Firefox gets native Windows 10 notifications support


Mozilla plans to switch the notification system that Firefox uses on Windows 10 devices to the operating system’s native notification system soon.

Firefox users who run a Nightly version of the web browser on a Windows 10 device may have noticed that the browser uses the operating system’s notification system to display notifications to the user.

The browser’s old notification system is a custom designed on that remains the default on some versions of Windows.

The two screenshots below show the new notification prompt and the old notification prompt of the Firefox browser.

firefox old new notifications windows 10

I used the HTML5 Web Notifications Test to display these on a machine running the latest Insider build of Windows 10.

The switch changes some things around quite a bit. You may notice the settings icon that the old notification displays in its lower right corner. Firefox users could use it to pause notifications until the next restart of the browser, disable notifications for the site that pushed it to the desktop, or open the notification settings (in Firefox).

The new prompt comes without these options as notifications are handled by the operating system and not Firefox anymore.

The change has a number of consequences for Firefox users on Windows 10. Notifications need to be enabled on the Windows 10 device so that Firefox can push notifications to the desktop.

Here is how that is done (default is on):

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to System > Notifications & actions.
  3. Make sure that “get notifications from apps and other senders” is enabled.
  4. Scroll down to “Get notifications from these senders” and make sure Firefox is listed there with the status on.

Control notifications in Firefox

You can turn off notifications entirely for Firefox by setting this to off. It is still necessary to allow sites to use the notifications feature to display them on the desktop.

firefox notifications

Firefox users can manage permissions for individual sites in the following way:

  1. Load about:preferences#privacy in the browser’s address bar.
  2. Scroll down to the Permissions section and select Settings next to Notifications.
  3. There you find listed all sites that you allowed or blocked.
  4. An option to block any new request to allow notifications can be blocked there as well.

Note that you cannot add a site manually to the listing. You need to visit it and accept or block the prompt that it displays in regards to notifications.

Closing Words

Firefox users have two options to block notifications on Windows 10 going forward. They can block notifications in the browser for any new site they encounter or use the Windows 10 notifications settings instead to block Firefox or all notifications.

Mozilla plans to launch the same in Firefox 64 Stable. Firefox 64’s planned release date is December 11, 2018.

Google rolled out native notifications support for Chrome on Windows 10 in August 2018.

Now You: Do you make use of notifications in your browser?

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