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How to Get Google Now Notifications on Your Desktop or Laptop Computer

Daniel Bean
·Assistant Editor

For some time, Google has been testing desktop notifications for Google Now, the formerly mobile-only feature that tells you what you need to know just before you need it—like traffic alerts before appointments. The desktop feature is coming out of testing and rolling out to everybody in the “next few weeks.” Here’s how to get set up now: 

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The new notifications, much like the ones you get on your Android phone, will provide real-time weather, sports scores, and directions to and from common places, all based upon search habits and settings in the mobile Google Search app (Android and iOS).

Google Now alerts on your desktop can be viewed by clicking the Chrome Notifications Center button. This is the bell icon in the upper-right corner of the screen for Mac, or the lower-right corner of the screen on Windows. The Notifications Center for Chrome OS displays as a number in the bottom-right portion of the screen, next to your status information and profile picture.

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Chrome on Mac

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Chrome OS

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Chrome on Windows

Just click the Notifications Center icon to see your latest Google Now information. It’s as simple as that, and there’s not really much more you can do from the desktop side of this service right now, anyhow.

(New to Google Now? You can read more here on how to get it up and running on your Android device.)

For those who want this Google Now desktop feature today but would rather not bother with Chrome beta (another way to fast-track yourself onto the testing program), switching a setting in the developer/experimental menu of your browser will push it to you immediately.

Type “chrome://flags” into your navigation bar, and then press Enter. Scroll down until you find the Enable Google Now notifications support option, and change it to Enabled. Then go to the bottom of the page and click Relaunch Now for the change to take effect.

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You’ll know you have Google Now when you see a bell icon in your taskbar (on a Mac) and there’s a note under it telling you so:

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Have questions, comments, or just want to tell me something funny? Email me at danbean@yahoo-inc.com.