How to Disable Notifications in Google Chrome

Desktop notifications are one of the best features of modern browsers. They show previews of email, football scores or even instant messages, letting you to take a quick glance at updates without leaving the work you’re doing. But this can get a little overwhelming, particularly when it includes spam and advertisements. If too many sites have begun to send notifications, or if you need to shut out all the noise, you should disable Google Chrome notifications. Doing so is pretty simple:

  1. Open the Google Chrome Settings page. You can either type chrome://settings in the address bar and hit Enter or click the hamburger icon at the top right > Settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click Show advanced settings.
  3. Under Privacy, click Content settings….
  4. Scroll down to Notifications.
  5. Select Do not allow any site to show desktop notifications.
  6. If you want to allow some websites to show notifications, you can click Ask when a site wants to show desktop notifications. Now sites will show notifications only if you permit them to.
  7. Click Manage exceptions… to see the list of sites that you’ve granted permission for notifications. Click the X to the right of any of these URLs to stop the site from sending notifications.

This method gets rid of desktop notifications from websites. But an app or extension can still send notifications. To disable notifications from individual Chrome apps or extensions, follow these steps.

Windows 7 and 8

  1. Tap Windows key + D or go to the desktop.
  2. Left-click the bell shaped Chrome Notifications icon in the notifications bar in the bottom-right of the screen. If it isn’t there, then click the up arrow icon at the start of the notifications bar. Once you see the bell, left-click on it.
  3. Click the gear icon.
  4. Uncheck apps or extensions that you don’t want notifications from.

Mac

  1. In the system menu bar, click the bell icon.
  2. Click the gear icon.
  3. Uncheck apps or extensions that you don’t want notifications from.

If you want to disable all Chrome notifications, there is an easy way to do so. In case you’re working and just want a temporary break, then you can instead right click on the bell-shaped Chrome notifications icon, and click on Do not disturb. This turns off all notifications. You can also click on Do not disturb for one hour or Do not disturb for one day if you just want a short break from notifications.

This next method will permanently stop all notifications, including email and messages. If you need those, then do not do this. If you’re certain that you need to get rid of all Chrome notifications, then read on.

Windows 7 or 8

  1. Tap Windows key + D or go to the desktop.
  2. Click the up arrow icon at the start of the notifications bar in the bottom-right of the screen.
  3. Click Customise….
  4. Scroll down to Google Chrome.
  5. In the drop-down menu, select Hide icon and notifications.
  6. Click OK.

Mac

  1. Click Chrome from the top menu bar.
  2. Click Hide notifications Icon from the drop-down menu.

Once you’ve done this, Chrome will no longer be able to send any notification or alerts at all. Which annoying websites or extensions were spamming notifications on your computer? Let us know via the comments. For more tutorials, visit our How To section.

Google Chrome to hide notification spam starting February 2020

Chrome 80, scheduled for release in February 2020, will block notification popups by default.

Following in Mozilla’s footsteps, Google announced today plans to hide notification popup prompts inside Chrome starting next month, February 2020.

According to a blog post published today, Google plans to roll out a “quieter notification permission UI that reduces the interruptiveness of notification permission requests.”

The change is scheduled for Google Chrome 80, scheduled for release on February 4, next month.

FROM THE NOTIFICATIONS API TO NOTIFICATION SPAM

Google’s move comes to cut down on the number of notification popups users see when accessing a website. Nowadays, most websites tend to pester users to enable notifications, usually via a popup that drops down from the Chrome URL bar and hides a big part of a web page. Many times, this popup also blocks access to a website, preventing users from reading any content until they deal with the popup.

The feature has its use cases, and can be extremely useful, but only when used by legitimate organizations. Social networks and instant messaging clients use it to show alerts for trending topics, new posts, or new private messages. News sites, such as ZDNet, also use notifications to alert users when new articles are out.

However, not all sites that use this API do it in a professional manner. Many sites tend to re-prompt users at regular intervals with new notification popups, even if users initially ignored the first prompt.

Furthermore, over the past few years, cybercrime groups have also realized how to weaponize the Notifications API.

In recent years a new spam tactic has been growing in popularity. Cybercrime groups lure users on their malicious sites and show notification popups. If users accidentally click on the wrong button and subscrib to one of these shady sites, then, for many days to come, they’d be pestered with all sorts of nasty popups, pushing links to shady products or links malware-infected downloads. The tactic has become very popular because it allows scammers to send new waves of spam directly to a user’s device long after the user has left their site — where the notifications have been accidentally accepted.

