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Get Instant Desktop Notification Alerts When Important Event Occurs [Growl & Snarl]

When an important event occurs, who wants to miss it? Nobody. This is exactly what this post is all about. Whether a download has finished, the next track of your music playlist has begun, the battery of your laptop is going to die, or you have received a new email, both Growl For Windows and Snarl will notify you know about it instantly. I have reviewed both free system notifications tools in details, below.

Growl For Windows

Growl is a system notification tool originally build for Mac operating system. Growl For Windows is a Windows-Compatible tool. It will notify you instantly when an event occurs. All you have to do is install this tool and then download various plugins. These plugins integrate Growl into a number of applications, such as, Firefox, Outlook, Gmail, iTunes, Pandora AIR, Songbird, Thunderbird, Vuze, Virtual Studio, and much more.

gmail growl update notifications

Since this tool is still under development, the number of plugins right now are limited but growing. The developer provides API for this tool which you can use to integrate Growl in your favorite applications.

One of the best feature of this tool is that it notifies you about the alerts that you have missed while you were away. You can choose the idle time from the General tab, there is also an option to choose the sound that you want played during the alert.

 growl main screenshot

The number of plugins that you have installed will be listed under Applications. You can change the way you want the alert to display from under Display tab.

growl display screenshot

If you have missed an alert or simply want to have a look at previous alerts, History tab does the job. You can also add additional security and get notifications over network computers.


Snarl is a system notification tool for Windows with a special twist. Apart from it’s basic functionalities that are similar to Growl for Windows, it also shows notification alerts about system events. It has an advanced build-in app manager that allows you to control other Snarl applications that don’t have their own user interface.

snarl notification alerts screenshot

Similar to Growl for Windows, the developer provides you with the API through which you can integrate Snarl into popular applications. You can enable sticky notifications to give a more eye-candy look, change hotkey, and set other basic preferences from General settings tab.

snarl general preferences screenshot

You can change the looks and settings of the notification alert box by going to Display tab. The themes can be changed by going to Styles tab where you can preview all designs before applying them.

snarl display settings font screenshot

By default there are thee build-in extensions that lets you change the way you want to view system notifications. The extensions are named as, SnarlClock(Notifies you about time, lets you set timer, and includes a reminder), SnarlInfo(Notifies you about Network, Battery, Disc, etc), and SnarlWare(Notifies you about different devices that are connected to your computer).


  Snarclock extension screenshot


 snarl system extensions screenshot


snarlware extension screenshot


Both tools are great for notifications and have their pros and cons. They both work on Windows XP, Vista, and 7.

Growl For Windows’s Killer Feature: Lets you see which alerts you missed while you were away. Has a whole History tab dedicated to past notifications.

Snarl’s Killer Feature: Shows notifications of System events. Has more community created apps.

Now which one is suited for you? That’s the question you should be asking yourself. Enjoy!

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