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