Friday, October 1, 2010

How to Enable Desktop Notifications for Google Calendar in Chrome

One of the primary features that kept me using Outlook’s calendar was the desktop notifications that popped up to remind me when it was time for another boring meeting. Now with Google Calendar and Chrome notifications, I’ll never miss the chance to sleep through another meeting.

Seriously, meetings are boring.

But more to the point, if you’re using Google Chrome there’s a built-in desktop notifications feature, and all you have to do is enable a Labs feature in Google Calendar to get it to start showing notifications on your desktop.

Make Sure Chrome Has Desktop Notifications Enabled
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that Chrome is set to allow desktop notifications. Head into Tools –> Options –> Under the Hood –> Content settings.

Next, select Notifications on the left-hand side, and then make sure the middle option for “Ask me when a site wants to show desktop notifications” is selected. You may want to click on the Exceptions button and make sure Google Calendar isn’t blocked in there.

Enable Desktop Notifications in Google Calendar
Now that we’ve made sure Chrome is configured properly, you’ll want to head into Google Calendar, open up the Settings link in the top right, and then go to the Labs section.

Find the “Gentle Reminders” item in the list, click the Enable button, and then Save at the bottom. If the option is already enabled but you aren’t getting desktop notifications, you should disable it, Save, and then Enable it again.

Once you’ve clicked the Save button you’ll see a bar show up across the top of the window, and you’ll need to click the Allow button.

As soon as you do, you’ll see a sample notification to show up on the bottom of the screen.

You’ll have to manually close out of the notifications, which is slightly annoying sometimes, but it’s probably a good thing so you won’t miss an important reminder.

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