How to Create a Desktop Shortcut for Easier Access to Gmail

After creating a shortcut, you can move it to any folder on your computer.
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If loading Gmail from your browser's favorites is still one step too many when you're in a rush to check your email, create a desktop shortcut that launches your Web browser and loads the site directly. The regular method creates a shortcut that loads Gmail just as if you had entered the site's address by hand. If you use Chrome, another option loads your email in a simplified app window, rather than as a tab in your regular browser window.

Create a Regular Shortcut

Step 1

Create a shortcut.
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Right-click a blank space on your desktop on Windows 8, Windows 7 or Vista. Point to New and choose Shortcut.

Step 2

Target the shortcut at Gmail.
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Enter the full address for Gmail -- http://www.gmail.com -- in the text box and press Next. Other addresses for Gmail, such as http://mail.google.com, work identically.

Step 3

Name the shortcut.
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Type a name for the shortcut and press Finish. The name affects only how the shortcut looks on your desktop, so use any name you want. To change it later, right-click the shortcut and pick Rename.

Double-clicking the new shortcut opens Gmail in your default browser, the same as if you opened the browser and typed in the address.

Create a Chrome App Shortcut

Step 1

Create a shortcut from Chrome.
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Visit Gmail in Chrome on any Windows system and open the browser's menu. Point to More Tools and click Create Application Shortcuts.

Step 2

Select the shortcut's location.
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Leave the Desktop box checked, and uncheck Pin to Taskbar unless you also want a shortcut on the taskbar. Press Create to make the shortcut.

Step 3

Use the shortcut.
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Double-click the Gmail shortcut to load your email in a simplified Chrome window designed for apps. This window doesn't have an address bar or tab bar, leaving more space to focus on the page itself. If you'd rather load Gmail in the full version of the browser, use the method to create a regular shortcut.

Tip

To create a shortcut that always opens in Internet Explorer, regardless of your default browser, visit Gmail in IE 10 or 11 and drag the page's icon -- left of the address bar -- onto the desktop.

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