Google is Axing the Desktop Chrome App Launcher

Google is retiring the app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux over the next few months. The company says people don’t use it and want to streamline things.

If you’re a Google Chrome user, one of the features you might enjoy is the app launcher. The app launcher lets you open Chrome apps from outside the browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux.


However, Google has decided that its users aren’t using the launcher, and prefer to launch apps from within Chrome. So, according to Google, the launcher will no longer be enabled when users first install a Chrome desktop app. According to the company, this is an effort to help emphasize simplicity and streamline the browser features.

The removal process will take place over the next several months. Once it is removed, you’ll still have two methods to launch the apps. You can either use the apps shortcut on the bookmarks bar, or type: chrome://apps into the Omnibox.

Launch Chrome Apps

It’s worth noting, though, if you’re a Chromebook user, the app launcher will remain unchanged.

If you haven’t used Chrome apps on your desktop before, check out our article: How to Run Google Chrome Apps on Your Desktop.



  1. Shane

    March 23, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Damn. That’s going to take some getting used to on my part. I use it constantly.

  2. Apres Ski

    March 27, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve used that launcher sooooooo much, I can’t tell you on how many different computers and laptops I’ve used it on. I will miss from its regular perch on the upper right-hand side.

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