Google Bars: What Are They and How to Use Them?

Google bars are the horizontal menus that appear on the top of various Google pages, such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, and Google Photos. They allow users to access different Google apps, services, and features with ease and convenience. They also enable users to customize their settings, manage their accounts, and receive notifications.

There are two main types of Google bars: the Google bar and the app launcher. In this article, we will explain what they are, how they differ, and how to use them.

The Google Bar

The Google bar is the black menu that appears on the top left corner of most Google pages. It contains the following elements:

  • The Google logo: This is the colorful lettering that represents the Google brand. Clicking on it will take you to the Google homepage or the Google app that you are currently using.
  • The search box: This is the white box that allows you to search within the Google app that you are using or across all Google apps. For example, if you are using Gmail, you can use this box to search for a specific email. If you want to search for something else, you can click on the down arrow next to the box and choose a different app to search in.
  • The voice search icon: This is the microphone icon that allows you to search by voice instead of typing. Clicking on it will activate your microphone and prompt you to speak your query. You can also say “Ok Google” to start a voice search if you have enabled this feature in your settings.
  • The notifications icon: This is the bell icon that shows you the number of notifications that you have from various Google apps and services. Clicking on it will open a drop-down menu that displays your notifications in chronological order. You can also clear all your notifications by clicking on the “Clear all” button at the bottom of the menu.
  • The account icon: This is the circle icon that shows your profile picture or your initial if you don’t have one. Clicking on it will open a drop-down menu that lets you sign out of your account, switch accounts, or manage your account settings. You can also see your name, email address, and storage space below the icon.

The App Launcher

The app launcher is the grid icon that appears on the top right corner of most Google pages. It contains a list of Google apps that you can use or access. Clicking on it will open a pop-up menu that shows your favorite apps at the top and more apps at the bottom. You can also see a “More” button at the bottom right corner of the menu that will take you to a page with even more apps.

You can customize the app launcher by dragging and dropping the apps within the menu or by adding new apps that are not in the list. To add new apps, you need to follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your Google account.
  • Open the app that you want to add.
  • Click on the app launcher icon.
  • Below the app name, click on “Add a shortcut”.
  • If you don’t see this option, it means that you cannot add this app to the app launcher right now.


Google bars are useful tools that help users navigate and use different Google apps and services. They consist of two main types: the Google bar and the app launcher. The Google bar allows users to search, access notifications, and manage their accounts. The app launcher allows users to access and customize their favorite apps. By using these tools, users can enhance their productivity and experience with Google.

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