Mac User Switching Between Web Apps in Chrome

There are some websites like Netflix or Twitter that you might want to turn into “apps” with a direct Dock icon on your Mac. Using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, it’s easy to do. Here’s how.

How Does It Work?

Both Chrome and Microsoft Edge are built on the same Chromium engine, and they offer a unique feature that lets you create a Dock shortcut for any website. But both browsers do it differently.

A website running as an app in Microsoft Edge.
The Review Geek website running as an app in its own window using Microsoft Edge.

Chrome lets you create a Dock shortcut that can optionally be opened in its own app window. Microsoft Edge provides no such option. If the website has a PWA app (like Twitter), the shortcut will open the PWA app. Otherwise, it will open the website wrapped in its own window.

Website app shortcuts in the Mac Dock.
Installed and pinned website shortcuts in the Mac Dock.

Once the shortcut has been created, you can add it to the Dock and use the app switcher to switch between them, just like with real apps.

Google Chrome: Pin Websites as Apps on the Dock

To view a website as an app in Google Chrome, first, open the website in the Chrome browser. Click the three-dot menu button and navigate to More Tools > Create Shortcut.

From Chrome's toolbar, select Menu > More Tools > Create Shortcut.

If necessary, change the title of the website in the window that appears. Select the “Open as Window” option to open the website as its own app, and then click the “Create” button.

Chrome will now create and launch the app from the website. Chrome will also open the “Chrome Apps” folder in Finder.

The Chrome Apps folder on Mac showing all installed web apps.

Now that the app has been created, it’s time to add it to the Dock. If the app is already running, simply right-click the app icon and choose Options > Keep in Dock.

Pin the open Chrome web app using the "Keep in Dock" option.

In Finder, you can also drag and drop the app from the “Chrome Apps” folder to the Dock later.

Drag the app from Chrome Apps folder to the Dock.

From now on, every time you click the app icon in the Dock, it will open the website in its own app window. You can also use the Command+Tab keyboard shortcut to quickly switch to a Chrome app.

How-To Geek website running as an app in its own window using Chrome.

When it comes to managing or deleting Chrome apps, the app is a bit ambiguous. You won’t find any interface for it in the browser itself.

To delete or rename a Chrome app, you’ll need to use the Chrome Apps folder that we mentioned above. To get there, simply bring up Spotlight Search using the Command+Space keyboard shortcut. Search for “Chrome Apps” and select the folder.

RELATED: How to Use macOS' Spotlight Like a Champ

Search for "Chrome Apps" folder using Spotlight Search.

Here, select the apps that you want to delete, right-click, and choose the “Move to Trash” option. (You can also use the Command+Delete keyboard shortcut or drag the icon to the Trash on your Dock.)

The app will be deleted from local storage and removed from your Dock.

Microsoft Edge: Pin Websites as Apps on the Dock

While Microsoft Edge uses the same foundation as Chrome, it has implemented the website shortcut feature in a slightly different (and clearer) way.

To get started, open the website that you’d like to turn into an app using Microsoft Edge. Next, click the three-dot menu button in the top toolbar and navigate to Apps > Install This Site As An App.

In the pop-up, change the title of the app (if you want) and click the “Install” button.

Edge will open the website in its own app window, and it will also open the “Edge Apps” folder in Finder. (You can get there again later by searching for “Edge Apps” in Spotlight Search.)

While the new Edge website app is open, right-click the icon in the Dock and select Options > Keep in Dock to permanently add the website shortcut to the Dock.

If you close the window and lose the Dock icon, you can revisit “Edge Apps” in Finder later and drag the app icon to the Dock.

Drag the app from Edge Apps folder to the Dock.

Microsoft Edge also includes an interface for viewing and managing all installed apps. To get there, click the three-dot menu button in the top toolbar and select Apps > Manage Apps.

From the Menu in Edge, go to Apps > Manage Apps.

On this screen, you’ll see a list of all installed apps. To delete an app, click the “X” button beside an app.

Click the “Remove” button in the pop-up to delete the app. (You can also remove all data related to the app if you want by checking the box.)

And that’s it. The web app, along with its Dock icon, will be removed from your Mac.

Using Windows? You can pin websites to the Windows taskbar as well. Have fun!

RELATED: How to Pin a Website to the Windows 10 Taskbar or Start Menu

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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