Get Rid Of The Chrome Bell Notification Menu Bar Icon [OS X Tips]

chrome bell icon

Boy, you’d think this would be an easy one, right? Most third-party menu bar icons allow you to either drag and delete them from the menu bar itself, or at least provide a Quit or Disable function in their own drop-down menus, but not Chrome.

The little bell menu bar just sits there, mocking us, providing no easy way to delete it from the horde of other app icons competing for our admittedly limited attention.

Fear not, though, as there is a fairly easy–though rather unintuitive–way to delete this bell icon.

All you really need to do is dig into the Chrome settings a bit.

First, launch Chrome and type the following into the address bar at the top:

chrome://flags

Hit return on your keyboard and you’ll get a window full of Chrome settings that aren’t even in the plain-old preferences window.

flags Chrome

Find Enable Rich Notifications Enable Synced Notifications (Thanks, Marc!) and click on it. Choose Disabled from the drop-down options menu. You can also Disable the “Enable experimental UI for Notifications” if you like, as the little bell icon seems to come from that side of town.

Quit Chrome, and then relaunch the browser using the Relaunch now button that appears at the bottom of the Flags page, or just by quitting Chrome; you’ll no longer have to see that silly icon. If you want to put it all back, just do the reverse: enable the things you disabled in the steps above.

Look, ma: no bells!

Look, ma: no bells!

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    I saw that bell and deleted it somehow but I didn’t use the method described. It seemed to appear one day on its own or it’s possible I installed a new version of Chrome. It’s possible I right-clicked on that icon and there was an option to remove it. I really wish I could have remembered. I just know I didn’t use the “chrome://flags” method because I’d never heard of it. I’d been using Chrome for couple of years and never saw that bell and one day there it was sitting in the Menu Bar. Weird.

    • Grey

      The assholes reënable the ‘bell’, automatically, with every Chrome update — which update happens in the background.

      • Norm Harding

        Great. So we have to go through the “Disable” selection again. Not a happy camper! May start using Firefox or others.

      • Norm Harding

        Well, it is the next day and that @#$$%% bell is back on there again! Bye bye Chrome.

  • Ian Drobney

    from left to right:
    | evernote | dropbox | ? | alfred | ? | ? | ? | chrome | ? | –>system icons.
    I would like to know what the ?’s are.

    • Rob LeFebvre

      twitter, evernote, dropbox, sharebucket, alfred, RecordIt, Dialog, SteelSeries, hangouts, system icons

      I think i’ve written about sharebucket, RecordIt and Dialog before. SteelSeries controls options for the Siberia Elite Headphones I reviewed a while back.

  • http://www.feastofbeast.com DJBabyBuster

    Thanks, this was buggin me.

  • Guest

    THANK YOU. It boggles my mind how arrogant Google is that they need to hijack their own notification system instead of using the one that is, you know, BUILT RIGHT INTO OS X.

  • bobrk

    Thanks! I just noticed that today, and this tip worked perfectly.

  • Richard Smith

    Chrome 35 has removed “Enable Rich Notifications” flag, leaving no way to turn it off. I already treat Chrome as a second class citizen, and use it primarily for when I need flash, I was using it to get better support out of google apps but now that I can’t get rid of that ugly bell, i’m taking my google apps use back to Safari.

  • Brandon Gatlin

    This fix no longer works but I found the new one: go to chrome://flags/ like he said, but you must find “notification center behavior mac” and choose “never show.”

    • joshuapinter

      Cheers for this – he should really update the article.

    • Yujin

      excellent! it worked …the article needs to be updated.

    • Gareth

      Yeah this works for me. cheers!

    • Jack H.

      Yes! Thank you! Also, I found that disabling “Enable Synced Notifications” will stop the side popups that appear to come from the notification center.

  • Grey

    In Chrome 35.0.1916.114 (OSX) the flag is now “Enable Synced Notifications Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS”

    • HTTP500

      I found this flag earlier and disabled it. However, 5 hours later and the bleeding bell has return. I’ve checked and the flag is still disabled, so I guess it isn’t the solution.

      • Grey

        As noted by another commenter above: You might also need to disable “Notification Center behavior Mac” — apparently a new flag that Google geniuses added to annoy everyone (except themselves of course). The “synced notifications” flag obviously requires you to be “signed in” to Chrome…which is what Google wants, and needs. The primary reason I use Chrome at all is because it runs Flash Player within itself — a great solution for those of us that don’t want piece of shit Flash installed at system level. And I’m *never “signed in”.

  • TheLavender1958 .

    just thought I would let you know, they have changed the name of it to Enable Synced Notifications…I had already removed it months ago per your instructions, but it suddenly showed up again under the new name

  • Norm Harding

    Thanks for the info! That stupid bell was driving me nuts, lol! I am on a Windows platform though and noticed a slight difference in Chrome that I thought I would add here. Instead of “Enable Rich Notifications” I had “Enable Synced Notifications”. Honestly, it bugs me when something is that intrusive and just assumes I want it, much like the Amway reps or church organisations coming to my door, lol.

    • Norm Harding

      For all who read this post, that #$%^&* bell is back on my notifications area again and the “Enable Synced Notifications” is disabled still. When I disabled it yesterday, the bell disappeared, now it is back like the annoying little itch that will not leave! Well, no more Chrome for me!

      • http://mikemai.net/ Mike Mai

        Yes same for me. This is so dumb!

  • mandydc

    On my Chrome installation it was called “Enabled Sync Notifications….” I disabled this and the bell went away. Thank you for the tip!

    • http://mikemai.net/ Mike Mai

      I did that and it didn’t work. :(

  • oscar_wilde

    For OSX 10.9 type this into the chrome URL bar:
    chrome://flags/#notification-center-tray-behavior type

  • David Tesch

    Did anyone else fail at this? I think Google borked this fix in their never-ending quest to be in your face at all times.

  • sjk1000

    F#$£ers have put it back again and hidden the flag

  • D J

    Everytime I disable it, it’s keep coming. I did the exact steps mentioned. But I didn’t get rid of it.

  • Adam Scholl

    the fix is now in chrome’s menu bar: Chrome -> Hide Notifications Icon

    https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/3220216?hl=en

  • samanga

    For those still trying to disable it, here a solution. Make sure your Chrome is updated, then go to Chrome > Hide Notifications Icon. It is right above the “Quit Google Chrome”. This should take away the annoying bell icon and works as of Version 36.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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