I find notifications of new messages (even seeing the number of unread new messages) very distracting. But I value using Gmail's interface - with labels, conversation view, keyboard shortcuts, and syncing drafts across my machines. Are there any ways in which I can do so but block notifications of new messages? The simplest way would be to make Gmail only check for new messages manually, as you can do with desktop clients like Apple Mail.

The only way I've found is to use the Gmail Offline extension in Chrome but disable my internet.

  • You are referring to the desktop notifications in Chrome?
    – Alex
    Mar 21, 2013 at 19:45
  • No, to the notifications you see in the left sidebar of the GMail interface, and in the tab title, saying 'Inbox (1200)', etc
    – tog22
    Mar 23, 2013 at 16:19
  • Best bet would be a Greasemonkey script or something like that, but I don’t know if such a thing exists. Or something similar to Little Snitch, where you can block all calls to Gmail when the filter is up.
    – Alex
    Mar 23, 2013 at 18:16
  • Good ideas, though I'll see if anyone has any pre-baked answers...
    – tog22
    Mar 26, 2013 at 10:26

4 Answers 4


This GMail tweak does just what you're after:


  1. INBOX PAUSE adds a pause button to your Gmail. Inbox Pause Button

  2. When you click that button, new messages will stop arriving in your Inbox. They will be held in a special label until you are ready for them.

  3. If you choose, INBOX PAUSE can notify the people who email you to let them know that their message will not be delivered to your Inbox. 3 When you unpause your Inbox, all of the messages that you received during the break will be moved to your Inbox, and new messages will arrive as before.Inbox Pause Button

Just create labels, filter that will mark every new email that you receive as read.

Every time you open GMail you will have to manually realise as to which messages on top of the list are not read by you.

Or else you can use labels, filters to move messages to another folder and not display in Inbox, this way the notification is moved out of the title and front view and gets hidden in the more area where you will have to scroll with mouse to see the unread count.

To create filter that marks messages as being read if they are new and in the inbox, you can use the following search for the filter:

label:unread label:inbox

Using this filters search terms you can use the Mark as read option for the filter.


For Chrome, I use Adblock and then block specific elements. After you install Adblock, right-click on the element and select Block this Ad.

This will block those annoying "x new" messages.

Adblock for Chrome

For Firefox, use Adblock Plus + Adblock Plus Element Hiding Helper.


I've build this tool. An inbox pause script for Gmail. I think you can tweak the script a little bit so it matches your needs.


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