Many websites ask users whether they want to receive notifications. In managed environments, this feature can be disabled via group policies. Both Chromium-based browsers and Firefox allow whitelisting and blacklisting of such websites.

Websites can use notifications to draw attention to themselves, sometimes even when they are not opened in the browser. Typical candidates for this are news channels or web mailers that announce the arrival of new messages.

In professional environments, this can be very annoying. If users inadvertently agree to the request, then less technically savvy employees might be unable to revoke permission for notifications in the browser's settings.

Request from a website to show notifications

Request from a website to show notifications

Configure notifications via the GUI

The interactive configuration of notifications can be found in Google Chrome's settings under Privacy and Security > Website Settings > Notifications (chrome://settings/content/notifications) and in Edge under Cookies and Site Permissions > Notifications (edge://settings/content/notifications).

Notification configuration in Google Chrome

Notification configuration in Google Chrome

In Firefox, you can configure the relevant settings under Privacy & Security > Permissions (about:preferences#privacy).

Google Chrome and Firefox explicitly offer the option of blocking notifications. Microsoft goes its own way here with the option "Ask before sending (recommended)". If you deactivate this setting, you block requests for notifications.

Configuring notifications in Microsoft Edge using browser settings

Configuring notifications in Microsoft Edge using browser settings

Firefox offers options to disable notifications permanently and to block them until the next restart.

Configuration of notifications in Firefox

Configuration of notifications in Firefox

Exceptions to blocking

If you decide to block notifications, you can exclude certain websites. To do so, click on the padlock icon to the left of the address bar in Chrome and Edge and allow messages from the current website under Website settings or Permissions for this site.

Customize settings for a specific website

Customize settings for a specific website

In Firefox, you can only add websites to the list and grant or deny them permissions when they want to send you a notification.

Control notifications via Group Policy

For Chromium-based browsers, the corresponding policies can be found in the Computer Configuration branch under Content settings.

Group Policy for configuring notifications in Chrome

Group Policy for configuring notifications in Chrome

To block notifications, enable Default Notification Setting (Chrome) or Default Notification Setting (Edge) and select either Do not allow desktop notifications to be displayed for any website (Edge) or Do not allow any site to show desktop notifications (Chrome).

White- and blacklisting websites

In addition, you can define exceptions under Allow notifications on these sites (Chrome) or Allow notifications on specific sites (Chrome).

The complementary options Block notifications on these sites (Chrome) and Allow notifications on specific sites (Edge) are for blacklisting and only make sense if you allow notifications by default.

If the notifications are blocked by group policies and you have defined exceptions, this is reflected in the browser settings by the fact that the settings are grayed out, and the allowed websites are shown there.

Group policies for Firefox

In the group policies for Firefox, you configure the notifications under Permissions. There are four settings for this: one for blocking, one for allowed sites, and one for blocked sites.

Settings for Firefox to block notifications

Settings for Firefox to block notifications

Unlike Chrome and Edge, blocking notifications via Group Policy does not prevent users from changing this setting. In addition, the whitelisted sites do not appear in the browser settings.

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If you want to make the setting configured via GPO mandatory, then you also need to enable the fourth policy, Do not allow preferences to be changed.

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