31

I keep ending up with a myriad of open tabs in Chrome. It is a pain to switch between them compared to switching between regular mac apps.

So I would like be able to

  • pin them to the task bar
  • identify them using their favicon (task bar / ⌘ + TAB)
  • always open them in a separate window

Just like it appears to be possible on windows: https://www.howtogeek.com/141431/how-to-turn-web-apps-into-first-class-desktop-citizens/

I am looking for a solution with Chrome. But if there's a solution with another browser I may even consider switching...

4
  • Check free OneTab Chrome extension. Probably it will help you. – Denis Rasulev Jul 16 '17 at 5:59
  • @DenisRasulev The app may come in handy in certain situations, but it doesn't really solve the OP. Thanks anyway! – Mutual Exception Jul 16 '17 at 6:06
  • And did you see Fluid? Though it is not free... – Denis Rasulev Jul 16 '17 at 6:17
  • Has anyone find ways to do this with safari yet? I need safari because it's better integrated with Catalina's voice controls – chrismarx May 17 '20 at 16:55
49

Found a great way on Chrome Version 75.0.3770.100:

1) go to the website you want to convert to an app

2) click on three dots / more tools / Create Shortcut + make sure to tick 'open in new window'

That's it - you now have an app that you can pin to your dock and you can cycle through them with cmd + tab. Awesome!

4
  • 2
    This is it! I don't have the "reputation" yet on this site to be able to vote, but this is the one. – Dave Abrahams Mar 10 '20 at 16:07
  • @DaveAbrahams Here, I've upvoted for you ;) – Omar Tariq Apr 10 '20 at 8:50
  • 2
    Amazing, thank you! the only thing that bothered me was the pixelated icon, but that is easy to fix, download an icon you like (for example from www.iconarchive.com) and inside the generated app package contents replace file Contents/Resources/app.icns – Boris Lopez Jun 2 '20 at 10:12
  • anybody know if there is a way to make chrome automatically launch links for this site as a window in the app? I set this up for google meets, which is great, but ideally I'd want google meets links I click in chrome to end up launching in the "app" – danielpops Jul 17 '20 at 1:25
13

Just 3 Easy Steps: 1 chrome reboot, but no software/installation required


  1. Step 1: (Re)Enable Chrome's feature to create OS level [shortcuts to] "applications"
    • type chrome://flags in Chrome’s address bar.
    • find the following settings:
      1. The new bookmark app system
      2. Allow hosted apps to be opened in windows
      3. Creation of app shims for hosted apps on Mac
      4. Quit notification for hosted apps
    • Change/set these flag settings so that look like the image below: .
      enter image description here

  1. Step 2: Create the [shortcut to] your Chrome App
    • Restart Chrome
    • Navigate to the page you want to run/launch as a Web Application (e.g. https://www.gmail.com)
    • Create the "Chrome Application" and OS level "shortcut"...
      1. Click on the hamburger/'three dots menu' button in the top far right of Chrome.
      2. Select 'More Tools ►'
      3. 'Add to Applications…' or 'Create Shortcut...' (has changed over versions)
      4. A small window will pop up - make changes to the Title as you like
      5. Check/Tick 'Open in (Separate) Window'

  1. Step 3: Using your App/Shortcut/Dock Icon throughout MacOS

    • The "shortcut" itself acts like most other apps, i.e., it will actually be a '.app' folder with all the usually files and subfolders that any Mac Application has (e.g. <my app>/Content, <my app>/Content/Resources, etc.):
      1. the Shortcut/Dockable Icon should appear in the root of your "System Applications" folder, or in a subfolder for all Chrome Apps (probably /Applications/Chrome Apps)
        ...OR...
      2. the Shortcut/Dockable Icon might have been created in your "User Applications" folder (/Users/<your username>/Applications/Chrome Apps)
    • Move, copy, and use the shortcut anyway you'd like, using it like any other icon/shortcut on the desktop or Mac Dock
    • When using it in the dock, it should use its own "running indicator" separate from any other Chrome Apps or Chrome itself. However, it will still appear as a running window in the actual Chrome App Dock Icon.
8
  • 1
    Didn't understand how to "Restart the Chrome (in the bottom of the page)". Also, the two folders you have specified in EITHER-OR are the same. Your solution worked for me so thanks. – CodePro_NotYet Jan 16 '19 at 4:43
  • 2
    This is awesome! – Danny G Jan 20 '19 at 18:49
  • @CodePro_NotYet I think I fixed it to make sense now. let me know. thx – Flak DiNenno Feb 1 '19 at 21:29
  • Absolutely awesome. Step 3 was more easy for me as Chrome opened the folder for me in Finder by itself, and I could easily drag the App to the Dock. Also, CMD+Q OR CMD+W will work separately in the App itself without effecting the whole Chrome. – Rehmat Feb 23 '19 at 6:28
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    It seems that most of the guidance here is now stale; the answer from @Pyotr-Li now succinctly describes the solution. – Jason R. Coombs Jul 19 '19 at 13:06
5

Just found an awesome and apparently free solution: https://applicationize.me

It creates a chrome extension for your webapp, which enables you to launch the webapp just like a desktop app.

1
  • 1
    doesnt work on macOS high sierra anymore. – David Vielhuber Apr 4 '18 at 20:38
5

It's WebKit rather than Chrome/Blink based, but Fluid is another way to achieve this.

Fluid

Turn any website into a real Mac app with Fluid


Web applications like Gmail, Facebook, Campfire and Pandora are becoming more and more like desktop applications every day. Running each of these web apps in a separate tab in your browser can be a real pain.

Fluid lets you create a Real Mac App (or "Fluid App") out of any website or web application, effectively turning your favorite web apps into OS X desktop apps.

https://fluidapp.com

2

This whole thread isn't up to date anymore. Google Chrome now supports this feature naturally:

  • Go to the website you want as an app
  • Just click the 3 dots > More Tools > Create shortcut..
  • then check Open as window and press "Create"

A finder window will pop up and show you the created .app file and opens it at once.

Bonus

You can change icons with command + i and just drag and drop a picture in .icns format.

4
  • apple.stackexchange.com/a/363381/313842 Answered by Pytor Li. apple.stackexchange.com/a/329655/313842 Answered by Flak DiNenno. Please edit them to add more details if you wish. New answers should contain better info than others. – anki Dec 6 '19 at 15:48
  • Sorry I don't understand your answer. What should I edit? There are every information one needs. Nothing more. Nothing less... This thread is the first thing that shows up and the answer is outdated. Can I flag this in some way? This thread provides outdated information and no value anymore. Why downvote the only correct answer? – Matthi _ Dec 7 '19 at 23:13
  • The accepted answer might be outdated, but the other answers are still better. They contain what you just wrote. You just repeated those answers. Need examples? click on the links I gave or scroll up or down to find them. Now, you’ll see an edit button below those 2 answers. If you wish, use it and update the answers slightly. Please see tour also for a quick intro to how this site works. – anki Dec 8 '19 at 5:53
  • Best answer, thanks! – grebenyuksv Mar 12 at 10:43
0

This is called progressive web apps. If the application has a relevant manifest.json file added while bundling then Chrome detects it and prompts if you want to install the web app as a shortcut to your OS which has a similar user experience to a native app. You can go to web.dev from your chrome browser to see how end result is.

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