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How to install any website as an app on your computer with Edge, Chrome, and Brave

Chrome Edge and Brave logos together

I don’t know about you, but I really like web apps because of their lightweight nature. While good, they can be a bit difficult to install on your computer. You may have seen a small icon in Chrome’s URL bar that offers the ability to install a website as an app on your computer, but it’s not always visible. There is, however, a way to install any website as an app on your computer using an anonymous tool in Chrome and Brave (it’s more obvious in Edge).

To get through this guide, you’ll want to use Edge, Chrome, or Brave on your computer. Installing websites as apps is definitely easiest in Edge, because the feature stares you in the face when you open the browser menu. Let’s talk about how to create apps in Edge first, because it’s the easiest to explain.

In Edge, navigate to a website that you feel is useful to have as an app. On my computer, I have Pomofocus (a Pomodoro timer), Spotify, Zoho Mail, Pluto TV, and YouTube all installed as web apps, but other candidates might include Gmail, Outlook, and Google Maps. Once you’ve decided what you want to install first, go to that website. Once you’re there, press the menu button in Edge, go to Apps, and then select ‘Install this site as an app’, you can give it a different name if you want, then press the installation.

Install an app in Edge

To open this app, just go to apps/programs in your operating system and search for any app you have recently installed. When you press it, it won’t open in the main Edge browser, it will open in its own window, which feels more independent. If you made a mistake and don’t want to install any more, just go back to Edge, go to Apps, select ‘Manage apps’ then press the three dot menu button next to your installed app. Press uninstall, and then press remove – done. That’s all there is to Edge, next we’ll look at Chrome and Brave.

The instructions for installing websites as apps in Chrome and Brave are the same, but the process is definitely not as polished as in Edge. As with Edge, go to a website you want to convert to an app, then press the menu button. You will immediately notice that there is no Apps item in the menu, instead you have to press ‘More tools’ then ‘Create shortcut…’. Give the shortcut a name and select ‘Open as window’. If you don’t choose the last option, the app will still be placed in your app/programs menu, but will just open as a tab in your browser.

The Create shortcut option in Brave

To uninstall these apps, you need to go to the URL bar and type the following without the quotes, ‘chrome://apps’. That command is the same for Chrome and Brave. Now, just right-click on the app you want to remove and select ‘Remove from Chrome/Brave…’ and you’re done.

Uninstall web apps in Chrome and Brave

I think it’s great to see Microsoft put this functionality front and center in Edge. It’s a little strange that Google decided to bury the option, given how web-oriented the company is. Hopefully, the company will notice and properly present the feature to Chrome users, so they can take advantage of it.

On a final note, since these apps are just fancy browser windows, your browser extensions will also affect these apps so if you use an ad blocker or anything like that, they will continue to work with these web apps.

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