Google Desktop Is Gone

Google Desktop was discontinued in 2011

Google search bar

Google discontinued Google Desktop in late 2011. The review is archived as it is no longer relevant. 

One of the most irritating things about Windows is the extremely slow and inefficient search function. Imagine being able to run a Google search for items on your computer and getting results in a fraction of a second. With Google Desktop, you can do just that.

The Setup

Google Desktop must catalog your hard drive before it can search it. It can do so during idle time, or you could elect to get it over with quickly and have it search while the computer is still active doing other things. You probably won't notice an appreciable difference in processing speed either way.


After Google Desktop has cataloged your hard drive, searching for files and folders is easy. Google Desktop looks like the Google web browser, and like the web browser, typing in a keyword search yields instant results that are ranked by relevance.

Google Desktop searches for more than just file names. Google Desktop can find email messages, documents, video files, and more. Google Desktop searches through the contents of the file to find relevant keywords. It also scans metadata so that it could find all songs from the same artist, for example. You could find related files you forgot you had this way.


The downside of Google Desktop is that it also installs Google Gadgets. If you like extra gadgets or gizmos on your desktop, you may enjoy them.

Gadgets are similar in concept to Yahoo Widgets. They’re mini-applications that do a single thing like checking the weather or displaying unread Gmail messages as flowers in a flower pot. You can customize the gadgets you’d like to use, including the same gadgets you use on Google personalized homepage.


Gadgets usually rest in the Sidebar, which is displayed on the right side of your computer desktop. By default, it floats over other applications. If you have a small monitor or use applications that require a lot of screen real estate, such as video editing suites, you’ll want to toggle off the Sidebar float option.

If you find a Google gadget that is particularly useful, you can drag it away from the Sidebar and position it wherever you choose on the desktop.


The Deskbar is a search box that rests in the Taskbar. You can also use a floating Deskbar if you’d prefer.


Google Desktop searching is amazing. It brings missing functionality to Windows. The Google gadgets, however, are not as useful. They would be better left inside the Google personalized homepage.