If you’re using the Chrome web browser, log in to Gmail, click the spanner icon at the top right and choose Mail settings. Click the General tab and scroll down to the Desktop Notifications section and click to select the ‘New mail notifications on’ radio button, then click Save Changes. Internet Explorer and Firefox users need a program called Gmail Notifier. When loaded, click the Download Gmail Notifier for Windows button. If the File Download Security Warning appears, click Save and choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. Now locate and double-click the downloaded file. Ignore any security warnings and click Run again, accept the licence terms, leave the other defaults as they are and finish the installation. Then type in your Gmail address and password and click OK.
And that’s essentially all there is to it. The beauty of the Gmail Notifier tool is that, once it’s installed, you don’t have to do anything else. In this screenshot, for example, we are hard at work on another article for Computeractive when a new message pops into our Gmail inbox at the bottom right of the screen. By using the default settings like this the Gmail Notifier will also launch automatically with Windows.
New messages appear in the pop-up window showing the sender together with the subject and the start of the message. If it’s a message that needs a quick reply, right-click on the envelope icon in the Notification Area and choose View Inbox. Your browser will open with Gmail already loaded. If you’re impatient to see if new messages have arrived in the last few seconds or want to check through the last few again, open the menu and choose Check Mail Now, or Tell me Again, respectively. Should you want to remove the Gmail Notifier, open Control Panel and choose Add/Remove Programs in XP or, if using Vista or Windows 7, find the Program’s heading and choose Uninstall a program. When the list loads, click on the Gmail Notifier and click Uninstall in Windows 7 and Vista, or Remove if you’re using XP. Chrome users can just repeat the first part of Step 1, choosing ‘Mail notifications off’ instead.