Google Now is finally working on Chrome for the desktop, showing notifications based on location, time and other variables, just like on mobiles. It even works when Chrome isn’t running, but you’ll need the experimental Canary channel to use it.

google now desktop

It’s been a long time coming but Google Now is finally making its way to Chrome on the desktop. This morning, I set a reminder in Google Now on my iPhone and a few minutes later Chrome prodded me with a notification. Don’t get super excited though: To make this happen, I had to install the Canary version of Chrome, which is a very experimental channel of Chrome.

google now desktop

I hit up Canary to test Google Now out because I saw a Google+ post from Mike McLoughlin early on Thursday morning pointing out the new feature. A quick trip to the Google Chrome Canary site and one install later, I had Google Now on my desktop.

There was one small step to enable the function. In my Chrome Canary address bar, I had to type chrome://flags/#enable-google-now because the feature is off by default. I tested it on a Mac but it should also work with Windows machines.

Google is clearly prepping — or has prepped — for Google Now on Chrome because it already has a support page explaining how to use the feature. There it says that some Google Now cards you can see on your mobile device will be shown on the desktop and that these will appear even if Chrome isn’t running. You can turn that feature off, however.

Again, we knew this was coming but I’m happy it’s here; at least in the very experimental Chrome Canary channel. The contextual notifications based on time, location, weather and my calendar appointments make Google Now a useful tool. Adding in Google Now is just another piece of the puzzle for Google’s Chrome strategy, which is to boost engagement for its own products and services; even on devices that don’t run Chrome OS.

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  1. Thanks for sharing…I installed canary this morning after seeing that post on G+ but didn’t know to type in the address bar.


  2. I clicked the three stacked lines icon next to the gear and now my google now cards are gone. How do I get them back or do they just come back after so much time?

    1. Jon, that icon dismisses them and I don’t currently see a way to bring them back

    2. i have the same problem. I searched through all settings and nothing :(

    3. The icon that dismisses notifications will also indiscriminately dismiss Google Now cards. And no, unfortunately you’ve got to either start travelling with your Android or iOS (with Google Search app installed) phone in your car (or in my case pocket) or just wait until the morning for the cards to come back.

    4. … Or just set a reminder on your phone, and it’ll show up on your desktop as a Google Now card.

  3. Yeah, same here, I was looking everywhere to enable it, but this post helped. Thanks.

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