview of the most recent messages. Opens out into a full e-mailer. You may elect to have this forwarded to another email address you may have.
  5. This is my files store in which there are documents and spread sheets. It previews the most recently accessed ones but opens up to the full document store. Documents can be shared with the participants for viewing only or could be opened up for collaboration. [note - I'll blog about google docs elsewhere]
  6. The various email groups I am either a member of or managing.
  7. The RSS feed of a particular website I am watching. This shows the most recent postings to the site. The content of many sites can be subscribed to in this way .
  8. This no 8 shows a couple of widgets I’ve added that are useful to me such as a dictionary and a currency converter. Many widgets are available.
How to set up and use your iGoogle

  • Log on by going to - click on "sign in" (top right) and enter your username and password. You have the opportunity to make iGoogle your home page.

  • If you don't already have an account you should still click on "sign in" (one of those strange little quirks that abound on the Internet) but then choose " create an account" (a little lower down on the right)
  • Start by deleting all the widgets on the page. Do this by slecting each box on the screen in turn and tap "delete" on your computer keyboard.

  • You should make iGoogle your home page because it will only be your home page when you log on (on any computer) Once you do this you have the opportunity to select a theme for your home page.

  • Click on “My Account” and you have an opportunity to change your password and the security question. You can also enter your name etc in Personal information [edit]

  • Beside the iGoogle link in “My Account” click on “Add Content” You will see a whole range of widgets you can add and your screen may differ so you may have to look around. When you see one that interests you click on the “Add it Now” button.

  • Some examples that may interest you: In the left menu click on tools and look for “Google Docs” – click on the “add it” now button. Do this for Bookmarks also and also in tools add Google Reader. You may also want to add "Gmail".

  • Now click on "my account" and then "iGoogle" and you will see everything you have added. You can move these around (drag and drop) the screen to your liking.

TABS in iGoogle.

Ideally all your widgets and stuff should fit onto one screen without too much scrolling. If you want to add more stuff it may be useful to create a new TAB.

  • Beside the "Home" tab just below your chosen theme and search box you'll see "add tab". Click on it.
  • You will be asked to name the tab. Leave the box "I'm feeling lucky" ticked because your tab will be populated with widgets Google deems to be appropriate. You can always delete the ones you don't want. Alternatively give your new TAB a name (e.g. cooking) and google will populate your tab with suggested widgets.


  • Click on the little down arrow in the tab and select "share this tab"
  • Now enter all the email addresses of your friends separated by commas and they will receive a copy of your TAB with all it's widgets (providing tey also have an iGoogle account)

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