Stop website notifications popups that annoy you

When a website is visited, you may see a popup message asking if you would like to receive notifications. Have you ever clicked Yes and then regretted it? Stop website notifications!

Websites can notify you of new posts and news stories, but do you need them? Website notifications can also show marketing messages and adverts. How do you stop website notifications in Chrome, Edge and Safari?

Let’s see how to allow or block them in your browser. It does not matter whether you have a Windows PC or an Apple Mac. Notifications are the same on both.

Are website notifications useful?

The content of notifications can be about anything, but an obvious use is to notify you when a new article is posted, a new news story, a new special offer or the ending of a special offer, or just a message to say come and visit because the site misses you.

A pop-up notification request in Chrome
Google Calendar asking to allow notifications in Chrome

Website notifications can be very useful, such as Google Calendar notifying you about upcoming events or changes to events, but some notifications from other sites can be irritating, especially if you are busy working and do not want to be interrupted, or it is simply an advert or sales pitch.

The trouble is you will not know what you will get until you click the accept button and try them. Most likely, there will be some notifications that you love and others you don’t want to see – a bit of a mixture.

A notifications request in Safari browser on the Apple Mac
A request to allow notifications in Safari on the Apple Mac

How do you opt out of website notifications in Safari on the Apple Mac or Chrome on the Mac or PC? How do you stop all website notifications from appearing? You might not want to even see the permission request pop-up message at all. Can it be blocked?

Control browser notifications in Chrome

Notifications can be customised in Chrome settings. To go straight there, enter chrome://settings/content/notifications into the address box, or do this:

  1. Open the browser menu by clicking the three dots
  2. Select Settings
  3. Click Privacy and Security
  4. Click Site settings
  5. Click Notifications
Notifications settings in Chrome browser
Notifications settings in Chrome browser

At the top of the notification settings are three options to change the way they work. The first option, Sites can ask to send notifications means that any website can show a popup message asking if they can show popup messages. If you don’t like them, do not select it.

The second option, Use quieter messaging lets Chrome hide notifications when it thinks you won’t want them. Under the Computerworld link in the screenshot it says Automatically blocked. This may be an example. If few people opt in to a website’s notifications and you are someone that regularly opts out of site notifications, Chrome may automatically block a site using this option.

The third option, Don’t allow sites to send notifications disables all popup notification requests and you will not see this annoyance when visiting websites.

Below the configuration options is a Customized behaviours section and it contains Allowed and Not allowed sections. As you browse the web you might allow some websites to show notifications and decline the offer from others. They appear in the Allowed and Not allowed lists.

Notifications settings in Chrome browser
Block or allow notifications from websites in Chrome

Click the Add buttons to manually add URLs to each list. If you have turned off notification requests, you could manually add a site you wanted to allow.

At the right of each URL, click the three dots to display a menu that enables the site to be moved from Allow to Not allow or Not allow to Allow. The item can also be edited or removed.

Control browser notifications in Safari

Website notifications in Safari on the Apple Mac have similar features.

  1. Click the Safari menu
  2. Click Preferences
  3. Select the Websites tab
  4. Select Notifications in the list of items.
Safari notifications settings on the Apple Mac
Configure notification settings in Safari

The options are simpler than Chrome and each site you have responded to is listed and at the right is an Allow or Deny menu. Click it to change it from one to the other. To remove a site, select it in the list and click the Remove button below.

Down at the bottom of the window is an option to Allow websites to ask for permission… If this is ticked, websites can show the pop-up request to allow notifications, but if it is cleared, then no pop-up notification request appears.

Control browser notifications in Edge

Every web browser seems to have a different way of configuring whether to allow or block website notifications and how to configure them. Microsoft Edge has t’s own unique way of handling them, although the end result is more or less the same.

Website notifications settings in Edge browser
Recent activity shown in Edge browser

Open the menu in Edge browser by clicking the three dots in the top right corner and then select Settings. Select Cookies and site permissions on the left. On the right is a Recent activity list. and you may see some notifications activities here, such as websites allowed or blocked.

Microsoft Edge website permissions page in settings

Clicking an item opens a detailed permissions page for that website. Among the many permissions items is Notifications. Click the menu on the right and choose Ask, Allow or Block as you prefer.

To access the general notifications permissions:

  1. Open the menu by clicking the three dots
  2. Click Settings on the menu
  3. Select Cookies and site permissions on the left
  4. Scroll down and click Notifications
Notifications permissions settings in Microsoft Edge browser - screenshot
Microsoft Edge site notifications permissions

There is no Allow notifications setting. There is only Ask before sending. When the switch is on, sites can ask to send notifications and when the switch is off, they can’t. Like Chrome, there is a Quiet notification requests option. Edge is based on Chrome, so it probably inherits the feature, and it will automatically block popup requests to send notifications based on whether you usually block or allow them and whether other users of a site usually allow or block them.

There is the usual Block and Allow list of websites and a three dots menu to the right to move them from one list to another or delete them completely.

Summing up

Whether you block requests to send notifications or whether you allow some sites to show notifications is entirely up to you. Their usefulness depends on the site and those that sell goods or services might irritate you with special offers you are not interested in. An online tool, such as Google Calendar shown in the first screenshot, could be very useful by alerting you to calendar events.

Which is your preferred setting for notifications? On or off?

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