In the world of internet browsing, we often find ourselves overwhelmed by the barrage of notifications sent by various websites. These notifications may serve useful purposes, providing us updates, reminders, or alerts, but at times they can also become unnecessary distractions. Comprehending how these browser notifications function across different platforms – Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari – allows you to use the internet on your terms. By learning how to manipulate notification settings, you can choose which sites to receive notifications from or opt to disable all of them, ensuring a browsing experience that is better catered to your needs and preferences.
Understanding Browser Notifications
What is Browser Notification?
Browser notifications, also known as push notifications, are alerts sent by a website directly to your desktop or mobile device. They are designed to keep you engaged and updated with the website’s content, even when you are not active on the website.
These notifications are initiated when you visit a website, and it asks for your permission to send you notifications. Once you agree, Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, Safari, or whatever browser you are using, accommodates these alert requests in the background. And when the time comes, the website uses your browser to push these alerts to your device.
The utility of these notifications is that they can provide valuable updates like new blog posts, breaking news, or social media alerts, which you might want to access immediately. But on the flip side, excessive browser notifications can be annoying and disruptive, especially if they come from websites that you don’t frequently visit.
Turning Off Notifications in Chrome
Access Notification Settings in Chrome
The process of accessing the notification settings in your Chrome browser entails a few steps. Firstly, open your Chrome browser. Located on the top-right corner are three vertical dots. Click on this symbol to reveal a drop-down list.
Choose the “Settings” option from this list. A new page will surface. Scroll down and you will find an option labeled “Advanced”. Click on it. This will cause the advanced settings menu to extend and further reveal additional options. Find and select the “Privacy and security” option.
Disabling Notifications From Specific Websites in Chrome
In the “Privacy and security” section, you will find an option for “Site Settings”. Select this. Here, you’ll see a list of permissions and features, including a section for “Notifications”. Clicking on this will open the notifications settings.
In the notifications menu, in the “Allow” section, you will see a list of all websites that are currently permitted to send you notifications. Locate the site you want to disable notifications from. On its right, there are three vertical dots. Clicking on them will present you with several options. Choose “Remove” to disable notifications from that site.
In case you cannot find the site in the “Allow” section, then it might be in the “Block” or “Ask” sections. Sites in these sections are either blocked from sending notifications or required to ask before sending one.
Disabling All Web Notifications in Chrome
If you would like to turn off all web notifications completely, you can also do this through the notifications settings in Chrome. Access the notifications settings as described in the previous sections.
Once you are in the notifications settings, you will find three options at the top: “Sites can ask to send notifications”, “Use quieter messaging” and “Don’t allow sites to send notifications”. Here, the default setting is usually “Sites can ask to send notifications”. This means that websites can ask your permission to send notifications. If you switch to third option, the sites won’t send any notifications and related requests in future.
Turning Off Notifications in Firefox
Disabling Website Notifications in Firefox
Mozilla Firefox contains options to turn off notifications from websites. To do so, open the Firefox application on your device. Find the three horizontal lines at the top right of your screen signifying the Firefox menu, click on it. Inside this menu, select ‘Settings’, and within the Settings, choose ‘Privacy and Security’.
Scroll down through the Privacy and Security options until you locate ‘Permissions’. Here, there is an option in the lists named ‘Notifications’. Click on the ‘Settings’ button next to it.
This opens up the Notification Permissions window. From here, you can manage your website notifications. To disable notifications from specific sites, locate those sites in the given list and select ‘Block’ from the ‘Status’ dropdown.
If you wish to disable all future notification requests, check the ‘Block new requests asking to allow notifications’ box at the bottom of this window. Be aware, this will prevent any website you haven’t already approved from even asking you to enable notifications in the future.
To finish managing your notifications, click on the ‘Save Changes’ button. Changes you’ve made will only take effect after you’ve saved and closed the Settings window. This helps ensure that you maintain control over the notifications that come through your Firefox browser. These settings can be revisited, and changes can be made anytime if your preferences change in the future.
Turning Off Notifications in MS Edge
Navigating to Microsoft Edge Notification Settings
To begin, open Microsoft Edge and click on the three horizontal dots in the top right corner of the browser window, which is sometimes referred to as the “More” button. A drop-down menu will appear; from this menu, select “Settings.” On the settings page, find the “Cookies and site permissions” option from the left side panel and select it. Click on “Notifications” in the list provided to open the notification settings.
Disabling All Notifications on Microsoft Edge
If you wish to disable all notifications from every site, there is a simple toggle switch at the top of the notification settings page labeled “Ask before sending (recommended).” By default, it should be switched on (blue). To disable all notifications, click this toggle to switch it off (gray). Once disabled, you will no longer receive notification prompts or notifications from any website.
Turning off Notifications from Specific Sites on Microsoft Edge
If instead, you only want to disable notifications from certain websites, you can do so from the same notification settings page. Under the “Allow” and “Block” sections, you will see a list of all the sites for which you have previously allowed or blocked notifications. To disable notifications from a specific site, find it in the “Allow” list, click on the three vertical dots to the right of the site name and click “Remove.” The site will no longer send you notifications.
Remember that for any changes made to take effect, you may need to restart Microsoft Edge. Proceed to close and then reopen your browser for the changes to be implemented. Also, note that depending on the version of Microsoft Edge you’re using, the exact steps might vary slightly.
Turning Off Notifications in Safari
Accessing Notification Settings in Safari
To access the notification settings in the Safari browser, you need to first open the browser. Click on ‘Safari’ in the top-left corner of the screen, right below the Apple logo. From the drop-down menu, select ‘Preferences’. This opens a new window with several tabs.
Move to the ‘Websites’ tab in this new window. On the left side of the panel that opens, you’ll see a range of settings you can adjust. Here, you should find the ‘Notifications’ option.
Disabling Notifications in Safari
Disabling specific website notifications in Safari is quite simple. Once you’ve opened the ‘Notifications’ tab under ‘Preferences’, the browser provides a list of websites which have asked you for agreement to send notifications. Websites will only appear on this list if you’ve visited them and they’ve queried you about sending notifications.
To stop a specific website from sending notifications, locate it on the list and change the ‘Allow’ box next to it to ‘Deny’. This stops future notifications from that particular website without affecting others.
Stopping All Web Notifications on Safari
To stop all web notifications from Safari, you have two options. You can go down the list and manually change the setting to ‘Deny’ for every website or you can uncheck the box at the bottom of the window that says ‘Allow websites to ask for permission to send notifications’. The second option stops notifications from all websites, regardless of previous permissions granted. Be aware that this stops all sites from even asking about notifications in the future.
Troubleshooting Notification Issues
Web notifications have become an integral part of many websites, providing real-time updates and alerts. However, they can sometimes be intrusive and distracting. Each browser has unique steps and procedures to disable these notifications, and while performing this task, you may encounter some common issues.
Across all browsers, one common issue is that the settings will not save when you attempt to turn off notifications. This issue typically arises due to corrupt or overloaded cookies and cache. Clearing your browser’s cache, and then reattempting to disable notifications, can usually resolve this issue. you can also try resetting browsers to default settings. Make sure you restart your browser after clearing the cache.
Updating process for each browser
- Go to ‘Help’ > ‘About Google Chrome’ The browser will automatically check for updates
- The process for checking updates on Firefox, Ms Edge, and Safari is similar, which is usually found under the ‘Help’ or ‘About’ section in the menu.
If the problem persists, it may be due to certain harmful extensions installed. Removing or disabling such extensions could provide a solution.
- Go to ‘Menu’ > ‘Add-ons’
- Under ‘Extensions’ or ‘Themes’, click ‘Remove’ for any add-on you wish to delete
- The options to manage extensions for other browsers are similar and can be found in their respective ‘Settings’ or ‘Preferences’ option.
In certain instances, you may find that the notifications are re-activated each time you reboot your computer. This could be due to your browser having an automatic ‘Restore’ feature, which automatically reopens previous windows and tabs when you start your browser. This feature could potentially be re-activating the previously disabled web notifications. To resolve this, you could disable the ‘Restore’ feature through the settings menu.
Tip: Remember that turning off web notifications might vary slightly with each browser, and the issues faced might be due to a variety of reasons. If the issues persist, try contacting the support of the respective browser.
Enhancing Privacy in Web Browsing
Using incognito mode or private browsing mode prevents the browser from saving your browsing history, cookies, and other private data. It can be a quick and simple way to enhance privacy.
Clearing Browsing Data
Another way to enhance privacy is by periodically clearing your browsing data. Every browser gives you the option to delete browsing history, cache, and cookies, which can contain personal information.
Using a VPN
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) serves to hide your actual IP address and encrypt your internet connection. This makes your browsing activity private and prevents third-party tracking.
Disable Third-Party Cookies
Disable third-party cookies in your browser to stop some types of tracking by advertisers.
Enable Do Not Track Feature
Enabling the ‘Do Not Track’ feature in your web browser settings can also enhance privacy. This sends a request to websites to not track your browsing behavior. However, it’s up to the websites to honor this request.
Adjust Location Settings
In your browser settings, you can control which websites have access to your location data. You can choose to block all sites or select which sites you want to allow.
As you gain control over your notifications and browse with greater ease, remember that there are even more ways to enhance your online privacy. Familiarizing yourself with additional browser settings, including the use of incognito mode, clearing browsing data, and using VPNs, can provide further layers of protection. You are the gatekeeper of your digital sphere, and understanding how to keep nuisance out while letting convenience in would ensure a more secure and gratifying internet browsing experience.
Nishant Verma is a senior web developer who love to share his knowledge about Linux, SysAdmin, and more other web handlers. Currently, he loves to write as content contributor for ServoNode and also collaborated with MRLabs now.