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Create a Custom Gmail Desktop Shortcut

Monday, January 24th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Desktop Enhancement, E-Mail Help, Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks

John from Provo, Utah, writes:

How do you make a custom e-mail desktop shortcut for Gmail?

Hi John! Here’s how:

The first thing that you want to do is make a shortcut to gMail on your desktop. Open your gMail inbox using whatever browser you like to use. Now right-click on the contents of the address bar and left-click on Copy.

Next, go to any empty area on your desktop and right-click. (Note: When you right-click on your desktop, it does not get rid of the link address you just copied.) In the box that pops up, hover your cursor over New, and then left-click on Shortcut.

Now paste the location that you just copied from the address bar into the box that pops up. Then left-click on Next.

After you click on Next, you are asked to name your shortcut. I named mine Gmail. (Ya think?)

Click on Finish. You now have a shortcut for Gmail on your desktop. You can leave it there, or drag it to your quick launch bar.

I like to have my icons represent the actual program that the shortcut is linked to. If you would like a “real” icon and would like to have me walk you through the download and install of a customized Gmail icon, click here and continue reading.

So now that you have clicked on the link, what’s next? Let’s go on.

A little way down the web page, you will see the heading Google gMail icon. Underneath it are two options for downloading the image: Download .ICO or Download .PNG. Choose Download .ICO. This image has an .ico extension, which means that Windows will automatically recognize it as an icon. With an extension such as .png, you have to go through the hassle of converting the .png file to an .ico file, and why do that when you don’t have to?

Left-click on the Download.ICO button and save the file (image/icon) somewhere that you can remember and go to easily. I usually choose my desktop because it’s easy to get to and I can just delete the file afterwards.

After you download and save the file, go to your desktop and right-click on your Gmail shortcut, then left-click on Properties.

In the box that pops up (the Gmail Properties box), you will see four tabs. Left-click on the Web Document tab and then left-click on Change Icon.

Now a box of icons will pop up (Change Icon will be up on top). None of the icons have your Gmail icon in it, though, so left-click on Browse to browse to where you saved your icon.

When you get to your icon, left-click on it to select it. Then left-click on Open.

Now you will see the same icon box you just saw a few minutes ago, only this time it has your Gmail icon in it. Left-click on it to select it, and then left-click on OK.

Now you are back to the very first box. Left-click on Apply, and then left-click on OK.

Now you have a brand-new, customized shortcut to your Gmail account!

Thanks for writing, John!

~ Lori Cline


12 Responses to “Create a Custom Gmail Desktop Shortcut”

  1. Ike Fields says:

    Wouldn’t it be faster, easier, and simpler to go to the Gmail log on (with IE), click on “File, Send To, Shortcut to Desktop. Gives you the shortcut and the Gmail icon too. Worked for me.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Ike!
      You’re absolutely right about this in IE! In fact, you can even right-click in an empty area of the Gmail web page and go down the menu until you see Create Shortcut and left-click on that. The problem with that (for me) is that I use my G-mail shortcut in my quick task toolbar, and when you drag and drop a shortcut of this nature to the toolbar, you come up with a blank page when you click on it.
      The article was written for Firefox users; I’m sorry I didn’t clarify that. Thanks for the tip on this for IE!

  2. John Leipprandt says:

    I move my icons by clicking them and drag them off the desktop, it will go blank and I can put it where I want it. I drag the websites to the right side of the desktop (the installed programs are on the lift).

  3. […] Create a Custom Gmail Desktop Shortcut – – Jan 24, 2011  · This tip describes how to create a customized Gmail shortcut for your desktop. […]

  4. Abhay Maheshwari says:

    thanku! quite amazing for me to learn it.

  5. zakiadias says:

    very helped :) thanks yaa..

  6. Alasdair says:

    This would be great, and so easy if it actually worked… needless to say it doesn’t!
    I highlight the address link, hit copy, move to desktop,.. tada!! no paste option. TYPICAL, just typical.

  7. Candy says:

    Thank You :)

  8. ZPra says:

    Folling the instruction I put the gmail desktop shortcut on my desktop and it work fine. Got up this AM and the shortcut was was blank no red and white envelope icon.
    How do I get it back please help me again. The blank short cut did go to my gmail though. Thanks for the help.

  9. Zpra says:

    I HAVE followed your instruction successfully when I rebooted the icon was gone, did go to email. Any suggestions

  10. Anjie says:

    Thank you. I have just updated to windows 10 and it is great that you have posted this. I do not have the options that Ike and Lori were talking about. I did before the upgrade but not anymore. It was simple and easy to follow the step by step layout. Thanks again.

  11. […] Create a Custom Gmail Desktop Shortcut – – Jan 24, 2011  · Wouldn’t it be faster, easier, and simpler to go to the Gmail log on (with IE), click on “File, Send To, Shortcut to Desktop. Gives you the shortcut … […]

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