MOZILLA WAS FIRST TO ACT

Notification popups were added to modern browsers in Chrome 22 (September 2012) and Firefox 22 (June 2013), with the addition of the Notifications API.

Over the subsequent years, browser makers realized this new API was being abused and they added controls that allowed users to block recurring notification popups on annoying websites. However, the feature was never turned off by default, since it was being used on many legitimate sites.

Back in November 2019, Mozilla became the first browser vendor to take a stance against notification spam.

The browser maker didn’t drop support for the Notifications API, but instead settled for a middle ground by announcing that notification prompts will continue to work, but they won’t be visible anymore. Starting with Firefox 72, released today, all notification popups are hidden under an icon in the URL bar, and they won’t show up prominently in the browser UI, nor would they block a user’s access to a website.

Firefox users who want to subscribe to a website and receive notifications have to take a proactive approach and click the URL bar icon, and then subscribe to the notification manually.

GOOGLE FOLLOWS SUIT

Mozilla’s change was warmly greeted by the browser’s users, who, at this point, had had about enough of the constant flow of notification popups that have been like a thorn in their back for the past 7-8 years. Chrome users made their voice heard as well, requesting that Google take a similar approach.

Today, Google announced a similar change. Starting with Chrome 80 next month, Google’s browser will also block most notification popups by default, and show an icon in the URL bar, similar to Firefox.

When Chrome 80 launches next month, a new option will be added in the Chrome settings section that allows users to enroll in the new “quieter notification UI.”

Users can enable this option as soon as Chrome 80 is released, or they can wait for Google to enable it by default as the feature rolls out to the wider Chrome userbase in the following weeks.

To enroll, users will have to toggle “Use quieter messaging” in Settings > Site Settings > Notifications.

According to Google, the new feature works by hiding notification requests for Chrome users who regularly dismiss notification prompts.

Furthermore, Chrome will also automatically block notification prompts on sites where users rarely accept notifications.

This approach is meant to automatically block notification prompts from sites that users believe are spam, while allowing legitimate sites to continue showing notifications to users — such as notifications request popup from sites like Twitter, Facebook, Slack, and others.

Chrome 80 Will Block Push Notification

Google’s Chrome version 80 will begin blocking website push notifications. While Chrome will allow users to opt-in to the push blocking, some sites will be automatically enrolled into the blocking feature. Publishers and developers are urged to read Google’s best practices to avoid having their push notifications blocked.

Automatic Push Notification Blocking

There are two situation in which Chrome will blog push notifications.

The first scenario is for users who consistently block push notification. Those users will not have to manually turn on push notification blocking. Blocking will be enabled by default.

The second situation is for websites that have low opt-in rates to their push-notifications.

Automatic enrollment in push notification blocking will increase as Google gathers data.

Penalties for Abusive Websites

Google warned that websites that abuse push notification to deliver ads or malware or who use them for “deceptive purposes.”

The penalty details will be announced in the future.

Quiet UI

Chrome will be introducing what it calls a Quiet UI. The purpose is to alert users that a push notification has been blocked and to give users the opportunity to unblock the notification.

This is an example of the quiet UI:

When Will Push Notification Blocking Arrive?

Push notification blocking will become effective with Chrome 80. Chrome 80 is scheduled https://www.chromestatus.com/features/schedule to be released on February 4, 2020.

Web developers who wish to experience the new feature can download Chrome Canary, a developer version of Chrome with the latest features on it. Chrome warns that Canary can be unstable. I have used Canary for testing purposes and haven’t experienced problems with it.

How to Prevent Push Notification Blocking

Chrome recommends that publishers test their sites using Chrome Canary to experience how Chrome will interact with their site when Chrome version 80 rolls out in less than a month.

Google has published best practices and a video about how to use push notification in a way that will be seen by users and not automatically blocked.

“First, we recommend that web developers test their site’s permission request flow with the quieter notification permission UI, by enabling it manually in chrome://settings/content/notifications.

At the time of writing, the feature is being rolled out gradually to Canary, Dev, and Beta channels, and can be force-enabled in chrome://flags/#quiet-notification-prompts in Chrome 80 and later.

Second, we recommend that developers follow best practices for requesting the notification permission from users. Websites that ask users to sign up for web notifications when they first arrive often have very low accept rates. Instead, we recommend that websites wait until users understand the context and see benefit in receiving notifications before prompting for the permission.”

Read:  Google’s Developer Page for push notification best practices

Read the official announcement:  Introducing Quieter Permission UI for Notifications

Watch a Video about improving permission acceptance rates: