Google Chrome is cracking down on annoying notifications

Google Chrome browser app on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A new Google Chrome update looks to cut down on the amount of notifications being sent by potentially harmful websites.

The change should mean that the number of unwanted browser notifications users receive by blocking alerts from websites that Chrome defines as “disruptive.”

Spotted by 9to5Google, the code change means that Chrome will be able to automatically revoke a website’s permission to send notifications and block any future attempts to ask for the permission.

Google Chrome notifications

Google says that it is acting in order to enforce its “Developer Terms of Service,” which include a pledge not to use the company's APIs to send any form of spam.

The change also means that even if a user had accidentally previously allowed a malicious site to send notifications, Chrome will now automatically move in and block the alerts completely.

Asides from this, Google hasn't explained entirely quite how it defines a website as "disruptive", but the move looks to address one of the biggest problems with Chrome and other web browsers today.

"Notification spam is one of the top complaint reports we receive from Chrome users," a Google spokesperson told 9to5Google. "This feature is focused on addressing this problem by ensuring users are only receiving relevant notifications.  We see this work as acting on behalf of users to protect their interests, and is an intervention that is under user control and discretion."

Google had aimed to act on harmful notifications back in October 2020, when it blocked alerts from sites that attempted to ask for permission or abuse notifications in a misleading way, with users given a prompt that the site may have bad intentions at heart.

There's no news of a concrete release date for the new feature just yet. but it will probably require some testing before a wider rollout, so don't hold your breath for a rollout just yet.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.