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Guide: How to Install/Uninstall PWAs in Chrome Browser
I think Progressive Web Apps (PWA) is an absolute blast to work with. They load things quickly, feel incredibly responsive, and remain functional even if the network connectivity isn’t the best – some PWAs work completely offline too. But the best part is that I can ‘install’ them on my PC and Mac with Google Chrome.
Despite running on a Chrome wrapper, PWAs give the impression that they work just like any other application. They feature their desktop icons, do away with the Chrome address bar and tabs, making for a fully immersive experience.
Chrome offers multiple ways to install and remove PWAs on Windows and macOS. Let me walk you through the best ways to do that.back to menu ↑
Install Progressive Web Apps
The actual process of installing progressive web app in Google Chrome isn’t complicated at all. However, not all sites have progressive web apps. So you must first load a site to determine if it has features PWA functionality. Otherwise, the first two methods below will not work.
But if your favorite site isn’t a progressive web app, don’t worry. With Chrome, you can basically convert any site to a PWA using the Create Shortcut feature. While you cannot expect the advanced features that you normally receive from true progressive web apps, they work the same way. The third method in this list will help you with that.back to menu ↑
1. ‘Install’ option on address bar
The easiest way to install a progressive web app in Chrome is to use the install icon in the address bar. If the site supports PWA functionality, wait for the page to fully load and then click the ‘+’ shaped icon on the right side of the URL bar.
Install in the app confirmation window that appears up then click Install. That should prompt Chrome to install the site as a progressive web app. You will find it immediately on the desktop.
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2. ‘Install’ option in the Chrome menu
Another easy method to install progressive web apps is to use the Chrome menu. With the site loaded, open the Chrome menu and then click install ‘site name’.
Again, you will be greeted with a confirmation box. Click Install to install the site on your computer.
This method is especially useful if you do not see the installation icon in the URL in the first method. That’s why it’s always worth checking the Chrome menu again to determine if the site supports PWA functionality.back to menu ↑
3. Install using the Create Shortcut option
Chrome also offers the option to forcibly install any website as a progressive web app. You can achieve that by using the Create Shortcut feature present in the Chrome menu. You can also use this method to install real PWAs, but the two methods above are much more convenient in that regard.
Start by opening the Chrome menu. Point to More Tools and click Create Shortcut.
Select the check box next to Open as window and click Create to add a shortcut to the website.
N.remark: If you don’t check the box next to Open as window, the shortcut you create will not open in a special Chrome window.back to menu ↑
Remove Progressive Web Apps
Although PWAs are ‘installed’ on your PC or Mac, they are not fully integrated into the operating system. So you cannot remove them like regular Windows or macOS applications, although this may be a possibility at a later date.
Just removing the icons from the desktop isn’t enough either, as Chrome still assumes you have them installed. Instead, here are the two correct ways you can follow to remove PWAs from your PC or Mac.back to menu ↑
1. ‘Delete’ option in the PWA menu
Open the PWA app you want to remove, then click the three dots icon in the top right corner of the screen. On the menu that appears up, click delete ‘app name’.
Then you will come across a confirmation prompt. Check the box next to Also clear data from Chrome if you want to delete browsing data and cookies related to the PWA app. This is ideal for troubleshooting and can help resolve issues caused by an outdated browser cache.
Otherwise, leave the box unchecked. Click Delete to delete the PWA.
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2. Uninstall with Apps Launcher
Google Chrome’s Apps Launcher also provides you with the means to remove PWAs. If you’ve already removed the desktop icon for the PWA, this provides the perfect way to completely uninstall the app.
Type chrome: // apps in the address bar and press Enter to up the Apps Launcher.
Right-click the PWA in the list of apps, then click Remove from Chrome.
Click Delete to confirm. After that, check the box next to Also clear data from Chrome if you want to delete the browser cache of the PWA.
Tip The Apps Launcher also offers the option to add deleted PWA icons back to the desktop. Right-click on the app and then click Create Shortcuts to do that.back to menu ↑
Love them or hate them
Progressive web apps are changing the game. I love that I can focus on a task without being distracted by dozens of Chrome tabs. But PWAs are few and far between, so don’t forget to “ force ” Chrome to create apps for sites that don’t yet support the functionality. But of course, not all progressive web apps are the best, so make sure to get rid of the ones that don’t offer anything special.
The next up Are you running into annoying web page elements all the time? Here are five great Chrome extensions for blocking them.back to menu ↑
How to Install/Uninstall PWAs in Chrome Browser: benefits
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