Do you have an Android device and like the widgets on your home screen? Want something similar on your Windows desktop? Google Desktop is the way to add them. These gadgets are an easy way to have your important information right in a sidebar.

When you are on your computer and a bit of information, it can be inconvenient to open up the browser simply to search for a quick reference. Google Desktop allows searching right from a widget saving steps. Sure the web browser still opens, but it’s fewer steps overall.

Starting out

Starting out, you will need to download Google Desktop. Currently, Google Desktop is not an active Google product but still available to download.


Download Google Desktop.

Google Desktop does have the option of indexing and searching your entire hard drive. During the installation process, you can choose which features you’d like to install and which to leave out.


If this is something you do not want, take a look at the options as your installing it. If for some reason you miss the option to not install desktop search, you can turn this feature off in the settings.


Using Desktop Gadgets

Once Google Desktop is downloaded and running, you should see a new sidebar off the right side. It will be several default Gadgets. When the sidebar showing, the window open will be shortened widthwise by the sidebar.


To interact with any of the Gadgets, simply click on them and they will expand.


To add a Gadget, right-click in the sidebar and choose Add gadgets.


If you would rather, you can drag the gadgets off of the sidebar onto your desktop. This makes it a little less obtrusive. Having the gadgets on your desktop will allow for full windows to be shown instead of a shorter width window. When the gadgets are removed from the sidebar, you can hide them and make them reappear by pressing the shift button twice.


Other gadgets

As mentioned earlier, adding a gadget is as easy as right-clicking on the sidebar and clicking add a gadget. For your basic information, there’s plenty of gadgets to choose from. I like the web clips option. I can add in the


Gadgets are made do be a quick look at an application, not full access. For example, the Google Talk gadget shows who is available online but isn’t a separate chat window.

Everything else

Google Desktop is and of the precursor to the Google Chrome operating system. You’ll have access to search your entire computer for information just like you search for information on While some people are a little intimidated by having a Google app on your computer accessing all of your information, it is pretty nice to have. The initial indexing can take quite a while if you have a lot of information on your hard drive. When your computer is idle, the indexing goes a little faster.


Anything you can do to keep your desktop clean and still have him fast access to the information you need can greatly increase how useful your computer is. By adding a single app, you can make your computer searchable and have quick access to important information like current news, RSS feeds and Google Web search.

Update: Google Desktop is officially discontinued. Alternative link for this is below

 Download Google Desktop Alternatives

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