How to access Gmail from your desktop

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Catherine Le Nevez

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How to access Gmail from your desktop. Gmail is one of the most popular email providers in the world.

While there is no separate Gmail desktop app as such, there is a nifty trick that lets you open an instance of Gmail as a standalone window, without the surrounding Chrome interface. Combined with Gmail's recently added offline mode, this allows you to build your own Gmail app.

How to access Gmail from your desktop

Enable Gmail Offline

First, you need to enable Gmail's new native offline mode. You don't have to, but if you want Gmail to function as a desktop app that you can use without the internet and then sync with your online account, it's highly recommended.

Go to your Gmail inbox, click the Settings icon at the top right (gear symbol), then click "Offline" at the top of the tabs.

Check the "Enable offline mail" box. This will open up a lot more options for you on the page.

Here you will see how much storage space your offline mail will take up. You can also choose whether you want to archive mail for up to seven, thirty or ninety days and whether to download attachments to your PC.

In the "Security" box, we recommend that you select the "Keep offline data on my computer" option if you are a home user and sure that no one else can access your mailbox. This will make the desktop app simpler, with all your emails accessible as soon as you turn on your PC, rather than waiting for your entire inbox to sync each time.

When finished, click "Save changes".

Crea app desktop Gmail

Your Gmail inbox is now syncing offline, but you still need to open Chrome Browser to access it. The next step is to turn Gmail into a standard desktop app.

To do this, just open Gmail in Chrome, then click on “the menu icon with three dots at the top right in Chrome -> More tools -> Create shortcut”.

Call the Gmail link and make sure the “Open as window” box is checked. This will ensure that Gmail opens much like its app, with no Chrome interface surrounding it.

Click Create and the Gmail shortcut will appear on your desktop. From here you can copy and move the shortcut as you like. Right-click and click "Pin to Start" or "Pin to Taskbar" to add the shortcut to the Start Menu or Taskbar respectively, or copy and place it in any desired folder.

And this is all. You've beaten the system and built a fully functional Gmail desktop app that didn't exist before.

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