I've created a Chrome desktop shortcut which I'd like to continue to use for my emails (I can't or don't want to switch browsers because I'm using a number of chrome add-ons). My tab favicon shows the number of unread messages (Gmail lab feature) but the icon created in the taskbar doesn't change or update accordingly.

I'd like the shortcut icon in the Windows taskbar to show the number of unread messages in my Gmail account (similarly to the badges of some add-ons).

There are a few stand-alone applications (e.g. Shellscape's Gmail Notifier Pro or Wavebox but they'll add another (unnecessary) icon to the takbar but will open the inbox in my default browser, not in the pinned window. And all of them work only if I allow less secure apps to access my Gmail account.

It's of course possible to change the shortcut icon. So it was my idea to link it to an unread icon which automatically updates like this one. But I don't get the script to work and I guess security would be an issue as well.

An unread count in the system tray will have to do if I don't manage to get the shortcut icon to update periodically. Ideally a Chrome add-on should display it (again to avoid adding another application). Inbasic's "Gmail™ Notifier" lists as features: "Get unread message notifications on Windows taskbar notification area (system tray)". But I didn't get it to display a system tray icon (neither in Chrome, nor in Firefox or Opera).

I think a number of programs's desktop clients are basically modified browser windows (e.g. Whatsapp)? Whatsapp's icon changes. So there must be a way to do it?

Any suggestions what else I could try?

PS: Please note that a similar question was posted a few years ago.

2 Answers 2


Option A: activate notifications for gmail and they will show up in windows in the bottom right corner and show a notification count. Make sure that all options are set in windows notification center.

Option B: use gmail as Progressive Web App (PWA). Just go in chrome in top right corner option on "More tools" and "Create Shortcut" and check open in new window. Now you can add Gmail as a dedicated shorcut in taskbar. Combine that with option D and even option E and it will look like this.

Option D: Why not change the taskbar settings to always show labels, instead of just a single shorcut.

Option E: use TabModifier to change the title and the favicon of tabs, based on custom rules.

Option F: Use Vivaldi, which includes a dedicated feature for tab notifications. Since it's chromium-based you can keep your chrome extensions.

There are many more ways to get notification on your windows desktop, which is why I don't recommend a custom hack to change the shorcut icon in the taskbar. Would it be worth the effort if the result would be the same?


I just installed this plugin which works fine for me;


  • Thank you for pointing out the plugin. Unfortunately, it doesn't work on my computer (neither with Chrome nor Edge). :-(
    – Mary-Lou
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 16:38
  • Okay that's weird, it works perfectly for me. I did install Gmail as a PWA though, maybe that's the issue here?
    – mvdgun
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 20:39
  • I tried installing Gmail as a Chrome App, as an Edge App. I deinstalled and reinstalled them. Didn't work. And it looks like it doesn't support several Gmail accounts at this point. I use four...
    – Mary-Lou
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 9:12
  • Awesome plugin, just tried with Chrome + Gmail as Desktop Shortcut (November 2021). Even better is that the plugin is open source.
    – Vad1mo
    Commented Nov 2, 2021 at 19:55
  • Perfect for Win11
    – shmu
    Commented Jul 3, 2022 at 5:26

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