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How to enable and disable notifications in the Chrome browser

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.

Image of Google Chrome Settings
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Site Settings, then scroll down to Notifications in the pop-up window that appears.

Image of Google Chrome Notifications Menu
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

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.

Google Chrome Block or Add Websites

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.

Image of Google Chrome Add A Site
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Enter an asterisk (*) before the domain name. It should look like this: * 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.

Image of Google Chrome Lock
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

How to turn specific notifications off and on

chrome application shortcut
Michael Crider/Digital Trends
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.

If you’ve already given sites permission to push notifications, this won’t help much. Most people don’t realize that you can adjust the Android and ChromeOS properties to turn off these pre-existing permissions. Fortunately, it’s easy if you know where to look.

You can use this method using Chrome on any Android device. Just look for the lock icon beside the address bar on any website. Click on it to access a drop-down menu, which you can use to set existing notifications to Allow or Block. Simply block that site to stop notifications.

Chromebook devices make all alerts and notifications visible on the bottom right-hand corner of their screens, facilitating the ease with which you can choose the notifications you want to silence versus the ones you activate. Click the Settings icon by those numbers, which looks like a gear. The Settings icon brings up a list of apps, extensions, and websites using notification alerts. Here you can easily deselect any notification that you don’t want to see going forward.

You can also manipulate your notifications on Windows and Mac OS devices, but it will take a few more simple steps to do so. After you open your Chrome browser, find the three dots at the right of the address bar. Click the dots and select Settings. This opens a new tab where you can change your notification settings under Privacy and Security. Be sure to go to Site Settings if you want to change any site permissions. 

To find out which sites have automatic notifications, you can navigate to Site Settings. You will then see a list of sites with notifications along with the option to Allow or Block the notifications from each site. or control over a specific site, enter the hostname pattern in the waiting bar, and change the Behavior to Block. When finished, click Done.

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