How do I start Google Chrome in application mode?

What I want is to surf to a website, such as www.facebook.com, directly without borders or address bar, etc.

  • Note The answer changes over time, as this feature changes. – Nils von Barth Oct 24 '18 at 18:22

The easiest way is to browse to the website in Chrome, and then follow these steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu button ( or )
  2. Select More toolsAdd to desktop...
  3. Edit the name if you wish, and click OK

Alternatively, in earlier versions of Chrome:

  1. Click the page menu.

    alt text

  2. Select ToolsCreate application shortcuts.
  3. In the Gears dialog box, select the checkboxes for the locations where you want shortcuts to be placed.
  4. Click OK.

The other way is from the command line:

"path\to\chrome\chrome.exe" --app=http://facebook.com
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  • 2
    Looks like easiest way change since this was initially posted and requires a change in chrome flags now : productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/3A5ZTe-HrVE – ROunofF Nov 2 '15 at 1:16
  • 1
    stackoverflow Run standalone web app in Google Chrome without borders or toolbars has an answer which suggests using the --kiosk http://example.com/ option when starting Chrome rather than --app. – Richard Chambers Apr 8 '16 at 13:52
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    It seems that if an existing Chrome session is running, the --app option is ignored. – Michael Scheper Sep 18 '16 at 15:36
  • Also, can you explain the 'page menu'? Right-clicking on a page in Chrome 53 under Linux brings up a menu, but it doesn't have a 'Tools' or 'Create application shortcuts' option. – Michael Scheper Sep 18 '16 at 15:39
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    @MichaelScheper This answer needs updating methinks. In Chromium 53, go to main menu (three vertical dots) -> More tools -> Add to desktop... – piedar Oct 1 '16 at 0:11

As of Chrome 67, it has changed again. The following works in Chrome 70:

  1. Click the Chrome menu button ( or )
  2. Select More toolsCreate shortcut...
  3. Go to chrome://apps and find your new shortcut
  4. Right-click on icon, and select “Open as window”
  5. Optional Right-click again, and select Create shortcuts... to create desktop or menu icons.
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  • Note: --app doesn’t have the same behavior. – Nils von Barth Oct 24 '18 at 18:23

On windows with chrome 73, I can get app mode in the presence of existing chrome windows complete with extensions running like this:

chrome.exe --app=https://duckduckgo.com --new-window

Without --new-window, the --app argument is ignored if there is a running instance of chrome already.

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If you are on mac it is a little more involved; however Lifehacker has an article with a script that I just checked (May 9, 2013) and it works.


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  • The guides downloads are gone – William Oct 29 '18 at 15:47
  1. unhide "extension for known file types" from File Explorer Options -> View
  2. create .bat file
  3. cd (your chrome.exe file)

cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application

chrome.exe --app=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpsI6OAwLno

here you some info about it https://www.chromium.org/developers/how-tos/run-chromium-with-flags

and maybe more https://peter.sh/experiments/chromium-command-line-switches/

in the end there are a lot of flag you can pull, chose as you like

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