Notifications and the message tray

What is a notification?

If an application or a system component wants to get your attention, a notification will be shown at the bottom of your screen.

For example, if you plug in an external device (like a USB stick), or if new updates are available for your computer, you will get a notification informing you.

To minimize distraction, some notifications first appear as a single line. You can move your mouse over them to see their full content.

Other notifications have selectable option buttons. To close one of these notifications without selecting one of its options, click the close button.

Clicking the close button on some notifications dismisses them. Others may stay hidden in the message tray.

The message tray

The message tray gives you a way to get back to your notifications when it is convenient for you. It appears when you move your mouse to the bottom-right corner of the screen, or press Super+M. The message tray contains all the notifications that you have not acted upon or that permanently reside in it.

You can view the notifications by clicking on the message tray items. These are usually messages sent by applications. However, chat notifications are given special treatment, and are represented by the individual contacts who sent you the chat messages.

You can close the message tray by pressing Super+M again or Esc.

If the screen keyboard is open, you will need to click the tray button to show the message tray.

Hiding notifications

If you're working on something and do not want to be bothered, you can switch off notifications.

  1. Type "Settings" into the global search bar on your desktop. Click on the resulting Settings icon, or press Enter, to open.

  2. Click on Notifications.

  3. Switch Show Pop Up Banners to Off.

When switched off, most notifications will not pop up at the bottom of the screen. Very important notifications, such as when your battery is critically low, will still pop up. Notifications will still be available in the messaging tray when you display it (by moving your mouse to the bottom of the screen, or by pressing Super+M), and they will start popping up again when you switch the toggle to ON again.