Browser Tip: Pinning Sites as Applications

This is a trick I use pretty heavily to control the amount of tabs I have open and allows me to quickly navigate back to my critical sites without having to sift through the insane amount of tabs I seem to always have/leave open.

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For the sake of argument, let’s say you are a heavy LinkedIn user. One of those little tabs in the screenshot there is LinkedIn, but it can be a pain to locate ESPECIALLY if you have multiple browser stacks open. As I writing this right now, I have Brave browser open with 7 tabs, Chrome open with 4 tabs, and 3 stacks of Edge open with 25 total tabs open – it’s usually much worse. It can be a challenge (and a work disruption) to try and locate the right content. Now, an obvious solution is tab hygiene – close what I am not using. I’ve come to the realization that this is just not going to happen for me. If you can pull it off – kudos. I like this trick instead as it allows me to stay in flow when I am trying to get things done and not have to worry about managing my browser(s).

Here’s an alternative that works with any Chromium based browser (Edge, Chrome, Brave, etc.) and works regardless of OS. In a previous role, I was using G-Suite on a Mac. Leveraging this approach, I was able to pin all of my Google apps to the dock and have them function as separate apps. This approach is platform agnostic.

I’m going to use Edge to pin LinkedIn (since I already have it open).

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3 dots in the upper right corner –> Apps –> Install this site as an app.

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You now have the option to change the icon if wanted and to rename. It is handy to clean the name up right now as this process will name the app the full title of what is currently within the title of the browser tab. In this case, the (11) Feed | part I remove.

Edge additionally gives these options:

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I like the defaults so I hit allow and we’re there! I now have a LinkedIn app within my taskbar, pinned, and it is now super easy for me to navigate back.

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What now appears to be an app with the LinkedIn icon is actually still running within the Edge browser. In fact, the 3 dots at the top of this new “app” allow for easy navigation back to the full browser window if wanted.

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It seems all Chromium based browsers have similar functionality.

Brave & Chrome:

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And then:

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Now, rather than sifting through the mess of tabs I have open across multiple browsers, I can now simply navigate back to the site by using the pinned “app”. In my case, I now have 2 of them since I’ve pinned using Edge and Brave.

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This works with really any site, but I especially like using this if the site is a Progressive Web App. Often, the PWA can be more performant than the thick client for some apps.

Happy surfing!

Productivity

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