Google Reader Unread Icon for Windows Desktop

We love unread icons on our phones, but why not on our desktop? This small, standalone VBScript will create an icon on your desktop that displays your current unread count in Google Reader.

Also check out our Gmail Unread Icon.


  • Install ImageMagick (Windows DLL version) from This is used to create the icons dynamically. Make sure you check the box for VBScript objects when you install.
  • Extract the archive to the folder in which you would like to run the application. Note: Extracting the file to a protected directory, like Program Files, will not work. The application must be able to create the icon files, and it can not do that from a protected directory.
  • Edit the config.txt file as described below.
  • Run the VBS script

Configuration Options

  • UserName: Set to your Google username/email
  • PassWord: Set to your Google password
  • Daemon: Usually you will want this set to true. This will allow the script to run in the background and update regularly. If you set this to false, you will need to set up a Scheduled Task in Control Panel to execute the script
  • Delay: When in Daemon mode, the delay is how many seconds you would like between checks to Google
  • ChromeLaunch: The Google Chrome web browser has the ability to launch web pages as applications. If you have Google Chrome installed, and would like to take advantage of this functionality, set this to true.
  • ShortcutURL: If you want the shortcut to link somewhere non-standard, configure it here.


Please do not distribute the Google Reader Unread Icon outside of this site. Directing links here will ensure the latest version of the Google Reader Unread Icon is always in circulation.

Download the latest version:

Remember to check out the rest of the site!



  • Added ShortcutURL option


  • Initial Release
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