I’m a big fan of Facebook but I feel like I get endless notifications on my computer about people posting, responding, logging in, even people I might know. If I ever post a comment, I also get notifications about that post forever, which can be really awful. How can I tame the Facebook notification beast?
Most of the time, Facebook does a good job with its notifications. Behind the scenes, it’s keeping track of which of your friends you actually engage with and using that as the basis of its notifications. Follow me on Facebook but never, ever like, comment, or share any of my posts, and my newer posts won’t show up in your notifications. If you’re my biggest fan and comment on everything I post, however, and I’ll start dominating your Notifications. Apologies in advance! 🤓
Facebook also assumes that if you interact with a post from anyone, even in a group, that you then want to pay close attention to that post, even if it means getting notifications about new comments days or weeks later. If you’re a very occasional Facebook user, this approach can help pull you in and pay more attention to the site – the company’s goal – but if you’re already active, it can seem like an endless stream of mostly irrelevant notifications.
The good news is that you’re in control. In fact, you can change a whole lot about how notifications work, from ignorning posts after you’ve left a comment to blocking entire categories of Facebook events and permanently disabling notifications.
HOW TO MUTE FACEBOOK NOTIFICATIONS
The easiest place to start is on the Facebook page. I’m guessing every time you go there the notifications pane has a number and there are a bunch of new notifications about what’s going on. For me, that notifications pop-up window might look like this:
Notice here the mix: Thomas posted a link, Matt posted a photo in a group, Claudia, Mary, and 8 others posted in another group, and, earlier, Windows Insider Program posted a video, also in a group. Pretty typical if I haven’t actually been doing much on Facebook.
What isn’t at all obvious is that each notification has its own associated pop-up menu! In fact, move the cursor to the right side of a notification and look what appears:
That three-dot “•••” bubble appears if you put the cursor in that spot. Click on it and a menu appears:
Notice that I can mark it as read, remove this notification entirely, turn off all notifications about Thomas or, if there’s an error with this notification, even report it to the Facebook Notifications Team. Which, presumably, causes them to get a notification about it, of course!
What a lot of people don’t realize is that the menu of options is contextual, so click on that same ••• hidden button on a different notification and you’ll see different choices:
Notice here that I posted the original photo and Brian’s commenting on it, but what I can turn off are all notifications about my posted photo, whether it’s a like, comment or share.
In this instance, Barbara posted, I commented, she reacted to my comment. But I can turn off all notifications for the post itself. Where this is particularly helpful is a post where you might leave a comment of condolences, say, but don’t then want to get notifications for each of the other 75 people who are going to do the same over the next day or three. Post, then “turn off notifications about this post” when the first message appears in your Notifications. Easy.
Group notifications are interesting too:
In this case I have notifications for the group set to alert me of any posts, but I can dial it back to just be posts from people I’m already friends with on Facebook, like Jenny.
Don’t forget that there’s also a “•••” link on the top right of the Notifications window itself. Click on that and you’ll see three options:
I use “Mark all as read” frequently so that notifications I don’t much care about are marked as read and don’t appear as new the next time I check Facebook. But this time, click on “Notification settings” as a shortcut to get to your Facebook Settings and Preferences area.
FACEBOOK NOTIFICATION SETTINGS AND PREFERENCES
Jumping to Notification Settings, you’ll see that there are quite a few categories of events that can cause notifications to be displayed, many of which you probably don’t care so much about:
This is where you can make bigger, less granular changes. For example, you can change your settings so that comments left on your posts are automatically shared with you via SMS text message, or that reminders are completely muted for your entire Facebook experience.
Check it out if I click on “Updates From Friends“:
Push notifications are generally little pop-ups within your Web browser (tho they show up as separate mini-windows on Mac or PC, they’re still generated by your primary Web browser), Email is, well, email, and SMS are text messages sent to your phone if you have that setup and have shared your mobile number with Facebook. Perhaps more importantly, notice that you can turn off this category of notifications entirely by disabling “Allow Notifications on Facebook“. Maybe not for this type of post, but some of those other categories? Like “People You May Know”? Yeah, disable = good.
Armed with that knowledge, you should be able to tame your out-of-control Facebook notifications stream in no time!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Facebook since the very beginning of the service, and encourage you to follow AskDaveTaylor on Facebook. Not only that but please do check out my extensive Facebook help area with hundreds of other helpful tutorials and guides! Thanks.