It often happens that you need to visit a website frequently, such as when working on a school project. In such a situation, a better alternative would be to install the site as a desktop app on your PC. With Windows, you can do just that, using the Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome browser.

These browsers can install the website as a Progressive Web App (PWA), allowing you to access it more quickly and easily, just like a regular app. What's more, compared to websites, these apps do not have much clutter, resulting in a better experience. So, let's take a look at how you can install websites as apps on your Windows PC.

Using Microsoft Edge to Install Website as an App

The easiest way to install a website as an app on Windows 11 is through the Edge browser.

  1. Launch the Edge browser and go to the website you want to install as an app, such as Wikipedia.
  2. Click on the three dots appearing in the upper right corner of the browser to access various browser options.
  1. In the menu that drops down, go to the 'Apps' section, and you will find the 'Install This Site As An App' option in the sub-menu.
  1. Clicking on the option will show you a pop-up asking you whether you want to install the app. Here you can change the name of the app if you want before installing it.
  1. Click on the 'Install' button to start installing it. Once it is installed, you will get a notification regarding the same.
  1. You can choose to pin the app to the Start menu and Taskbar for quick access, create a desktop shortcut or even allow it to start automatically when you log in. After choosing your preferred options, click on the 'Allow' button.
  1. Now, depending on your choices, you can access the Wikipedia app using the desktop icon, Start menu, and taskbar.

Using Google Chrome to Install Website as an App

While Edge has its 'Install as an App' feature, Google Chrome has its own 'Create Shortcut' option that works similarly.

  1. Launch Google Chrome and visit the website you wish to use as a desktop app.
  2. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner to view the browser options.
  1. Go to 'Save and Share' and you will find several additional options.
  1. Click on the 'Create Shortcut' option, and a pop-up will appear, asking you to provide a name for the shortcut. Enter a name or go with the default one before clicking on the 'Create' button. If you want it to open as an app, also check the option for 'Open as window'.
  1. The website is now installed as an app, and you can access it using the Start menu, taskbar, or desktop icon.

Changing the App Icon

While both Edge and Chrome automatically assign an icon to the PWA app, you can always change it as per your needs.

  1. To change the app icon, right-click on it and go to the 'Properties' option.
  1. In the 'Properties' box, click on the 'Change Icon' button in the 'Shortcut' tab at the bottom.
  1. On the box that opens, click on the 'Browse' button to search for various icons.
  1. You can use a custom icon from your images library on the system, or choose one from the Windows library by navigating to this address 'C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll'.
  1. Click on an icon to select it, and then click on the 'OK' button.
  1. In the main 'Properties' window, click on the 'OK' button again, and you will see that the app now has the icon you selected.

Uninstalling Websites Installed As Apps

Websites that you install as apps on your system can also be easily removed when you no longer need them.

From the Settings App

  1. Open the Start menu and search for the website you installed as an app, which in this case can be ChatGPT or Wikipedia.
  1. Click on the 'Uninstall' button. Doing so will take you to the Settings app.
  1. Search for ChatGPT in the search box on the Settings page.
  1. When the app appears, click on the three dots that appear on the right side.
  1. You will find the 'Uninstall' option when you click on the three dots. Click on it to remove the app from your system.
  1. A notification will appear informing you that the app will be uninstalled. Click on the 'Uninstall' button to confirm.
  1. Finally, a pop-up will appear asking you whether you want to delete the app data from Chrome. Click on the 'Remove' button to complete the uninstallation.

From the Start Menu

An easier way of removing apps is through the Start menu.

  1. Simply search for the website installed as an app in the menu by typing its name, for example, you can search for Wikipedia if you have installed it.
  1. Right-click on the app when it appears, and you will find several options in the drop-down menu, including the 'Uninstall' option.
  1. Click on the 'Uninstall' option.
  1. This will show you a pop-up informing you that the app will be removed. Click on the 'Uninstall' button to finish.

Using websites as apps can help save a lot of time and effort. And with the methods we've shared here, you can do so without relying on any third-party software. You can simply use the Edge or Chrome browser to install websites as apps on your system.

Moreover, since these apps are extensions of webpages, any browser extensions you have installed will work with these apps, too. So, you can enjoy your favorite browser features without having to open the browser every time!