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. You can choose which sites are allowed to ping you by digging into the notifications settings on your device (they’re usually on the list of general settings), but for real control you’ll want to adjust the options in your browser of choice.
Keep in mind that iOS devices don’t allow notifications from websites, so you won’t even have to worry about this if you’re carrying an iPhone in your pocket.
Manage the settings for Google Chrome notifications
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 these settings by clicking the padlock icon to the left of the address bar. Choose Site settings, find Notifications, and select Allow or Block from the adjacent dropdown menu next to decide if the website you’re on can send you alerts via your browser.
Another way to get to these settings is to click the three vertical dots in the top right corner of the Chrome interface, then go to Settings, Privacy and security, Site settings, and Notifications. Here you’ll see a list of all the sites where you’ve previously blocked or allowed notifications, and you can make changes by clicking the three vertical dots next to any site name.
The same methods work in Chrome for Android, too. Tap the padlock icon in the address bar, then go to Permissions to set the notification rules for the open site. You can also tap the three dots in the top right, and go to Settings, Site settings, and Notifications to see a list of all the options you’ve configured so far.
How to disable or enable Firefox notifications
When you open up a site that wants to send you notifications in Mozilla’s browser, you’ll see a little speech bubble icon appear in the address bar, just to the left of the URL. 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 the Firefox menu via the three horizontal lines in the top right corner, then choose Settings, followed by Privacy & Security. Scroll down to find the Permissions heading, look for Notifications, and click the Settings bubble to its right. You can use the emerging window to change the listed websites’ permissions and even stop the speech bubble from appearing altogether by checking the box next to Block new requests asking to allow notifications.
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.
Allow or deny Safari notifications
Websites that want to send you notifications in Apple’s built-in browser 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, Settings, and Websites. There, choose Notifications from the left-hand sidebar and 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.
Change the Microsoft Edge notification settings
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 site information icon (a padlock or “i” symbol) on the far left of the address bar, choosing Permissions for this site, finding the Notifications option, and adjusting the options in the dropdown menu to its right.
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To look at a list of all the sites you’ve allowed or denied notification privileges, click the three dots 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.
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 bottom of the interface and go to Settings, Site permissions, and Notifications to see a list of permissions for all sites.
How to enable or disable Opera notifications
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 icon to the left of the address bar and turn the toggle switch next to Notifications off or on.
To see the settings for every site you’ve visited, click the cog icon on the Opera browser’s left-hand sidebar. From there, choose Privacy & security, 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 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.
This story has been updated. It was originally published on March 25, 2021.