How to block or allow website notifications and manage permissions

Don't let website notifications get in the way - block them!

When browsing websites have you noticed that some sites pop up a notice asking for permission to display notifications? They are becoming increasingly common. Here’s how to manage them.

Take control of website notifications - allow or block them as you prefer in Google Chrome

Website notifications has been around for a year or two, but until recently they have not been used much. Now it is becoming more common to see a pop-up message when you visit a website asking if you want to see notifications.

I always say no, but that’s just me. Websites have enough pop-ups, rollovers, email signups and other irritations without adding more (not this site though).

If you don’t know what website notifications are, there is a very useful test site that demonstrates how they work. I will be using Chrome for this tutorial, but other browsers support notifications too.

Test website notifications

Go to Ben Kennish’s website and click the Authorize button. Websites usually don’t wait for you to to click a button, but this is a test site.

Go to this website to test website notifications in Chrome

Allow or block notifications

This is normally what you see when you visit a website that pushes notifications to you. A pop-up at the top of the page prompts you to allow notifications. I always block them, but for this harmless test, click the Allow button.

An example of Chrome notifications showing the permission pop-up

Show a notification

So what does a notification look like? Click the Show button (in the first screenshot) and look in the bottom right corner of the screen for the notification.

An example of the panel that appears in the corner of the screen with a Chrome notification

Normally a website would send the notification automatically and you would not need to click a button. (It’s just a test remember.)

Manage notifications

Having allowed or blocked notifications from various websites, how can we see which sites we have authorised or blocked, and how can we change the current setting?

Go to the menu in Chrome and click Settings. Scroll down to the bottom and click Show advanced settings. Look for the Privacy section and click Content settings.

The Privacy section in Google Chrome settings

Scroll down some more until you come to the Notifications section. There are three options and sites can be allowed or blocked, or you can select the option to ask when a site wants to show notifications. It’s your choice.

Google Chrome notifications settings

Click Manage exceptions and a list of websites is displayed on the left and on the right is whether they have been blocked or allowed.

As the mouse moves over sites in the list, a cross appears on the right and this can be used to remove the site. Deleting it removes the settings, which means when you visit the site it is like visiting it for the first time.

Edit the list of websites that have asked to show notifications in Chrome

Click a website and a menu appears on the right with Allow and Block options. This can be used to change the current setting.

How to change the notifications permissions for websites in Google Chrome

Do you find notifications useful or an irritation? Do you allow them or block them? Let us know in the comments below.

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