How to disable the web’s most annoying feature

Take that, web notifications!

Ben Werdmuller

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Website notifications are a blight. I never want a website to be able to notify me about updates; these messages are interruptive, and like the vast majority of app notifications, they tend to be part of some marketing team’s growth strategy rather than a conduit to actually useful information. (Product teams: if your notifications are there to drive traffic to a new feature or a promotion, you’re making the web worse. Stop it.)

Every browser allows you to prevent these notifications from showing up at all, but not all of them make it easy. For example, my primary browser is Arc; I love it, but it doesn’t expose notification preferences in its Settings panel.

Luckily, every browser engine allows you to go straight to its full, advanced settings panel. Here’s how to do it:

In a Chromium-based browser (Chrome, Arc, Opera, Microsoft Edge):

Enter about:settings in the browser address bar.

Search for notifications and click on site settings.

Scroll down to Notifications and click through.

Then change the settings to the one you’d prefer.

In Firefox:

Firefox does surface notifications in its settings panel.

Once you’re there, search for notifications and then hit the settings button next to the Notifications heading.

Then check the box that says Block new requests asking to allow notifications.

Et voila! No more annoying pop-up messages. Take that, marketing departments.

Originally published at https://werd.io on July 25, 2023.

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Ben Werdmuller

Writer: of code, fiction, and strategy. Trying to work for social good.