Notifications can be good: like ones for you upcoming appointments, or news items that interest you. But for the most part, we are being overloaded with non-critical notifications on our phones, tablets, and computers. The frustration this causes is compounded by the fact that it often isn’t obvious how to stop those notifications, or where they are coming from!
Here’s how to reduce the number of notifications on your computer if you use the world’s most popular browser: Google Chrome. Run Chrome, click the “hamburger” (3-vertical-dot) icon, go into “Settings | Advanced (bottom of page) | Site Settings | Notifications”, and look at all the sites that you have Blocked or Allowed. We will ignore the Blocked sites for now, but if you have Allowed a site that is now bombarding you with notifications, you can click the hamburger icon beside it and either Block it or Remove it. If you Remove it, the next time you go to that site, you can choose to Allow or Block notifications from it. If you Block it, it won’t bother you anymore.
Side note: If a site listed under Notifications has a puzzle piece icon beside it, you will have to remove the associated Google extension in order to turn off that notification. You can adjust extensions from within Chrome by clicking the hamburger icon, choosing “More tools | Extensions”, and looking at all the extensions you have. From there, you can turn off individual extensions, or simply Remove them.
Note that if you want to remove all notifications and extensions from Chrome, as well resetting your startup page, new tab page, search engine, and pinned tabs, and clearing all temp data (like cookies), click the hamburger icon, go into “Settings | Advanced | Restore settings to their original defaults” and click “Reset settings”. Note that this will not clear your bookmarks, history, or saved passwords, but it is an easy way to refresh your Google Chrome browser, and get it working like new.
The instructions for reducing notifications on smartphones and tablets are similar to those given above for PCs and Macs, but because the Chrome menus on those devices are abbreviated, the procedures are slightly different.