How to Put App Icons on Chromebook Desktop

Updated on August 9, 2023
How to Put App Icons on Chromebook Desktop

It may have taken a little longer than some would have expected but the fact is that today, Chromebook devices have managed to successfully carve a niche for themselves as undisputedly one of the best devices that you can get your hands on at any given point in time. As is only natural for devices that have managed to reach such a high standing, there are tons of stuff that a wide variety of users can immediately find attractive and appealing about these gadgets.

And, while (as is only to be expected) opinions may be split on what makes these devices so great, one thing that the vast majority of these devices’ users can readily agree to is the simple fact that Chromebook devices are, on the whole, remarkably easy to use.

But while they may be good for so many great and amazing things, one thing that you may find that you need help with is mastering the finer aspects of how to put app icons on Chromebook desktop today.

Let’s delve deep into this topic and help you unravel the easiest and most efficient ways for you to get this done in 2023!

Why Learn How to Put App Icons on Chromebook Desktop?

If you’ve been using your Chromebook computer for a while now and you haven’t had any app icons on your desktop screen in all of that time, you’ll be able to readily attest to the fact that it is indeed possible to use these gadgets without taking advantage of that particular feature.

Now, following that line of reasoning, the big question would then be, if I can get by just fine without this, why in the world should I have to put up with the stress of learning how to put app icons on Chromebook desktop?

Well, that’s certainly a good question!

To answer it, there are several worthwhile reasons why you would be better served learning how to perform this exercise.

For one thing, adding app icons to a Chromebook desktop is ridiculously easy to do! For another, it offers you a significantly higher level of ease and comfort when it comes to accessing the apps and programs that you use frequently.

More than this though, learning how to perform this exercise can also go a long way in making you more efficient when it comes to getting the best out of your computer device.

Now that you know why you would want to learn how to put app icons on Chromebook desktop, here is all that you need to know to perform that exercise with a flourish!

How to Put App Icons on Chromebook Desktop – The Complete Walkthrough

There is a reason why you have to take the time and effort to actually learn how to put app icons on your Chromebook device. And the reason is this; unlike what we would normally see with Windows-based computer devices, the process of putting app icons or shortcuts on your Chromebook screen isn’t quite straightforward.

What this translates to in essence is that you need to know how to efficiently pin whatever tools you use often to your Chrome OS-based device specially.

So, let’s get into the specifics of how to get around to doing that without stress here.

Adding App Icons to on Chromebook Desktop – What to Note

Before anything else, it is very important that we make one thing perfectly clear. Chromebook laptops do in fact have the conventional desktop function, so to speak. However, because this utility is set up to operate and run in a rather unique way, it isn’t exactly possible for Chromebook users to install apps or icons on it in the traditional sense.

The presence of this limitation effectively demands that a workaround to bypass the problem be found. Luckily, there are several of these that you can readily leverage to your advantage. To make things even better along these lines, the techniques that you’ll be employing to solve this rather pesky problem don’t even require you to be all that proficient with using a computer either!

Furthermore, you’ll also have the benefit of our extensively detailed guide so you will encounter no problem at all making your goal here come through.

Without further ado, let’s get into the various approaches that you can employ to put this pesky problem in your rearview.

The most common workaround employed in this area is:

Pinning the App Icons to Your Chromebook Device Shelf

As we have been emphatic in stating, it technically isn’t possible for you to have your app icons situated on the desktop of your Chromebook. However, what you can do (without breaking a sweat) is pin any icon that you want to the Shelf of your computer.

How to Pin App Icons to Your Chromebook Device Shelf

For the uninitiated, the “Shelf” of your Chromebook device simply refers to that row of apps that you typically find at the bottom of your computer screen.

Is it as good as having the app icons directly on your desktop screen?

Probably not.

However, it still offers you fairly quick access so it’s decent enough in our opinion.

Steps to Follow

All that you have to do along these lines is click on the “Launcher” function and follow that by selecting the “Up Arrow”. Now, you just have to find the application that you want to get easier access to. Once you’ve found it, simply right-click on it and, from the list of options presented to you, select “Pin to Shelf”.

With that done, you’ll see that the app icon of the program will immediately appear at the bottom of your screen!

Now, for any given reason, you may discover that you don’t like the order that the app icons on your Shelf appear. If that’s the case, there are a couple of things that you can do about this, namely highlighting the icon you want and dragging it to your most preferred location.

Removing App Icons from Your Chromebook Shelf

You can also undo this process without worry as well. You just need to select any app that you don’t want on your Shelf again, right-click on it, and choose the “Unpin” option!

Pinning a Web Page to Your Chromebook Device Shelf

As you are probably aware, app icons aren’t the only thing that one would like to have easy access to in a pinch. Another resource that most PC users wouldn’t mind having within easy reach is their preferred webpage.

Thankfully, you can pin this to your Shelf as well!

How to Pin a Webpage to Your Chromebook Device Shelf

The first thing that you have to do down this road is launch your Chrome app. When it’s open, access the webpage that you want to save on your shelf through it. Once there, click on the “More” option and follow that by selecting “More Tools”. You’ll see the “Create Shortcut” option which you’re to click on.

Finally, you can just right-click on the shortcut icon created and select “Pin to Shelf” to have it sent to your Shelf.

Maintaining a Clutter-Free Chromebook Desktop

If you find a desktop filled with too many files and icons too much to handle, you’re not alone here. Sure, it’s good to have easier access to certain things. However, this can quickly become a problem if all of these options are in your face all the time.

One way that you can get around this particular problem is to simply hide your Chromebook Shelf. You can do this with ease by right-clicking on the Shelf itself. This will give you a number of options from which you are to choose “Autohide Shelf”.

With that done, the Shelf will fall out of view immediately. You can then guide your pointer to the side of your screen whenever you want to view your apps.

Customizing Your Chromebook Shelf

If you haven’t realized it just yet, it should be clear to you by now that your Chromebook Shelf is central to a lot of things when it comes to managing and easily accessing your app icons. Further down that road, Chromebook device users are also given the option of changing the position of the Shelf itself. The aim of this is to make it even more convenient for you to access whatever you have on the Shelf.

To adjust the position of your Shelf, you just need to right-click on the Shelf itself and select the “Shelf Position” option. After that, you only have to choose whether you want your Shelf to be at the bottom, right or left of your screen. 

Once you select where you want it to go, the Shelf will automatically appear there and you’re done!


Why bother putting yourself through the hassle of accessing folder after folder just so you can launch a program when you can more easily learn how to put app icons on Chromebook desktop? With the tips and guides that we’ve made available, you’ll have a breeze setting up this functionality for yourself!

See more about Chromebook in 2023 here!

Article by:
Erwin Valles

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