Add "Dismiss all" link on Notifications Menu, like facebook

I just had an interesting conversation with a colleague, who was having some trouble with her discourse notifications. She’s a hybrid user - most of the time she just uses email to participate in discussions but sometimes she logs in to start topics and like posts. This means that she often has dozens or even hundreds of notifications which she’d just like to dismiss. She did not immediately find the “Dismiss all” link on her own and when I told her about it she said it was not obvious at all.

Facebook has a “Mark all as read” link right at the top, which is probably what she is expecting. I’m sure many users have that expectation.

The top of the notifications menu is pretty full already - maybe a “Dismiss all” link could be added to the bottom right corner, next to “view older notifications”?


This reminds me of a neat feature with Github’s email notifications:

If you receive both web and email notifications, you can “share” the state of the notification by automatically marking web notifications as read once you’ve read the corresponding email notification

Not sure if this has been proposed/considered before, but I guess this is almost a separate #feature request?

Email “marking” things read on the web is highly problematic has been discussed at length.

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Are you talking about the notifications drop down? Screenshot of exactly what you mean, please?

Yeah, I am referring to the notifications drop down which I’ve seen referred to as the Notifications Menu in alot of places on meta.

@cpradio proposed what I’m talking about back in 2014 (!!). It looks like that’s where the decision was made to add a “Dismiss all” button to the notifications page.


I dunno, I feel like you’re really harping on this one anomalous outlier user behavior. I’d need to see a lot more evidence of other people running into this.

Because I wrote 3 posts about this? Sorry, I was just trying to separate the questions so we can usefully talk about them. Didn’t realize I was harping.

In this case I don’t think I’m describing an outlier behavior at all - people who use facebook want to dismiss their notifications and don’t expect to click through to “view old notifications” and then look for a “dismiss all” button down the left side of the page.

My community has alot of these hybrid users who prefer to use email to read and reply to PMs and topics they are following or when they are mentioned. Only occasionally do they log in and when they do they are overwhelmed by the notifications and just ignore them. They’ll then click around a bit in discussions and then give up and go back to their email. I am not making this up - it’s feedback I’ve been getting for a while.

I think putting the “dismiss all” link where they are looking for it will help these hybrid users to make a fresh start with using the discourse site, and then hopefully start logging in more regularly.


It’s not a problem per se, I just need to hear it from more than one source.


I routinely see that users have several old/undismissed notifications in our office when I walk around. I assume this is in part because of similar things to what @tobiaseigen and others have described.

I don’t expect many users to complain about it though. Rather, my concern is that they get so used to seeing a notification bubble permanently positioned over their avatar that they stop noticing it at all.

I don’t think this would completely solve that problem, but it seems to be a somewhat common pattern in apps with similar notification features and it might increase the odds of the feature being used a bit.

So I’d welcome this change if it ever makes it to the top of anyone’s list.


Well yes, and a lot of people have 999+ unread emails forever, as well. There is a “you can lead a horse to water…” aspect to this, too :wink:


That’s very true. And we already make the bubble itself go away when you click once so that’s already a better solution for my concern anyway…


Me too. I keep a couple of accounts with different permissions etc.

Some accounts I haven’t logged on for a while get literally tons of notifications. Since I’ve handled them all in another account, I would just like a dismiss all button to get rid of them.

As it is right now, I just ignore the notifications. That’s probably not what you want.

Users who haven’t logged in for a while (on vacation?) will likely appreciate this feature.


Keep in mind, the “Dismiss all” button already exists. It’s located at /my/notifications for every user. This topic is discussing adding an additional dismiss all button to the notification menu.


I think said this elsewhere already but can’t find it:

Like- and badge-notifications should be automatically marked as read just by having opened the notifications tab.


ohhh - this also explains the recalculation of the number when the notification menu is clicked. the number was changing right before our very eyes.

has anyone created a query to calculate the number of notifications (and the number of different types of notifications) people have on a site? It would be interesting and useful to see how many people are just ignoring that menu.

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I have been thinking a lot about this lately, and find it mildly annoying that it takes 3 clicks to accomplish the same thing. (I have to go into the main list of “view older notifications” then the “Dismiss All” button.


And, to iterate a point raised above, I have used Discourse for a while, but I still didn’t know there is a Dismiss All button under the list of view older notifications. :sweat_smile:

My assumption is that no new user will ever notice this, unless they get lucky and just happen to bump into it.


That would be awesome

I’ve been using Discourse daily since April and never even knew there was a “Dismiss All” button till I saw this thread and deciding to go hunting for it. It wasn’t obvious or intuitive that it would be hidden under the “view older posts…” link. Why would I look for it there?

I had eventually turned off notifications for likes because I didn’t see any way to dismiss them en masse, so they’d pile up, and I’d have to either ignore them or click on each one to clear it, thereby wasting time. This design could be improved.

I’m the admin of my forum too. I doubt many of our users even know this feature exists. I could survey them to be sure, but I quickly asked my g/f who’s been helping me admin, and she didn’t know it was there either.

If you need more validation that people don’t know this feature exists, that should be easy to gather.

So yeah, add my vote to making this more prominent.