Google Workspace (formerly known as G Suite) includes an assortment of productivity cloud apps. Google Workspace’s Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Gmail web apps are especially good freely available alternatives to MS Office’s applications. Google Drive is also one of the best cloud storage services.
If you frequently utilize Google Workspace apps, it’s a good idea to add shortcuts for them in Windows 11’s desktop area. Then you’ll be able to open the apps straight from the desktop without needing to rummage through your browser’s bookmarks. You can set up Google Workspace app shortcuts in Windows 11 with these alternative methods.
How to Set Up Google Workspace Desktop Shortcuts With Microsoft Edge
As Google Workspace applications are web apps, you can’t set up EXE desktop shortcuts for them like you can with your installed software. Instead, you can create website shortcuts for Google’s cloud apps using browsers such as Microsoft Edge.
Microsoft Edge lets you set up Progressive Web App (PWA) shortcuts for sites, which aren’t the same as standard website shortcuts. This is how you can set up PWA desktop shortcuts for Google Workspace apps:
- Log in to a Google account if not already signed in.
- Open the Docs, Sheets, Gmail, Google Drive, Slides, Calendar, or any other Google Workspace app you want to set up a shortcut for with Edge.
- Click Edge’s Settings and more button to view that browser’s main options menu.
- Select Apps on the menu.
- Then click the Install this site as an app option.
- Press the Install button to set up a shortcut for the app with its default title.
- Now you’ll see an App installed dialog box that includes shortcut options. Select the Create Desktop shortcut checkbox there.
- Pin to Start and taskbar options will be selected by default. Deselect those checkboxes if you only want a desktop shortcut.
- Press the Allow button.
A Google app shortcut will now be on your Windows 11 desktop. Double-click that PWA shortcut to open its app. It will open in a separate window, much like a UWP app from the Microsoft Store. You won’t see any of Edge’s user interface within the web app’s window.
If you set up a PWA shortcut for Slides, Sheets, Docs, or Forms, you’ll be able to access those apps within the same window. Click the Main menu button at the top left of the app. Then select one of the three alternative productivity apps to bring it up in the window.
How to Set Up Google App Desktop Shortcuts With Google Chrome
Many Google Workspace app users likely use Google’s own Chrome browser instead of Edge. Chrome users can also create PWA shortcuts for Google apps in much the same way:
- Open up the Google app you need to create a desktop shortcut for in Chrome.
- Click Chrome’s Customize menu button.
- Select the More tools submenu to click a Create shortcut option.
- Click the Open as window checkbox to select that setting.
- Press the Create button.
Then the web app will automatically open in a separate window. Selecting the Open as window option sets up a PWA shortcut. If you prefer to add a standard website shortcut to the desktop, don’t select that setting. You can double-click that app’s desktop shortcut to open it at any time.
How to Add Google App Shortcuts to the Taskbar
If you want to access your Google apps from the taskbar, you can add shortcuts for opening them there. Right-click an app’s desktop shortcut and select Show more options on Windows 11’s context menu. You can select a Pin to taskbar (or Start menu) option on the classic menu.
However, Microsoft Edge users can take a different route. When you set up a desktop shortcut in Edge, the “app installed” dialog box you’ll see afterward includes a Pin to taskbar option, which is selected by default. So, keep that checkbox selected in Edge when creating an app shortcut. Or you can select a Pin to taskbar option for installed apps on the edge://apps/ tab.
How to Set up Hotkey Shortcuts for Google Apps
Pressing a hotkey is the quickest way to launch an app in Windows 11. You can apply keyboard shortcuts to Google Workspace apps after adding them to the desktop. To do so, you’ll need to set a hotkey in a shortcut’s properties window like this:
- Set up a Google Workspace app desktop shortcut with Edge or Chrome.
- Right-click the Google web app’s shortcut and select Properties.
- Left-click anywhere inside the Shortcut key box, which is set to none.
- Press a letter keyboard key to set up a Ctrl + Alt hotkey. For example, pressing D (for Docs) will establish Ctrl + Alt + D hotkey for opening a web app.
- Click Apply to save the new Google app hotkey.
- Select the properties window’s OK option.
- Now press the Ctrl + Alt Google web app keyboard shortcut you just set up. However, don’t erase the app’s desktop shortcut; if you do, it will also delete the hotkey assigned to it.
How to Set Up a Batch File Shortcut That Opens Multiple Google Workspace Apps
A batch file is a type of script you can set up to automate tasks in Windows. You can set up a batch file that opens multiple Google Workspace apps when run. Adding such a script file to the desktop will enable you to open two, three, four, or more Google web apps at once in a single double-click. This is how to create a batch file that opens Slides, Sheets, and Docs at once:
- Launch Notepad with a method in our guide for opening Windows 11’s text editor.
- Copy this batch file script by selecting its text and pressing the Ctrl + C keys simultaneously:
- Press Ctrl + V to paste the batch script’s content into the Notepad window.
- Click File to select the Save as option on that menu.
- Change the Save as type drop-down menu’s selected option to All files.
- Input Google apps.bat inside the name text box.
- Select the Desktop location, and click Save to add the batch file there.
- Close out of your Notepad app.
- Then double-click the batch file in Windows 11’s desktop area to open the Docs, Slides, and Sheets app in your default web browser.
You can extend that batch file to open any number of apps by adding more start lines with different URLs to its script. To change it in Notepad, right-click the file and select Show more options > Edit. Make sure you input the full website URLs for the apps by copying and pasting them from your browser’s address bar.
Open Google Web Apps Quicker With Shortcuts
Desktop, taskbar, and keyboard shortcuts for Google web apps are better than browser bookmarks. You can jump straight into your most important Google apps directly from the desktop or taskbar after adding shortcuts for them there. Alternatively, press a key combo whenever you need to access a Google Workspace app. Furthermore, setting up shortcuts with the PWA features of Edge and Chrome turns the websites they open into Windows apps you can utilize outside browsers.
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