Do you have notifications appearing on your computer screen from random sites, Google Now, or various apps? Do they feel invasive and unwanted — or do you want to make greater use of them? Either way, we have the guide you need.
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How to deal with Chrome’s pushy notifications
What are these Chrome notifications? You’ll know if you get them because they will pop up in the corner of your computer screen, often accompanied by an alert noise. That can grow annoying fast, which is why many users want a way to get rid of them or at least control what issues the notifications, which can be random. Google is planning to alter some notification options, but for now, it’s uncertain when and how many.
Here’s how the birth of a notification currently happens. You open something new — a webpage, an extension, or a fun-looking website button that you decide to click. If the thing you open is compatible with Chrome notifications, it can push various updates to a corner of your screen at any time. That new thing will typically ask permission before turning part of your computer into its personal social media page. Still, you may not notice this little permission window, or you may say OK without even realizing it.
Google notifications also work with several Google services, including particular Gmail features, Google Now, and other tools that you may use. The result is the same, with little windows appearing intermittently. Here’s how to make those notifications stop or turn them on only for particular features that you want updates for.
Shutting down or turning on all website notifications
Notification controls vary based on what system you’re using. If you have a Windows-based machine or a Mac, then start by opening Chrome and clicking the Chrome Menu icon, which is located in the upper-right corner and looks like three vertical dots.
Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Site Settings, then scroll down to Notifications in the pop-up window that appears.
From there, you can toggle the Sites Can Ask to Send Notifications switch that turns website notification prompts on or off.
If you are on a Chromebook, you don’t need to worry about opening the browser. Instead, go to the status area in Chrome OS, where your account icon is. Afterward, click the notification next to the clock — it can look like an app or extension resembling a bell in the bottom-right corner next to the clock. Any notifications you have waiting will pop up, and if not, you will see a message reading, “No Notifications.”
Select the Settings icon resembling a gear from the pop-up window, locate the app or notification in the list and deselect the box next to it. If updates are required for an extension or app, the entry will remain, but the box will be unchecked. User permission is required for the first time the new version of the program loads.
How to manage settings for individual website notifications
Any notifications already allowed can also be managed. Changing the settings is easy, and every website with notifications will be listed. Select the Three Dots in a website’s entry to change the options for any listed site. Choose Block or Allow.
You can also click the X on an entry to delete a site and return to the default global settings. Exceptions for websites can also be added to either the Allow list or Block list. However, doing so will override any global settings you have in place. Select the Add button on the right side of the page, and use the text box to enter the web address.
Enter an asterisk (*) before the domain name. It should look like this: *.digitaltrends.com. However, doing so will affect your access to the website. It should be noted that you can also use an IP address or an IPv6 address instead of a hostname. Instead of the default settings, each visit to a particular website will defer your Block and Allow list entries for notifications.
How to change settings for a specific site
When you allow or block permissions for specific sites, these settings will be applied instead of the default settings — you can also remove data for a site if you want a fresh start. When you open Chrome and go to a website, click the icon you see to the left of the web address bar — either Lock, Info, or Dangerous. Select Site Settings to edit a website’s permission settings, and any changes will be automatically saved.
How to turn specific notifications off and on
Not all notifications are bad. There’s a good chance that you may want a few for your favorite websites and services. You will note that there was an option to decide whether Sites Can Ask to Send Notifications in the choices we listed above. When this is activated, a site must always ask permission, and you can say “no” to the sites you don’t want to hear from.
This doesn’t help if there are already activated sites pushing notifications on you. In this case, there are some handy solutions for Google’s own properties — Android and Chrome OS. If you have an Android device, visit any website, and you will see a lock icon beside the address bar. Open that, and you will see a drop-down menu for Notifications with options to Allow or Block. Simply block that site to stop notifications.
On Chromebook, the process is even more straightforward. When notifications queue up, you will see a number of icons on the lower-right corner of your screen. Click the Settings icon by those numbers, which looks like a gear. This will bring up a list of all apps, extensions, and websites currently pushing notifications. Uncheck any that you don’t want to see.
Use Windows or a Mac? You can still control specific notifications, but it’s harder. Remember when you were in the Notifications menu in Chrome? Head back there, and click the button that says Manage Exceptions. This brings up a funny looking window that lists all the notification exceptions that will still send you updates. You can Allow or Block these right away. For control over a specific site, enter the hostname pattern in the waiting bar, and change the Behavior to Block. When finished, click Done.