This is a simple hack to turn any of your favourite sites into an app you can access from your taskbar. Doing this enables you to run the website you chose without launching chrome, just launch the specific site.
Insider Tip: This is how I access my sites without installing any new app or launching chrome often.
For the sake of hands-on, let me use Google Keep.
Google Keep is an app from the search engine giant Google that lets you quickly and easily jot down shopping lists, reminders, and more. The app keeps all your notes synced across the cloud and you can access them from the iPhone, an Android phone, or the web.
I started using google keep and owing to its ease of use and syncing, I started looking for a desktop version that I can run offline. You know, running your text app offline helps boost your productivity. It also reduces the stress of loading a full browser each time you need to jot down ideas.
The challenge I, however, had is that the Android version can be used offline but to use it on windows I would have to use the web app (open it in a browser). It’s tiresome. So I need to find a hack to make it run on its own like a desktop app.
How to run Websites on desktop
Google keep can be made to run in a window; without tabs, without the address box, without the menu and without the toolbar with extension icons. There are two approaches to this.
- Press Windows+R and in the Run box enter
- Chrome.exe –app=https://keep.google.com
- Google Keep opens in a neat little window on the desktop exactly the same way it used to as an app.
This approach is not very convenient since typing in that much command might become cumbersome at some point.
Create a Google Keep desktop shortcut
Let’s make a shortcut for the desktop or taskbar that will open Keep in a beautiful window.
This is the easiest way.
- Go to https://keep.google.com/ in Google chrome.
- On chrome options menu > more tools > create shortcut.
- Check “open as window” and click CREATE
How to pin icon to the taskbar
To pin Keep to the taskbar or start menu for easy access, right-click on Google Keep icon > Pin to taskbar or pin to start.
For me, I went for the pin to taskbar.
Congratulations! You just made for yourself a Google Keep desktop version. And, of course, you can now access any of your websites on the web without launching chrome all the time.