Despite some industry oscillations regarding PWAs (Progressive Web Apps), making apps out of websites is a promising prospect for many platforms. Google’s services like Gmail are forerunners but we can expect many more services shortly. To make the service as convenient as possible, some users were wondering if they could pin Gmail to the taskbar or as a desktop shortcut on Windows and we try to answer this in today’s article.
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How to Pin Gmail to Taskbar on Windows?
You can add Gmail to your taskbar on Windows 10 or Windows 11 by creating a shortcut/installing PWA with either Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Everything you need to know is below so make sure to check the instructions we provided.
1. Use Google Chrome
To add Google Gmail to a Windows 10/Windows 11 taskbar, you’ll need to create a shortcut first and then pin it to the taskbar. This will work as a PWA (Progressive Web Apps), but not quite like the one that can be installed via Edge.
This isn’t unexpected considering Microsoft invested a lot in Edge revamp to make it more competitive and it closely resembles Chrome these days. Therefore, the Gmail shortcut you create with Chrome and pin to the taskbar is just that, a shortcut.
Here’s how to add Gmail to your Windows taskbar with Chrome:
- On your computer, open Google Chrome and navigate to Gmail.
- Click on the 3-dots menu at the top right corner and open More tools > Create shortcut… You should check the “Open as window” box.
- Click Create. You should see the shortcut on your desktop.
- Right-click on the newly-created Gmail shortcut and choose Pin to taskbar. If you don’t see this option on Windows 11, click Show more options at the bottom.
- Open Gmail from the taskbar and click on the 3-dots menu.
- Click App info and make sure that Gmail is allowed to send notifications.
If you want to remove Gmail PWA, delete shortcuts and unpin Gmail from the taskbar. Then open App Management ( copy-paste chrome://apps/ in the Address bar), right-click on Gmail, and select Remove from Chrome.
To get notifications, open Gmail > Settings > See all settings and, under General look for Desktop notifications. Enable notifications for all emails or just for important emails. Make sure that notifications are allowed in Windows System settings.
2. Use Microsoft Edge
But Chrome is not your only option since you can use Chromium-based Microsoft Edge to do the same thing, as well. Edge is doing it better. If not for anything else, Edge is a preferable option when it comes to adding Gmail (or other PWAs) to your desktop.
Because of the resemblance between Chrome and Edge, the procedure is almost the same. Edge adds an option to change the icon before installing Gmail as PWA and automatically prompts you to add the app to the taskbar or the Start menu. Along with some else configuration features, using Edge over Chrome is enticing. This is a PWA and not just a mere shortcut we are talking about.
Here’s how to add a Gmail PWA shortcut to the Windows taskbar with Microsoft Edge:
- Open Microsoft Edge and navigate to Gmail. Sign in with your Gmail/Google account.
- Click on the 3 parallel dots in the top right corner.
- Select Apps and click Install this site as an app. You can rename the app or click Edit under the icon to change it.
- Click Install and the Gmail PWA should open. You should see a pop-up menu where you can check different boxes and allow Gmail to create Start, Taskbar, or desktop shortcuts. In addition, you can allow the app to auto-start with Windows.
- Check the Taskbar box and click Allow.
- If you click the 3 parallel dots and open App permissions, you can enable Notifications.
If you want to remove Gmail PWA from your taskbar and your computer, open Edge once more. Click on the 3 parallel dots and choose Apps > Manage apps. Click on the X sign next to Gmail and then click Remove. Optionally, you can clear all local data from the app.
3. Optional: Enable Offline mail
Once you set up Gmail as an app on your Windows, you should probably make it more like other programs that work offline. The thing with PWAs is that they rely on the network connection to work since they are just extensions of the browser experience.
Luckily, Gmail offers an Offline mode, so you can create and organize your mail even if your PC is not connected by allowing Gmail to keep cached data locally.
Here’s how to enable Offline mode on Gmail for the Web:
- Open Gmail from the taskbar.
- Click on the cog icon and then click See all settings.
- Open Offline.
- Check the “Enable offline mail” box.
- After that, toggle the “Keep offline data on my computer” option and then click Save changes.
That’s it. This is closest to having a Gmail app or client installed on your Windows 10 or Windows 11. And right where you want it: on your taskbar for easy access. Have in mind that the shortcut (and the app itself) will disappear if you uninstall Chrome. This doesn’t apply to Microsoft Edge that fully embraced PWAs and, yes, it can’t be removed.
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your questions or suggestions with us. You can do that in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.