Norse Start Page Training

The Norse Start Page (aka iGoogle) is a unique, dynamic portal for you to preview and access your inbox and calendar, find relevant information from our organization, and search the web. After you log in, you can customize the Start Page.

NOTE: iGoogle was retired on November 1, 2013. The mobile version was retired on July 31, 2012. For more information, visit What’s happening to iGoogle?


Upon completion of this 1-on-1 training, you will be able to:


Getting Started with the Norse Start Page

You can access the Norse Start Page by going directly to .

If you do not have a Norse Apps account, contact the Technology Help Desk at x1000, email [email protected], or enter your request online at

When you go to the Norse Start Page you will see a screen similar to the one shown below:

Norse Start 1
Norse Start 1

Adding Sections to your Start Page

You can add whatever you want to the Norse Start Page by clicking on the Add stuff link on the right side of the page and by finding sections similar to those already added.

Add stuff

Click on the Add stuff link and you will be taken to a page with various items that you can add. You can click the Add it now button under any and all items that are of interest to you. As you click on each, they are added. When you are finished adding items, click on the Back to homepage link located at the top left corner of the page.

Norse Start 2
Norse Start 2

You begin on the Luther College Content page that contains Luther College Chips Headlines, ITS News, and ITS Service Interruption Notices. You can click on any of the links on the left side of the page and the sections available will change accordingly on the right side of the page.

From this page you can also Search Homepage Content and Add by URL.

Adding Norse Mail to your Start Page

The Email section that is provided by default on the Start Page will not work with Luther’s Norse Mail because we always use https. Instead, we can remove that section and add an “Enhanced Bookmarks” section that includes a link to Norse Mail and other links of your choice.

To do this, open the Start Page, on the right side of the screen click the button Add stuff. In the search bar, type in enhanced bookmarks then click Search Homepage Content, and then click “Add it now“ to add the Enhanced Bookmarks widget. Once you add it, go back to your Start Page. Click on Add Bookmark, enter a name (Luther Norse Mail) and URL ( for your website, and then click Add.

Norse Start 3
Norse Start 3

Repeat this process for other sites of interest, such as,,, and To access a site, click on the “Open Link in New Window” icon to the right of the name. Any websites that do not include RSS Feeds may be included using this widget.

Norse Start 4
Norse Start 4

Customizing Sections on your Start Page

Each section on your page has settings that can be changed to your liking. Click on the down arrow in the top right corner of the section, and select Edit settings. Once you have made changes, click the Save button. For example, the window that appears to edit your Calendar settings is shown below.

Norse Start 5
Norse Start 5

Removing Sections from your Start Page

If there are sections you no longer want on your Norse Start Page, you remove them by clicking on the down arrow in the top right corner of the section, and selecting Delete this gadget. If you delete by mistake, you can get it back by clicking on the Undo link that appears on the top of the Norse Page window. Once that undo message no longer displays, you can re-add a section by using the Add stuff link.

Minimizing Sections on your Start Page

It’s also possible to minimize any of the sections by clicking on the down arrow in the top right corner of the section, and selecting Minimize this gadget. To open it again, click on the down arrow in the top right corner of the section, and select Expand this gadget.

Details on Sections on your Start Page

For more information regarding a section, click on the down arrow in the top right corner of the section and select About this gadget. If there is no additional information this message will appear: “Sorry, there is no preview available for this gadget”. If there is additional information you will see a screen similar to the one shown below. When you are done previewing, click Back to homepage.

Norse Start 6
Norse Start 6

Adding a Tab to your Start Page

The two default sections on the far left your start page are Home and Chat, and you can add more tabs to that column as you like. For example if you have a hotmail or Yahoo account you can add a tab containing that item. You could also have one tab for items specific to a particular class or topics.

To add a tab go to the homepage of your start page, click on the down arrow next to Home, and select Add a tab. In the Tab name box, enter the name that most describes the tab you want to add. Under your tab, iGoogle will automatically add the links that match the name you enter. For now let’s type in hotmail, and click OK.

Using lowercase letters in the Tab name box may expand the search options for iGoogle

Your page may now look something like this:

Norse Start 7
Norse Start 7

Norse Start 8
Norse Start 8

To delete any link that you don’t want under your tab, click on the link, and at the top right corner of your link page, click Delete. A message will pop up, Are you sure you want to delete xxx?. Click on Ok.

To delete a tab you created, click on the down arrow at the top right corner of the tab, select Delete this tab. Then click on Delete this tab on the message that comes up.

Changing the Background of your Start Page

The default theme or background of your start page is the classic theme. To change the theme of your Start Page, click on Change theme from Classic, on the top right corner of the page. Google has a variety of themes you can choose from. To see even more theme you can click on Next at the bottom right of the themes box. For the theme you like the most click on Add it now. Your chosen theme will now read Added at the bottom with a check in front of it. You are also given the option to Undo you action. To go back to your Start Page, close the themes box by clicking on the X at the top right of the themes box.

Norse Start 9
Norse Start 9

Rearranging your Start Page

You can move the sections on your Norse Start Page wherever you like, except for Home and Chat which are always in the far left column. The other columns may be customized to display whatever you like in whatever order you like. Notice that when you move your mouse over the title bar of the section, between the name of the section and the buttons on the top right, your pointer becomes a four-sided arrow. Click in that area and drag the section where you would like it placed. You will see a dashed rectangular area indicating where the section will land, were you to let go of the mouse in that position on the screen. When you find the appropriate location, release the mouse.

Norse Start 10
Norse Start 10

It’s easy to set the Norse Start Page as your home page too! *In Firefox, click on Tools, then select Options…

In the General tab, enter “” into the text box next to Home Page: and click OK. *In Internet Explorer, click on Tools, then select Internet Options. In the General tab, enter “” into the text box next to Home page and click OK

More Apps for Norse Apps

On January 5th, 2011, there were changes to our Norse Apps account infrastructure that allow access to other Google services beyond the core suite of messaging and collaboration apps. This change lets users access many new services such as Blogger, Reader, Google Voice, Maps ,YouTube, SketchUp, and Picasa Web Albums from their Norse Apps account. For a detailed list, see More Google applications for your school.

Additional Resources

Review the Help within Norse Start Page

In the bottom middle of the Norse Start Page window, there is a link labeled Help. This will take you to the Google Apps Help Center, with the Google Web Search page information displaying. Click on the links under iGoogle in the lower left corner. Enjoy clicking on various links to learn more about using Norse Start Page.

Review Online Google Resources

The Google Apps for Education Training Center contains modules and resources to help you have the best experience with Google Apps possible.

Review Educause Learning Initiative Resources

For an overview of Google Apps, see 7 things you should know about…Google Apps which is part of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative’s (ELI’s) series providing concise information on emerging learning technologies and related practices.

Review the Technology Help Desk web site

Contact the Technology Help Desk