I'm using Chrome v51 (.0.2704.103, 64-bit) on OSX.

There are two Hangouts extensions in Chrome Web Store, produced by Google.

One, the "desktop app", which collects all conversations into a single window which can be moved around as a unit, and is subject to normal window management:

screenshot of "Desktop" Hangouts extension

An another, I think preferred by the Chrome/Google developers, where each conversation is in a separate "window", as is the list of conversations. Each of these is a "fly up", and they normally reside, minimized, at the bottom of the primary monitor:

screenshot of "flyup" Hangouts extension

I have both extensions installed, but I have the second one, with the conversations in separate non-standard "flyup" windows disabled, because I find them painful from a window-management and workflow perspective.

screenshot of my Chrome extensions page showing "desktop" extension enabled, and "flyup" extension disabled.

The problem I'm encountering is launching the "desktop application" app. The "flyup" extension adds a button to the Chrome toolbar to the right of the address (URL) field:

screenshot of Chrome toolbar showing button to launch "flyup" extension

But so far as I can tell, the only way to launch the first version of the extension is to set it to "launch on startup" (which is unreliable, and interacts weirdly with Chrome crashes), or go Settings>Extensions>Google Hangouts (desktop)>Details>Launch App (from the Chrome Web Store):

screenshot of Chrome Web Store showing the button I currently use launch the desktop app

Is there another way to launch this app manually, on demand, from the browser itself? How can I add a button for it to my Chrome toolbar?


  1. I can't just launch it from Launchpad or pin it in the Dock, because I run Chrome as two different personas (work and home), and when I launch Hangouts like it's a normal OSX app, I can't control which profile it picks up. I sometimes want to run two versions of the app (one to talk to colleagues, the other to friends).

  2. I have uninstalled and reinstalled the app several times, ditto for Chrome itself, and I have restarted both the browser and the OS. No joy.

How can I launch this app quickly and easily on-demand from Chrome?

  • Looks like chrome extensions can be addressed with the URL scheme chrome-extension://<ID>/<path>, so it might be possible to use a bookmark or bookmarklet. According to the information on the extensions page, the ID for the Hangouts "desktop" app is knipolnnllmklapflnccelgolnpehhpl, so I tried the obvious chrome-extension://knipolnnllmklapflnccelgolnpehhpl/ but no joy: this site cannot be reached.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 30, 2016 at 17:35
  • What is the OS you are using?
    – rahi
    Jun 30, 2016 at 20:45
  • OSX Yosemite (10.10.5)
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 30, 2016 at 20:48
  • Ok, a couple more leads. One, it's possible to launch Hangouts from the Google Apps page, so that's one method, though it takes two clicks which I don't like. Trying to reduce that to one click via a bookmarklet, I traced the code to where Hangouts is actually launched. Unfortunately, a straight copy/paste of the relevant code with appropriate variable substitution doesn't seem to work; I think the chrome object needs to be defined via some import, but not being a web dev, I'm kinda stuck at this point. Can anyone assist?
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 30, 2016 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


The best thing you can do is access it from the Apps page by using the apps shortcut in your Chrome Bookmarks Bar to open the application.

To enable access to your apps page from the bookmarks bar, just right click on the the toolbar and make sure Show apps shortcut (red circle) has a check mark by it. Once this is done you'll see the Apps shortcut (green circle).

enter image description here

To add the Hangouts Application to your dock, go to the Apps page. Then right click on the Hangouts application and select Create shortcuts...enter image description here This is where my screenshots won't come in handy because I'm on a Windows machine at the moment. Once you click the 'Create shortcuts...' a box will pop up saying something like Add to applications folder. Once you do that it will open up the Applications folder and you can then drag the Hangouts icon into your dock bar. This will give you easy access to be able to open the application without having to use your previous launch methods.

PS I added the dock method because there might be away to sign into two profiles at once and easily switch. I'm not exactly sure though, because I've never tried.

  • 1
    Note this only works for the Hangouts app and not the Hangouts extension.
    – Wade
    Jun 21, 2018 at 15:57

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