This post is a guide on how to create shortcut icons to the Apple macOS dock for some of Google’s websites such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive and more.

How to create Google Apps icons for your Apple macOS Dock

1. Start the Automator application.

Open Apple Automator app

2. Select “New Document.”

Click "New Document" from the options - GApps for Mac Dock

3. Drag Actions to Build Workflow.

  1. Select “Internet” from the Actions Library (see left sidebar).
  2. Drag “Get Specified URLs” action to canvas.
  3. Drag “Display Webpages” action to canvas.
  • Make sure these action panels are in this exact order otherwise the app will not work.


Drag Actions to Workflow -GApps for Mac Dock

4. Change the URL in the “Get Specified URLs” action panel.

  • Double-click the URL to change it.
  • Press Return/Enter when finished.

Change URL -GApps for Mac Dock

5. Save New App.

  • Go to File > Save.
    • Automator may recommend saving the app in your Apple iCloud Drive. For this example, that is where it will be saved.

Save New App -GApps for Mac Dock

6. Change New App Icon Image

By default, Automator gives new apps the Automator icon.

To change the icon to a different image:

  • Right-click your new app file and select “Get Info.”

Change app icon with Get Info -GApps for Mac Dock

  • Drag and drop the image you would like to use for an icon onto the Automator icon presently representing your app in the Info panel.
  • Icon Image Recommendations

    • Resolution: 500px X 500px minimum.  (square shaped works best)
    • File Type: PNG with optional transparency.
      JPG/JPEG does not allow for transparent backgrounds.

drag image to change app icon

7. Add New App to Mac Applications Folder

  • Drag your new app to the Applications folder in the sidebar of the Finder window.
  • Select “Move” if prompted to move the application.
    • If you would like to keep a copy of your app in your iCloud Drive, simply copy the app file and paste it back into your iCloud Drive using Cmd+C (copy) and Cmd+V (paste).

move new app to applications folder - drag and drop google app to dock - GApps for Mac Dock

8. Add New App to the Mac Dock.

Click on Applications in the sidebar.

  • Scroll down to where you can see your new app.
  • Drag the app down to your dock and release it once you have placed it where you want.
  • Repeat for all apps you desire to have on your dock.

drag and drop google app to dock - GApps for Mac Dock

7. Try Out the New Icon!

Clicking each icon will launch your default web browser and open a tab taking you to the website that it is named for.

NOTE: If you’re getting a security notice the first time you click one of these apps, see below on how to enable the apps through the security settings.

BONUS TIPS

1. Remove Apps on Your Dock You Don’t Want.

If you have apps on your dock you no longer want, just click and drag the icon up until the icon fades and you see the Remove bubble.

PLEASE NOTE: This just removes the application from the dock – it does NOT delete it permanently from your computer.

GApps for Mac Dock - Step 5 - Remove any apps you do not want

2. Are you getting a pop-up that says the app can’t be opened?

Follow the directions below to enable the apps in the macOS Security & Privacy settings.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Love this, works, well almost. For some reason I cannot get a .png file to load and act as the icon logo. Any insight?

    • Make sure the PNG has 500px x 500px (at minimum) resolution. Does it have square resolution… meaning the width and height are same? Did you create the PNG file or did you download it from somewhere?

        • Mary – Try using an image editor like Photoshop or GIMP (free!) to re-save the image to your computer as a PNG. Maybe the PNG formatting of the file in its current state is not compatible with your Mac to use it as an icon. If that doesn’t work, try scaling the image down to 1000×1000. Hopefully one or both will work.

  2. Great article, even if it needs to be updated to the latest version of Automator. The only problem with doing this is not the author’s fault…there will be no black dot below the dock icon to show the app is running, like with normal applications. But given the great utility of this app, especially that it will install anywhere on the dock (not just the right side like a website) it’s a small price to pay. Thanks for creating this!

    • This post was created using the latest version of Automator. I am running macOS High Sierra which was released June 5, 2017. It’s true that the icons that you create using Automator on the dock will not display a black dot like an application. This post is a how-to on how to create shortcuts to websites which will utilize the user’s default web browser.

    • We were asked to take the download off the website. I updated the directions so you can create your own app icons for Google or whatever website you choose. Apple has an application called Automator already on your computer that you can use to create your own apps and automate tasks. It’s easy to use and our directions can guide you how to do it.

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