You already get too many notifications. Your phone, tablet, and maybe even your smartwatch are constantly buzzing with emails or news alerts.
PCs are the last refuge for the notification-weary—but not for long. Google’s Chrome browser is getting ready to join the chorus, as web sites and many web-friendly apps are gaining the ability to send you push notifications.
Fortunately, there’s a way to tame the noise on your Chromebook. With just a few tweaks, you can take complete control over the alerts you receive. It’s just a few steps, so dig in with us as we show you how to put Chrome in check.
Go dark with Do Not Disturb mode
If you want to completely shut off the noise, open your Chromebook’s notifications in the taskbar. Go to Notifications > Settings and click the bell icon with the line through it. This will put you in Do Not Disturb mode, which directs your Chromebook to leave you alone. Well, with notifications at least.
Don’t forget to click the feature off when you’re ready to hear from the outside world again. It’s easy to get in the groove and forget that you’ve flipped this switch.
Quiet down some specific apps
Maybe it’s just a particular app or two that are bugging you too much. If that’s the case, head back to Notifications > Settings, where you’ll see a list of all the applications installed on your Chromebook.
If there’s one that you don’t care about hearing from, just uncheck the box next to it. Easy peasy.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the number on the bottom-right of the taskbar represents your Google Now notifications. Fortunately, they don’t pop up to bug you—at least yet—so you can just click the box when you want to check out what Google so desperately needs to tell you. If you use Google Now extensively for following sports teams or travel, a lot of those alerts will reside there.
Tame those new website notifications
Chrome 42 rolled out a new feature recently that allows websites to send you push messages directly. While it’s great to see the web get more powerful, thereby strengthening the capabilities of a Chromebook, it’s enough to make you wonder if this will get annoying.
Fortunately, Google has built in a system for keeping the notifications in check (pictured).
You’ll be able to adjust the notifications for each site by clicking on the Settings button, shutting them off if so desired. This capability is slowly making its way out and only works with a handful of websites for now, but keep your eyes peeled.
With these few tricks, you should be able to get the notifications the way you want them. Google updates Chrome pretty quickly, so we’ll be sure to let you know if similar features roll out soon.
Derek Walter is a freelance technology writer based in Northern California. He is the author of Learning MIT App Inventor, a hands-on guide to building your own Android apps.