a screenshot of a desktop gmail notification on windows 10
Desktop gmail notifications are handy

I live in Gmail – I have to if I want to keep up with contacts, check the latest Chrome OS commits, monitor bug reports, and read the handy tips you folks send in daily!

But it’s a lot of information to digest. So to help me stay on top of everything I use Gmail’s desktop notifications.

These handy pop-ups fly in on my desktop the moment a new message arrives in my inbox. With a quick glance I can see if it requires my immediate attention, or whether it’ll keep until I have more time to attend to it.

In short: I think Gmail’s desktop notifications are really handy, and in this post I show you how you can enable them in Google Chrome. 

Enable Gmail Desktop Notifications

turn on gmail desktop alerts

The best part about this tip is that you do not 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 Google Chrome
  2. Click the cog icon in the upper-right and select ‘See All Settings’
  3. In the “General” tab, scroll down to ‘Desktop Notifications’
  4. Click the “click here to enable desktop notifications for Gmail” link
  5. Click “Allow” to see notifications

With desktop notifications enabled you can go pick one of the three notification 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 make sure that you scroll to the bottom of the page and hit the ‘Save Changes‘ button to save your settings — don’t just close the tab!

Now, whenever Gmail is open in Chrome, you’ll see notifications of new e-mails, as per your settings.

When Gmail notifications arrive from Chrome clicking on a notification will open the mail in Gmail, in a  new tab. You can choose to ignore notifications too, and they will disappear from the screen after a few seconds.

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