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The Google navigation bar notification bell will disappear March 7th: switch to browser notifications

The notification bell on the desktop Google navigation bar will disappear on March 7th. You can switch to browser notifications for Google Photos, Hangouts Chat, and Google+ for G Suite.  You will see a message with a Learn More link when you click the notification bell starting today.

The notification bell on the Google navigation bar first appeared in 2011, allowing you to access your Google+ notifications anywhere you are signed in to Google. As Google+ was integrated with other Google products, you could get your notifications for Google+ comments on Blogger and YouTube and for activity on your Photos. Peak Google+ integration was in 2013.

In 2015, as Google+ split away from other Google products, the notification bell was updated so that Google+, Google Photos and YouTube notifications could be managed separately.

And in 2017, shortly after the shutdown of Classic Google+, the notifications under the bell got a redesign, and Mr. Jingles - the Google+ notifications mascot - was removed. Mr. Jingles currently lives on the Google+ desktop notifications page, hopefully until consumer Google+ shuts down April 2nd.

Be sure to read to the end of this post for a walk down memory lane.

My hope was that it would eventually become a truly universal Google notifications bell, and include notifications from Google Drive and other products that currently only have in-product notifications. But that was not to be.

For a quick overview of how to enable browser notifications for Google+, Google Photos and YouTube, watch my video tutorial. Otherwise read on!
Get more information about the Google navigation bar in the Google Accounts Help Center

Enable desktop notifications for Google+, Google Photos, and Hangouts Chat

If you want to continue to get notifications on desktop, you can enable those for each product.

Google Photos

Note: Most notifications can also be seen on the Google Photos Assistant page ( or the Google Photos Sharing page (

1. On your desktop computer, open Google Photos.
2. Click  the 3 line Menu icon at top left and select Settings
3. Turn on Browser notifications.

Google+ (for G Suite after April 2, 2019)

Note: you can still access your notifications in the Google+ Notifications Center (

1. On your desktop computer, open Google+ (
2. Click the 3 line Menu icon at top left, and select Settings
3. Enable "Get Google+ push notifications on your web browser"
4. Select which notifications you would like to receive

Note: as of the last week of March 2019, in Google+ new notification count is shown on the left menu. Clicking Notifications opens

Hangouts Chat 
  1. On your computer, open Google Hangouts Chat.
  2.  Click Settings Gear and select  Notifications.
  3. Select the notifications you'd like to receive

More info and tutorials for the Google+ Shutdown

Timeline of Notifications in the Google navigation bar

November 2011 New Google Bar introduced with Google+ notification bell

April 2013
Optional Google+ Comments launch for Blogger blogs.

June 2013 "Mr. Jingles" the personification of the Google+ notification bell, gets his own Google+ Page ( (first post, second post). Google+ notifications now sync across devices and the notifications tray separates read from unread notifications. (Announcement)

September 2013 Google redesign with updated navigation bar

November 2013 YouTube switches to Google+ Comments 

2014  No significant updates to the notifications bell

May 2015 Google Photos splits away from Google+ 

June 2015 A redesigned notification bell includes configurable notifications for Google+, Google Photos, and (for some users) YouTube. Mr. Jingles is still there to say "All caught up!"

July 2015 Google+ begins separating from YouTube and other Google products

May 2016 Google Spaces launches, notifications are available under the bell. Spaces shut down April 2017.

September 2016 Google+ Notifications Center launches on the web so you can read your Google+ notifications without having to click the bell.

December 2016  YouTube notifications are removed from the bell on the Google navigation bar. YouTube notifications are only available under the notification bell on

January 2017  Classic Google+ desktop interface is retired.

February 2017 Google introduces a newly designed notification bell with Google+ and Google Photos notifications. Mr. Jingles is relegated to the Google+ notifications page.

March 2017 Hangouts Chat launches for G Suite. Hangouts Chat notifications are also under the notifications bell.

March 2019 The "notification widget" is removed from the Google Navigation bar.


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