How to enable desktop notifications for Gmail?


A desktop notification can alert you as and when you have received an email or chat in your Gmail account, even when you are not looking at the Gmail web page open in your browser. At present, such desktop notifications for Gmail work only if you are using Gmail in your Google Chrome browser, though they are likely to be supported for other browsers soon. If you want to get desktop notifications for your Gmail account irrespective of the browser (i.e., even if you do not use Google Chrome browser), you may use Gmail Notifier which is a free software available for Windows and Mac operating systems (see below for more details).

Enable desktop notifications for your Gmail account for Chrome browser:

Here is how to enable desktop notifications for Gmail when you use Chrome browser for Gmail; in this case you will not need any software and only change of some settings in your Gmail account will suffice. Proceed as under:

(1) Login to your Gmail account. Click the Settings icon (of the shape of a gear) in the top-right corner of the window, and then select Settings option from the drop-down menu.

Settings icon in Gmail

(2) In the Settings page that appears on the screen, select the General tab (usually, it is automatically selected).

(3) In the “Desktop Notifications” section, you can either enable or disable Chat notifications. For email notifications, you have the following three options:

  • New mail notifications on: this option will notify you whenever any new email arrives in your Gmail inbox.
  • Important mail notifications on: this option will notify you only when an important email arrives in your Gmail inbox. However, you will not be notified for every email received when you select this option.
  • Mail notifications off: when this option is selected, you will not get any desktop notifications on receipt of an e-mail in your Gmail account.

Enable or disable desktop notifications for Gmail in Chrome browser

Select the appropriate option for email notifications depending on whether you want to receive desktop notification for every e-mail arriving in your Gmail inbox or only when an important e-mail is received in your inbox.

(4) Click the “Save changes” button.

That’s it! However, please note that, as mentioned above, at present desktop notifications will work only if you open your Gmail account in Chrome browser. Moreover, you will not receive any notification when you are logged off from your Gmail account or when it is not open currently in your Chrome browser.

Enable desktop notifications for all browsers using Gmail Notifier:

This is an alternative method for enabling desktop notifications for Gmail for all browsers, irrespective of whether or not to use Chrome browser for checking your Gmail account. For this purpose, you can use Gmail Notifier software that is free for use and is launched by Google itself. There are two different versions of the software: Gmail Notifier for PC (that works on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and higher versions of Windows), and Gmail Notifier for Mac (that works on Mac OS 10.4+ versions). You need not use this software if you use Chrome browser since in that a mere change of some settings will do the trick, as explained earlier in this article.

Gmail Notifier is a free software that will alert you as and when you receive a new email in your Gmail account. It displays an icon in the system tray of your Windows computer that will inform you about the unread emails in your Gmail account, including details of the sender, subject, etc. This alert is displayed even when your browser is not open.

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