Google Desktop annoyances

I installed the new version (2.0, yet still beta) of Google Desktop yesterday, but I’m not feeling the love yet.

In its standard mode, it runs as a sidebar on your desktop. The sidebar contains a fleet of customizable widgets, such as a little photo slideshow, news headlines, weather (if you’re in the US), and email. I tried this for a few hours, but now that I’ve got this widescreen monitor, I kinda like having all of that space for me to use. The Google sidebar feels like too much of a bit out of my working space for not enough benefit. Maybe I’ll find space for it once more widgets are available.

The second thing, which was by far the more annoying one until I found out how to fix it, is what happens when you do a search query. If you’re running Firefox, the default behaviour is for the search results to loads up in most recent tab. You know, the one you were actually working in at the time? BIG nuisance.

Here’s how to solve that:

  1. In the Firefox Tools menu, select “Options…” to bring up the options dialog.
  2. Click on the “Advanced” tool button.
  3. Look at the options group for “Tabbed Browsing”. This allows you to change what happens when other applications (like your mail reader) try to open a hyperlink. Change it to “a new window”, and off you go.

Now it’s actually usable. I still haven’t fallen in love with it, though.

5 Replies to “Google Desktop annoyances”

  1. Or you could just not use it.

    I have an aversion to unnecessary movement on my desktop (as do most people – it triggers our “predator in the trees” instinct). The slideshow makes me twitchy after awhile.

  2. > In its standard mode, it runs as a sidebar on your desktop.

    Similarly to James a few days ago, error on line 2. When does your mac mini arrive? You’ll like Dashboard and Spotlight…

  3. It’s odd, I installed Google Desktop and it did two things. I chose for it to put an icon on my start bar which I can click on to start a search and control the behaviour and it added some bits to the way explorer works, mainly that when I do a search on google it flags up local matches.

    The point about Google Desktop for me is it’s completely unintrusive until you want to do a search of a) previous search results b) something on your machine (like e-mail) and then it just does it.

    Perhaps you have a more recent version than me.


  4. I’m annoyed about the way Google Desktop has sort of hijacked my home page. When my computer starts up, my browser automatically starts up and the home page loads the Google Desktop Search page. I checked my home page settings and it is set to the mit home page, as it should be, but this auto-loading of the Google page drives me crazy — not to mention the fact that I don’t want my browser to automatically start up at all anyway! Is there a solution for this? I’ve been all over the Google info and can’t find any info on how to disable this.

  5. Patti, I gave up on Google desktop so I’m not intimately familiar with its settings any more. If it changed your browser home page, though, the usual way to sort that is to go into the settings for your browser (not Google desktop), and set it back.

    Right now, I’m getting all the desktop widget love I need from Yahoo! Widgets. They’re lovely.

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