The latest versions of Google Chrome OS include an app launcher that let you open Chrome web apps without first firing up a web browser window. But you don’t need a Chromebook to use that menu. You can also create a shortcut to a Chrome web app launcher on a PC running Windows.

Chrome web apps

Update: It looks like this feature may be coming soon as a standard component of the Chrome web browser. 

All you need is a PC with the Google Chrome web browser installed. Then follow these steps:

  • Open your Start Menu and navigate to the Google Chrome icon.
  • Right-click on the icon and select “copy.”
  • Go to your Desktop (or any directory), right-click, and choose “paste shortcut.” This will place a shortcut for Chrome on your desktop.
  • Next, right-click on the new shortcut on your desktop and select “properties” from the context menu.
  • In the “target” section, go to the end of the line and add “-show-app-list” (without quotes).
  • Click the “apply” button.

That’s it. Now when you double-click the shortcut, it will bring up an app launcher with a built-in search box. You can use this to go straight to the web app of your choice or to start a Google search.

Chrome Web Apps

On Windows 7, you can also right-click the icon and pin it to your Start Menu.

via Chrome Story

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10 replies on “Add a Google Chrome app menu to your Windows PC (Chrome OS-like)”

  1. Works for me on XP. Have the chrome icon at the start bar. The image above is incorrect. Should show a quotation mark ever the exe, like this: …ChromeApplicationchrome.exe” -show-app-list

  2. Wouldn’t work for me either. Tried it several ways. Using Windows XP

  3. Did not work at all for me on Windows 7 64-bit with Chrome version 22.0.1229.94, even after I added a space between “chrome.exe” and “-show…” The shortcut just continues to go to my homepage. Did I miss something?

    1. Did you already have a Chrome shortcut on your desktop? You might need to rename the new shortcut before you add the -show-app-list text.

      1. Thanks for the reply. Just tried with a renamed shortcut and still no luck. Yes, I have Chrome pinned to my task bar.

        1. …but no additional shortcut on the desktop itself other than the one I just created. Is any of this in Google’s documentation anywhere?

  4. Worked for me even on a portable chrome beta installation. Gracias.

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