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How to get desktop alerts for Gmail messages in your browser

Many people use email with a desktop email client. This is despite the fact that most email services have a more or less functioning web interface that can be used to send and receive email. One major reason for using desktop email clients is that they often have more features. You don’t have to rely on the email service to provide a certain feature e.g. filters, if you use Outlook which provides them by default. Additionally, desktop email clients can also deliver alerts for new messages straight to your desktop. If your primary reason for using a desktop client is alerts, and you use Gmail, you can get desktop alerts for Gmail messages by enabling a little setting.

Desktop alerts for Gmail messages

Open Gmail and click the cog wheel button under your profile picture at the top right. From the menu that opens, select Settings.

Scroll through the settings on the General tab and you will see a section called ‘Desktop Notifications’. Select the ‘New Mail notifications on’ option, and scroll to the end to save the new setting.

This is one part of setting up alerts for Gmail messages. The second is to allow the website to show you notifications via your browser and then to allow your browser to show you desktop notifications via your OS’ built-in notifications system.

To enable notification for the Gmail website, go to the site settings in your browser. Allow Gmail to show notifications. Next, allow your browser, whichever you use, to show notifications.

On Windows 10, you can allow a browser to show notifications from the Settings app. Open the Settings app and go to the System group of settings. Select the Notifications & actions tab. Scroll through the list of installed apps and when you find your browser, allow it to show you notifications.

As far as customizing notifications is concerned, you don’t have a lot of options when you use this method to get them. You’re restricted to using the default notification settings that your OS has to offer and you will find that they pale in comparison to what desktop email clients have to offer.

It’s obvious why users may prefer to use a desktop email client but in a pinch, or when you don’t want to configure your Gmail account to the same email client that you use for work, this is a neat way to get desktop alerts for Gmail messages.

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