Add Google Keep notes to the Dock in OS X

Google Keep iconWhen you are working on your computer or simply browsing the web for fun, you will occasionally need to temporarily store information. One way of doing this is with the Notes app or Stickies, the Mac's sticky notes app, but Google Keep now runs on the desktop and it offers several advantages over the OS X built in apps.

Google Keep is a note-taking app that enables you to store a wide range of information such as plain text, web links, and images.

When you need to remember a telephone number, some text from a web page, a photo or other artwork, store them in Keep. One advantage is that it is independent of the operating system and computer. (This article contains afffiliate links)

Read the macOS Sierra version of this article.

Google Keep notes are available on the Mac, Windows, Linux, phones and tablets. No matter what you work on, you can access your notes and create new ones. Another advantage is that if you store an image in a note, you can turn it into text using an OCR function. That's handy for scanning documents.

Google syncs the notes with the cloud and stores them online. This means that they are available on any computer with internet access. You will never lose anything because it is stored online and every computer you use has access to the notes. Keep is available from within Google's Chrome web browser, but there is a way to add it as a desktop app and this makes it more useful to Mac users.

To get the app, you need to have Chrome installed and you should be signed in to your Google account. Go to and look in the For Your Desktop section under Collections. Here is a direct link to Google Keep.

This does not add itself to Chrome like an extension. Click Launch App and it initially opens a small window that is reminiscent of the app on a mobile device.

Google Keep

Click in the Add note box and start typing or press Command+V to paste in text stored on the clipboard. Enter the address of a website and it is automatically turned into a clickable hyperlink that opens a browser. Click the picture icon at the right side of the Add note box and you can select an image to store in a note. Alternatively, you can simply click and drag an image file from a Finder window to add it to a picture note.

There are two layouts and initially it opens in a narrow window that shows notes in a single vertical column. If you click and drag the left or right edge to resize the window, when it reaches a certain size it switches to two, three or four columns. The layout adapts to the window width.

Google Keep multicolumn display

If you didn’t use Google Keep before, because it was inconvenient accessing it through a browser, add it to the desktop. With the Google Keep window open you'll see that there is a Google Keep icon in the Dock. Right click the icon and select Keep in Dock.


This makes Google Keep a permanent icon in the Dock and you can open it directly without Chrome just by clicking it. It makes Keep much more useful and more like a traditional app running on the desktop. It is different to Apple's Notes app and you should try it, you might like it.





I read favorable comments and checked out Google Keep online using Safari, but was unsure of how to get a desktop version. Your simple how-to made it easy. Thank you.

Thank you for this.

Would this work with any other Google app? It would be cool to have a google play music shortcut like this.

This feature will only work with apps that are designed for the desktop ( so you could add Google Play Movies and TV, Pocket, Wunderlist and so on.

really thanks

"With the Google Keep window open you'll see that there is a Google Keep icon in the Dock." Well, no. With my Google Keep window open in Chrome (or Safari) there is a Chrome (or Safari) icon in the Dock, not a Google Keep icon. I'd love to know how you go a Google Keep icon to appear? Thanks.

Hello Daniel, i think i found a solution to this problem: 1. Go to your user folder where you have all the picture, movies, music, etc folders and make a folder called "Applications" 2. Go to your chrome browser and type "chrome://apps" 3. Right click on google keep and choose "create shortcut" and you will be asked to put it in the applications folder, you choose yes and the aplication shortcut will be created and just drag it to your dock. Hope this helps.

You've saved me quite a schlep. I've moved from windows to mac and its been a bit of a hassle getting all my tried and trusted apps across.

This was a great idea until it started crashing on my mac today....I've been using it for a week, and now every time I click the icon open, it gives me a crash report to send to Apple...weak!!

Hi, my MacBook Pro will not load/find my notes that are in my keep. It just opens up like i just started using it right now. But I installed the extension and did everything else already signed in on my account.

Can you see your Google Keep notes if you go to in a browser?

This was a huge help and I have Google Keep Icon in my doc now. doesn't sync with my google account? When I launch it it doesn't have anywhere to log in? I have my gmail open and when I open it from within Gmail my notes are there, but from the doc - nothing? Any suggestions please? Thank you

I can see this being a problem if you log out of your Google account. Why do this though? I never log out of Google and I'm permanently logged in, so it isn't a problem.

I'm running el capitan.

Hey Kris, this app looks good. Does it sync with google keep without having Gmail or Chrome open? Thanks

Yes it syncs and you don't need Chrome or Gmail open.

Very helpful - didn't know I could do this.

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