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You’ll Never Miss an E-Mail Again With Gmail’s Desktop Notification Feature

gmail notification on MacI live in Gmail. I sort of have to if I want to keep up with contacts, vet the latest Chrome OS commits, follow up on bug reports, and ensure that a beady eye is kept on the handy tips you folks send in every day. 

It’s a lot of information to digest. Helping me stay on top of it all is Gmail’s desktop notifications.

These handy pop-ups fly in on my desktop the second that a new message arrives in my inbox. In a quick glance I can see whether it requires immediate attention or whether it will keep until I have more time to attend to it.

In short: I couldn’t live without them.

Enabling Gmail Desktop Notifications

turn on gmail desktop alerts

The good news is that you don’t need to install any sort of fancy-pants desktop app, panel applet or browser add-on to get notified of new mail. Gmail has a built in option for it, all you have to do it turn it on!

  1. Open Gmail in Chrome and sign in
  2. Click the ‘cog’ icon in the upper-right to select‘Settings
  3. Under the “General” tab find the section titled ‘Desktop Notifications’
  4. Click the ‘..enable desktop notifications…’ text
  5. Select one of the three options listed
    • New Mail Notifications  – see alerts for all messages that land in your primary inbox
    • Important Mail Notifications – only see alerts for mail marked as ‘important’
    • Mail Notifications Off – don’t show any mail alerts

When you’re done scroll to the bottom of the page and hit the ‘Save Changes‘ button.

Now, whenever Gmail is open in Chrome, you’ll see notifications of new e-mails as per your settings. If using default Chrome notifications (e.g. on Chrome OS) then clicking on a notification will open it up in Gmail, while those you choose to ignore will disappear from the screen after a few seconds.