How to manage web notifications in any browser
Reclaim your focus.
Notifications from apps and operating systems aren’t all you have to deal with these days. Websites are also keen to keep you informed and up to date with their news, adding to the deluge of pop-ups constantly hitting your devices.
Moderation is key to making sure these alerts are useful instead of distracting. Choose which sites are allowed to ping you by digging into the settings available in your device (they’re usually on the list of general settings), but if that doesn’t cut it, you’ll want to tweak things in your browser of choice.
Keep in mind iOS devices don’t allow notifications from websites, so if you’re carrying a iPhone in your pocket, you won’t even have to worry about this.
Any site that wants to send you alerts will prompt you to deny or accept the request right away. But if you change your mind later, you can tweak this settings by clicking the View site information button to the left of the address bar—on the desktop version of Chrome, it’ll be either a padlock or an information icon. Choose Site settings and then Notifications to allow or prevent the website you’re on from sending you alerts.
Another way to get to these settings is to click the three dots in the top right corner of the Chrome interface, then Settings, Site settings, and Notifications. Here you’ll see a list of all the sites where you’ve already blocked or allowed notifications, and you can make changes as needed.
The same methods work in Chrome for Android, too. Tap the padlock or information icon in the address bar, then go to Permissions to set the notification rules for the current site. You can also tap the three dots on the top right, and go to Settings, Site settings, and Notifications to see a list of all the sites you’ve configured so far.
When you open up a site that wants to send you notifications in Firefox, you’ll see a little speech bubble icon appear in the address bar. You can easily ignore this and get on with your browsing, but if you click on it you’ll be able to block or allow notifications from that site.
To review all your notification settings, open up the Firefox menu via the three horizontal lines in the top right corner, then choose Preferences, Privacy & Security, and *Settings next to *Notifications. You can change these permissions, and even stop the speech bubble from appearing altogether by checking the Block new requests asking to allow notifications box.
In Firefox for Android, you’ll see a prompt to allow or block notifications from individual sites. You can also manage alerts for the site you’re on by tapping the three dots in the corner of the Firefox interface, and then going to Settings, Site permissions, and Notifications.
Websites that want to send you notifications in Safari will ask for permission to do so when you open them up, or shortly after. If you want to stop these permission prompts from popping up at all, go to Safari, Preferences, and Websites. There, uncheck the box labeled Allow websites to ask for permission to send notifications.
You can use the same dialog box to change your mind about a website that you’ve blocked or allowed permissions from in the past. Just click the small drop-down box next to the website in question and choose Allow or Deny from the list.
When a site wants to send you notifications in Microsoft Edge, you’ll first see a small pop-up box that lets you choose whether to allow or block them. You can also change this site-specific setting at any point by clicking the padlock or info icon on the far left of the address bar, and then choosing Site permissions and Notifications.
To look at a list of all the sites you’ve allowed or denied notification privileges, click the three dots up in the top right corner of the Edge interface, then Settings, Cookies and Site Permissions, and Notifications. You can manually add sites to the blocked or allowed list, and edit the settings for sites that are already there.
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In Edge for Android, you can tap the padlock or info icon on the left of the address bar, then choose Site settings to modify the permissions of a site, including notifications. You can also tap the three dots at the foot of the interface, and going to Settings, Site permissions, and Notifications to see a list of permissions for all sites.
Those who surf the web using Opera will get a pop-up dialog whenever a site wants to send you a notification for the first time—this lets you choose whether to allow or block alerts from the site. To change this setting later for an individual site, click the padlock or info icon to the left of the address bar, and go to Site settings and Notifications.
To see the settings for every site you’ve visited, click the three-slider icon in the top right corner of the Opera interface, and choose Go to full browser settings, Site settings, and Notifications. You can adjust the configuration for sites already listed, and add new entries with the Add button.
When it comes to Opera for Android, again you can tap the padlock or info icon in the address bar, and go to Site settings, to control notification permissions. To see the settings for all sites, tap the Opera icon in the lower right corner of the interface, and go to Settings, Site settings, and Notifications.