How To Use Google Plus

A Beginner’s Guide


  • Starting Out
    • Step 1 – Logging in
    • Step 2 – Creating your profile
    • Step 3 – Adding people you know
    • Step 4 – Picking your interests
    • Step 5 – Filling in the rest of your profile
    • Step 6 – Taking the tour
  • Features
    • Home
    • Profile
    • Explore
    • Events
    • Photos
    • Circles
    • Local
  • Friends and Circles:  Adding a Friend
  • Albums:  How To Upload Photos
  • Streams:  How To “Post” on your “Wall”






Starting Out:  Step 1

Log in using your Gmail account.



If you don’t have a Gmail account yet it’s very easy to create one.  Just go to and set up your free gmail.


Starting Out:  Step 2

Fill in your profile information.  This includes your name and birthday.  In the middle of the page you’ll see the option to create “Circles.”  You can start adding them from here, but we’ll cover it a little later.




Just so you know, Circles are your list of friends.  You can put all of your contacts into separate categories.  You start out with your basic Friends, Family and Acquaintances, though you can create many more Circles such as “People at Work,” “Bridge Club,” “Class of 2001” or whatever you choose to name your group.


Starting Out:  Step 3

Add people you know.  Here you can search for people to add to your Circles.  You can search for them by name or email address.







Starting Out:  Step 4

Pick your interests.  You’ll be able to find interesting news or updates about your favorite things.  Select one to “follow” from the menu or you can skip this step and add them later.







Starting Out:  Step 5

Fill in your profile information.  Here’s your chance to tell others a little bit about yourself.  Some basics include your current job, where you went to school and where you live.  Of course, you can also upload your profile picture here.  You can get upload one from your files or simply snap a photo with your webcam and use that.





Starting Out:  Step 6

Congratulations!  You’ve now set up your Google Plus account.  From here you can take a tour of the basic features, start adding friends to your Circles or customize your profile.






Features:  The Home Page

On the left hand side you’ll find many buttons that point you to all the features of Google Plus.  The first is your Home.  This is what your home page will look like at the start, if you haven’t added any contacts or interests yet.




On the home page you can change your “streams”.  Everything you post on your “wall” and every news item is called a stream.  These streams can be seen by everybody or they can be limited to specific Circles.  You can also send a private message here by posting a stream and sharing it with one person only.  Notice that list on the right hand side named “TRENDING ON GOOGLE+” with a short bullet list?  Those are current trends or news that a lot of people are taking notice of.


Features:  The Profile Page

Your Profile page tells everyone some useful information about you.  You can post a profile picture here, edit your background information or post a new message or video.





Features:  The Explore Page

On Explore you can find out about the hot new items in the world today.  You can check out whatever is trending on Google Plus.  You can see some posts by other people that Google thinks might be interesting to you.  You can also follow the status of any “Sparks” that you’re following.  A Spark is simply an item of interest that you searched for and are following.  It can be anything from composite stocks to kittens to crochet.  Whatever your fancy, search for it, follow it, and you’ll find regular updates for it.





Features:  The Events Page

On your Events page you can keep track of special occasions or happenings.  Create personal events like birthdays, anniversaries, a trip to the beach, and you can keep track of them here.  Share your events with certain people or Circles and you’ll all be privy to each other’s special occations.





Features:  The Photos Page

One of the main reasons you’ve got a social networking page is so you can share photos of course!  Here’s what your Photos page will look like at first.  Take note of the menu bar that lets you instantly upload posts or grab them from your streams.  You can also maintain your photo album.




You can upload photos from your android phone as well and choose which ones you want to share with your Circles.



Features:  The Circles Page

The Circles Page is your list of friends.  More precisely, it’s the list of everyone you know, divided into categories.  Your starting Circles are Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Following.  “Following” means you found an interesting person, group or event and you’ve decided to check for fresh news or updates about them from time to time.




Now let’s move on to three things that you’ll be doing a lot of on Google Plus:  adding people you know, uploading and sharing pictures, and posting a new stream.


Friends and Circles – Overview


We’ll start with Circles so you can get a few friends on there, how to add them to your circles and how to make new circles.




Let’s start by putting come people in the “Friends” circle.  To add a contact to one of your circles you can:

ü  Drag the suggested contact to the Friends circle (some people you know from gmail may already be up there)


ü  Click on “Find people” then search for that person using their name or email address.





Friends and Circles – Adding a Friend


Step 1:  Click on find people and then search for a person by name or email address.  If you use an email address you’ll get one suggestion.  If you search by name you’ll find a list of people by that name.  Select one of them.  Then Google Plus will open several more suggested people you might know who are connected to that friend.





Friends and Circles – Adding a Friend


Step 2:  Here we see good ol’ Chuck and everyone who is connected to him.  Drag his picture down to the circle you want.  In this case we’ll drag him to the Friends circle.





Voila!  You have now added a friend to your Friends circle.






When you go back to your home page you’ll see all of your friend’s posts in your stream.  Here you can see that we’ve chosen to view ALL streams.  Chuck here is now part of your Friends circle.




Now if you click on the “Family” circle you won’t see Chuck there.  He’s part of your Friends circle and will only be able to read things you post in that stream or any posts that you share with ALL contacts.  And that’s how you add a friend to your Circle!



Posting Pictures

There are two ways that you can post pictures to Google Plus.  You can upload them from your desktop or you can upload them from your Android phone.


Posting Pictures From Your PC

To post pictures that you have stored on your computer follow these steps.

  1. Click on the “Photos” icon on the left side bar of your Google Plus page.  Select “add Photo”
  2. Choose the album.  Since this is your first time you’ll have to provide the album name.
  3. Click on “select photos from your computer” to select the file you want to upload.
  4. Share the photo or album with everyone, with one or more of your Circles or with just a few people


Step 1 – Click on Add Photos





Step 2 – Select the album (or make a new one) and then select the photo from your computer that you want to upload.






Step 3 – Create the album or simply continue.








Step 4 – Share the album or picture with one of your Circles.








This is what your photos page will look like after you’ve uploaded your first picture.  You can upload entire folders of pictures from your computer hard drive and then save them in Google Plus Photos under different albums.





You can also upload pictures straight from your Android mobile phone.  Here’s how.


  1. Open the Gallery application on your Android phone.
  2. Choose the picture you want to upload.
  3. Open the Menu option and select “Share.”
  4. Choose the Google+ option.


And your phone will upload the photo automatically!





Google Plus uses “streams” in much the same way that Facebook uses a “wall.”  If you want to post something just follow these simple steps.

  1. Go to Home and look at the top of your stream.  Click the box that says “Share what’s new.”
  2. Type what you want to share.
  3. Select one of four “attachments” that you want to share:  photo, video, event or website link.
  4. Choose a circle to share it with:  family, friends etc.
  5. Click on the green “Share” button.



















A Few Good Things To Know About Streams


ü  Sharing a post with one person makes it like a private message.

ü  You can edit your posts after you’ve already posted them.

ü  Add a + sign to hyperlink directly to another Google+ user (e.g. +Mike Morris)

ü  Use *asterisks* to make your text bold type.

ü  Use _underscores_ to make your text italic.

ü  At the top right corner of the post is an option to prevent re-sharing it.