Make Any Website Run Like An App on Your Chromebook or Windows PC

2017-12-29_13-09-23Happy New Year! I’m starting off 2018 with a post about one of the coolest features in Chrome. It’s not new, but honestly I didn’t know this existed until a few weeks ago. You can make any website run in a window that looks like an app on your Chromebook or Windows PC.

How many tabs do you have open in Chrome right now? Five? Eight? Fifteen? You are not alone. I usually have several tabs open and switch between them often. Three tabs I usually have open regardless of what I am doing are Webmail (Office 365 for us), Google + Communities, and TweetDeck. I don’t really like having these open as tabs because I sometimes either close them accidentally or wind up changing the tab to a different webpage. Also, the Bookmarks bar, omnibar, and tabs take us valuable screen real estate. Now, you may of immediately thought of some ways to overcome these issues. Let me see if I can guess some of the suggestions.

  • Pin the tabs so that its not as easy to accidentally close them.
  • Open these three tabs in a different Chrome window.
  • Run Chrome full screen using F11.
  • Hide the bookmarks bars.

Those are good options, but I believe I have an even better way.
Do you see the difference in these two screenshots?

TweetDeck Comparison.png

The image on the left shows TweetDeck in a normal Chrome tab. The image on the right shows TweetDeck in a Chrome window which hides everything but the actual webpage. Looks like an app to me.

Here’s another example. I use two monitors on my Windows 10 PC. This is the view of my secondary one. 
2017-12-29_12-26-54

On this monitor I have the desktop version of Outlook, a Chrome window of Google+, and a Chrome window of TweetDeck open. I can see all three at the same time.

Cool, right!?!? Not convinced yet? Well, maybe you need to try this for yourself to truly appreciate it. 

  1. Open up a website you would like to view in a window like I’ve shown. Webmail for example.
  2. Click the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of the Chrome browser.
    2017-12-29_12-56-50
  3. Click More tools
  4. If using Chrome on Windows, choose Add to desktop…
    If using a Chromebook, choose Add to Shelf…
  5. Give the icon that will be create a name
    2017-12-29_13-01-22
  6. Make sure that Open as window is checked
  7. Click Add

If using Chrome on Windows, you now have an icon on your desktop that will open the website in a windowed view like I showed in my examples.

If using a Chromebook, you now have an icon on the shelf (bar at bottom of screen) that will open the website in a windowed view like I showed in my examples.

For what other websites could this be useful???

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