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Friday, December 1, 2023

Microsoft to cut down on the number of unwanted Windows 11 notifications

Internet notifications, whether on a desktop or mobile device, can be a nuisance. Windows 11 uses push notifications for both native and third-party apps and websites, much like mobile devices. Almost every app in Windows 11 attempts to notify you of something, and most of the time those notifications are useless.

The Windows Security app, for instance, notifies you whenever your computer fails a security check. The same can be said for the Weather app’s notifications, as well as those from any website you subscribe to in Microsoft Edge or Chrome.

The number of Windows alerts you see on a daily basis has been reduced thanks to recent changes made by Microsoft. Focus Assist, included with Windows 11, is one such feature that helps you zero in on your work by muting all those pesky app toast notifications.

The tech giant is now experimenting with a new method to cut down on unnecessary notifications so you can pay attention to the ones that matter. Preview builds of Windows 11 mention a new feature called “Smart opt-out,” which will reduce unwanted notifications.

Smart opt-out isn’t AI, but it should do the trick

In Windows 11, Microsoft is developing a new method to reduce unnecessary alerts and direct users’ attention to critical messages. This function is a notification that suggests turning off alerts for infrequently used apps.

A notification titled “Turn off notifications from Outlook?” with two options, “Turn off” and “Don’t change,” will appear after a month if you haven’t interacted with Outlook notifications.

Most Windows 11 users will appreciate this update because too many notifications can be annoying. Windows 11’s ability to automatically detect ignored notifications and suggest disabling them follows years of similar implementation in email filters.

Apps with which you regularly interact shouldn’t have their notifications disabled by the smart opt-out feature.

Being a relatively minor update to the OS, Smart opt-out should make its way into the production channel within a few months Changes to Windows 11’s setup.

Urgent notifications feature in Windows 11

Another change made to notifications in Windows 11 is that users now have more say over which notifications are prioritized. Focus Assist (Do Not Disturb) can be overridden for truly critical alerts.

Windows 11 urgent notifications feature
In Windows 11, you can receive critical alerts.

Apps like Visualizer have the ability to send “Allow important notifications” to users so that they can continue to receive critical alerts from the app even when Do Not Disturb mode is activated.

Urgent alerts in Windows 11
There will soon be a view notification button for urgent messages.

In order to protect users’ privacy while using full-screen apps, Microsoft has added a new control called “view notification” to its urgent notifications feature.

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