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Google Apps at Old Dominion University

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Google Apps for Students FAQ

1.  How do I access Google Apps?
Google Apps can be accessed in multiple ways. They can be accessed through the web links at the top of your Gmail web client (http://mail.google.com/a/odu.edu), web links on your Google Start page (http://partnerpage.google.com/odu.edu), or by direct web link to the specific Google Application.  See direct web links below:

2. What password do I use when accessing Google Apps?

To simplify the login process and reduce confusion,  you must use your MIDAS username and password to access your Gmail account and Google Apps.

3.  How are the Google services linked together?

You have one username for all services in the Google Apps package. Once you log in to one service, you can easily access all others.

You can rely on your Start Page to provide access to the rest of the services in your account. The Start Page is publicly available, but won't display personalized content until you log in. You can rely on your Start Page to provide access to the rest of the services in your account. The Start Page is publicly available, but won't display personalized content until you log in.

You'll receive invitations for calendar events and to collaborate on documents and spreadsheets.

(Note:  Other Google services offered in free public Gmail accounts such as Picassa or BlogSpot will not be accessible through your Start Page or your Gmail account.  You must log use your public Gmail account (not your student account) to access these other Google Services)

4. Is my Google Apps account secure and private?

Google Apps for Education accounts have been customized for optimal educational collaboration. Old Dominion University has taken steps to ensure that your student data is protected above and beyond a publicly available account. However, never store sensitive information or PII data in your Google account.  As an organization, Google is currently SAS 70 Type I compliant.

Google has promised to uphold a strict privacy policy and to always treat your personal information with the utmost care and security. Read more about Google Privacy & Security. Keep in mind that Google has agreed that Old Dominion University student data is subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) when in Google's possession.

 For more information on Google's Privacy and Security Policy, see web links below:



5.  How Do I Create Google Docs, Spreadsheets, etc.?

Google integrated Google Docs with Google Drive in April 2012. Google Drive combines all of the Docs features with improved cloud storage functionality. Google's web-based apps allow users to create and store files in the cloud and collaborate on projects from anytime/anywhere with an internet connection.

You can get started by creating a new file in Google Drive or by uploading a file from your computer and converting it to Google's format. Since the products are integrated, you can use your email account Contacts list to invite people to view and/or edit your documents.

A Few Key Tips…

  • Revision history - Individual edits are kept so you can see who made changes and revert back, if necessary.
  • Search - Just like the rest of Google products, you can harness the power of Google search to look for a file or search for keywords within a file.
  • Security and privacy - You choose who can view/edit your document and what level of access they have. Other users can only access your document or spreadsheet if you add them to the list of collaborators or viewers or if you decide to publish the document.

6.  What is the difference between Google Chat and Google Talk??

For students, Google Chat is integrated in your Gmail interface and allows you to chat with other gmail users on your contact list without re-authentication. For faculty and staff it is recommended that they active and upgrade their accounts to Google +. From there Google Hangouts can be used to communicate as needed.

Google Talk requires a separate Google account and a light client (Google Talk client) to be installed.  Your MIDAS password credentials are not passed and you will be prompted to log in again on Google's site using your "Secondary Password" or another personal Gmail account.  Google Talk offers free voice calls, voicemail for when your contacts are offline and file transfers while chatting.  Also, PC-to-PC voice calls (VoIP) are practical and offer great quality. The person on the other end can be anywhere in the world as long as he or she is connected to the Google Talk network.

Note:  To set up a "Secondary Password" for Google Talk or IMAP Client Access, access the link below:


Google Talk client can be downloaded at:

7.  Can I restore deleted messages more than 30 days old or data files from within Google apps??

All data is stored on Google's servers. ITS is unable to access and/or restore any deleted data.

For Students using Gmail, You will only be able to restore deleted messages from your "Trash" folder that are not more than 30 days old.

8.  How can I access my Google account through my mobile device (ie.  Palm, Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile, etc)??

There are multiple ways to access Google on your mobile device:

A. Access through your mobile browser

Access to your student Google account using your mobile device's web browser will depend on the robustness of your web browser.  The web browsers on the iPhone and Palm Pre are able to to render Gmail without a problem.  Blackberry devices have difficulty rendering complex web sites. Listed below are the direct web links to your student gmail:

(Note: Javascript must be supported by your mobile device's web browser)

B. Using your Mobile Device to sync your mail using POP or IMAP Services (Students ONLY)

This option is only available using a "Secondary Password" .  See web link below for instructions on setting up a secondary password and configuring your mobile device for IMAP.


For additional information, see web link below:

C. Using the Google Mobile App

Google Mobile App Client will not work since authentication occurs on ODU's domain, not Google.

9. What web browser are supported by Google Apps?

Google Apps supports the following browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Internet Explorer
  • Firefox
  • Safari

The latest version of Google Chrome is supported (which automatically updates whenever it detects that a new version of the browser is available). The current and previous major releases of Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari are supported on a rolling basis; each time a new version is released Google Apps supports that version and stops supporting the third most recent version.

10. What is the Google Apps Status Dashboard?

The Google Apps Status Dashboard is a web site that lists the current status of all Google Apps Services.  If you are not able to access one of the web-based applications or you suspect that an app is "down", please acess the web link below to check the status of all Google Apps Services: