Can't Disable Annoying Chrome Notifications menu bar item on Mac OS X

Update (7/20/14): You can finally disable the notifications icon by selecting "Hide Notifications Icon" from the Chrome menu:

Disable Chrome Notifications on Mac OS X

Original post below.

Today, I received a mysterious notification from one of my Chrome extensions that popped up under a generic alarm bell icon in my Mac OS X menu bar:

Chrome Notifications

No thanks. I have Notification Center (built into Mac OS X), and if I wanted to see spammy notifications from Chrome extensions, I would enable them there. I know I can disable individual (or all) extensions from this Chrome Notification Center, but that doesn't make the icon go away. Nor does the standard trick of holding down the command key and dragging the icon off the menu bar.

No... Google seems to think that every Chrome user on a Mac wants this non-UI-conforming precious-menu-bar-real-estate-consuming icon sucking up resources and precious space, without any way of disabling it. And when users point out that Chrome should use the system's built in notifications system (like every other mainstream app nowadays), Google says no, we'll use our confusing menubar icon instead.

Unfortunately, going to about:flags doesn't allow disabling of the desktop notification center (since it's managed in the main Chrome settings area now), and explicitly excluding all plugins inside Chrome's settings > Show advanced settings... > Content settings... > Notifications doesn't do a thing either.

Switching back to FireFox or Safari is looking more appealing every day.

[Update: It looks like if you go to chrome://flags and set the 'rich desktop notifications' flag to Disabled, then restart Chrome, the icon goes away. I guess that's an okay temporary fix, but still...]

Jeff Geerling is a Technical Architect at Acquia, owner of Midwestern Mac, LLC, and author of Ansible for DevOps. He is an active contributor in the Drupal community, and has primarily been a Mac user since the 1990s.

Comments

rj's picture

Hi, I was able to turn off Chrome notifications by going to chrome://flags and disabling "Enable Rich notifications"

Thanks

Jeff Geerling's picture

Thanks; I've updated the post to reflect this workaround—but it's still disingenuous at best, and who's to say the flag will continue to be available in future releases of Chrome? It's disappointing to me that something this default would go through to Chrome's stable release!

Personal site: jeffgeerling.com.

kat's picture

thank you I had tried EVERYTHING to get rid of the damn annoying notification and this tip was the only one that worked for me HOORAH thank you .

Sasuke's picture

i ton' t have Enable Rich notifications under chrome://flags, in my old PC with WIN7 i had it, & in new PC with WIN8 its missing, try'd the Option from settings to, no use

Yoav Caspi's picture

Hi,

Thanks for the post but I actually have the opposite problem - I got this icon on my laptop and I like it; for some reason, though, I can't get it on my desktop even though i'm running the latest chrome version and even tried enabling the flag.

Any ideas?

Cheers,
Yoav

Jeff Geerling's picture

You may need to update to the latest version of Chrome, if you aren't already updated; go to the About Google Chrome page and see if it's on version 30 or later.

Personal site: jeffgeerling.com.

Andrew's picture

Thanks for doing this. I wondered why in the world this stupid cant-get-rid-of-it icon suddenly appeared. Lame, lame, lame.

Sean's picture

This is beyond a joke. A bell type notification that is so intrusive it's ridiculous.

Getting tired of having to research ways of how to turn things OFF that I never asked for. If I wanted notifications on my mac for any of their apps, god forbid some AD/promotion crud (It's coming) I'll install it myself.

Google's producing too much noise for my liking - no simple disable button is pure evil.

Dave's picture

This icon showed on my MB Air, but not on Mac Mini. Mini had newest Chrome build. Air needed Chrome relaunch to update to latest. Once Chrome relaunched icon went away.
Really wish I'd looked at the build number on the Air first, but it appears this was fixed in latest build.

kratzky's picture

go to system preferences - privacy and security - accessibility and uncheck Google Chrome.app
that solution worked for me

Ido Samuelson's picture

The new build of chrome removed the icon. Is there a way to re-enable it? Setting these flags makes no difference...

gamesy's picture

When I chose a theme in google chrome it was already added to chrome but said "this item has been disabled by chrome". How do i enable it again?

Kay's picture

Thank you so so much. it made my day.. i like it simple and the icon (unnecessary to be up there) bugged me. thanks a lot!

Daniel Buenrostro Jr.'s picture

Thank you SO MUCH, this worked (:

Chrome Version: 35.0.1916.153 m
Date: 12/6/2014

Mark Josh's picture

This icon showed on my MB Air, but not on Mac Mini. Mini had newest Chrome build. Air needed Chrome relaunch to update to latest. Once Chrome relaunched icon went away.
Really wish I'd looked at the build number on the Air first, but it appears this was fixed in latest build.

Check out my personal website if you want to download Android APK

hambonefaker's picture

I have rich notifications and google now in the flags disabled and i still have the popup. also now i can click the little wrench and hit disable but it does nothing. My popup is actually stuck there above the clock and if i click the X to close it it slides down then back up again :C I'm just going to uninstall chrome and go back to firefox at this point it keeps getting worse

hambonefaker's picture

I think I got it by also disabling synced nofications, google now, and rich noficiations guhh so far it hasnt come back

Pete's picture

The people at google are retarded. They make some great products, but they always do something incredibly stupid, which they never ever change/fix.

I'm on windows, and can't get this stupid icon to go away. I've followed all guides on the internet, and everything that can be disabled, is disabled. Still it keep showing up.

Any person with a well functioning brain, would have made it so when you click it, you get an option to remove it.

Antti Kyllönen's picture

On the latest version of Chrome as we speak (Version 35.0.1916.153) the flag is: #enable-sync-synced-notifications
The name of the setting is: "Enable Synced Notifications Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS"
Set it to disabled and restart your browser. The 'bell' should now go away.

owens's picture

tengo esta version ¨35.0.1916.153 (Build oficial 274914) m¨ y la maldita campana de notificaciones sigue sin desaparecer, ya hice todo lo anterior y sigue ahi, alguien tiene otra solucion.

Daniel Buenrostro Jr.'s picture

The bell is back!!
Chrome Version: 36.0.1985.125 m

Any suggestions?

Jim's picture

Thanks for the blog post, really useful.

It's still pretty bad that people have to search the web to find out how to turn it off.
And It's not in an obvious place, like "Settings" or the "View" menu.
And it shouldn't even be enabled by default....

Mark's picture

There is a browser called Iron by SRWare.net that is built on the Chromium source code. It looks and feels just like Chrome, much faster and is not subject to all of the Google BS they ram down your throat in the name of improving your browsing experience. Google is more invasive than cancer.

Using Iron for 4 years and finally installed Chrome to take it for a test drive. No thank you very much. Used Revo Installer to remove all traces as I don't trust any program that downloads and automatically installs. (cannot download and then install at a later date). Using Iron and will never switch. But if I had to, it would be back to Firefox (it's just slower).

That is all.

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