Growl, Windows System, Network Notifications

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 19, 2011
Software, Windows, Windows software

Growl for Windows is a system and network notification software. Put simply, it informs the user when things happen on the operating system. This can be new email in the Thunderbird email client, a new post on your favorite website or when cpu or computer memory resource usage peaks.

The notifications are powered by apps that are either plugins for existing programs or standalone applications running on the system. You can for instance install a Firefox add-on to receive notifications when Firefox finishes downloading files or quits, a Gmail app that notifies you about new emails in Gmail or a plugin for Microsoft Outlook to receive email notifications.

growl windows notifications

The first thing that you need to do is to download the latest version of Growl for Windows and run the installer. You then need to revisit the Growl homepage and select the apps that you want to use. You need to pay attention to the installation process of each app, as there can be significant differences. Most of the time though you will be either installing a standalone application or software plugin.

Growl should take automatic note of each new program that sends data to the program. These applications then are listed in the Applications tab of the program. Most apps come with configuration options. This includes the duration and style of the notification as well as optional things like sound alerts.

One interesting feature of Growl for Windows is the ability to forward notifications to other computers. You could theoretically setup Growl on multiple computers to forward notifications to the computer you are working on. Computers in a network can be added either by their IP address or by installing the Bonjour service which takes care of that automatically.

Growl is an interesting tool for users who want to receive notifications for specific events on their computer. Network support makes the program interesting for users who work with multiple systems on one computer network.


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  1. Midnight said on September 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    Looks very interesting. I’ll check this one out very carefully.
    As always., great post, Martin! :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      I think it can be a great program for users who want more system notifications for a single computer or multiple computers on a network.

      1. Colby said on September 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm

        I’ve been using Growl for a while. Best feature, in my opinion, is the ability to forward notifications to other devices. I know you mentioned that, but the way it’s stated makes it sound like it only forwards to devices on the same network…

        I have Handbrake set to alert me when it’s done ripping DVDs. It generates a Growl alert, which is then forwarded to my Android phone, regardless of my location, using Notify my Android.

        It’s also great because it’s highly-configurable. You can set some alerts to disappear on their own, and you can make others “sticky” so that they have to be manually acknowledged before they disappear. These alerts can range from e-mail/Google voice alerts to Windows system alerts. It’s really pretty great!

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on September 19, 2011 at 10:02 pm

        Colby thanks for posting the clarification.

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