Is there a way to disable a specific balloon notification without disabling all of them?

There is a group policy called Turn off all balloon notifications, but what if you want to turn off only one specific notification?

The taskbar does not offer fine-grained policy control over balloon notifications. All you have is the giant sledgehammer that turns off all of them. If there is a specific balloon you want to disable, you have to check with the specific program that is raising them, or the specific product feature, to see if it offers a way to turn the balloon off.

For example, there is a setting to disable the low disk space checks and another one to disable notifications that tell you when you have lost the connection to a networked file and are working on the local copy.

Comments (11)
  1. Damien says:

    But what if I've written the greatest program in the world and we need to display balloon notifications but we need to make sure that competitors inferior product, that can display all kinds of annoying balloon notifications, no longer shows them?

    It's as if you guys don't want me to get my raise.

  2. Joshua says:

    Now this leads right back into the topic I avoided last time: how to retrieve notifications when explorer isn't running.

  3. Kevin says:

    Of course, if the notifications are coming from a third-party application, you can block the whole app via the Control Panel.  This may or may not be what you want (e.g. "I want to see some Contoso notifications but hide others").

  4. smf says:

    If you want your raise then just code something that dismisses your competitors balloon notifications using automation.

  5. Tim says:

    Even if there was a clearinghouse for managing which notifications to show and which to hide, it wouldn't be very useful because it seems like 90% of programs don't actually use the built in notifications, they implement their own pop-up notification systems. Presumably because the Explorer notifications auto-expire, and they want to be able to shove notifications in your face that will remain on-screen indefinitely.

  6. Simon says:

    Doesn't the Windows 7 Notification Area Icons control panel allow you to suppress notifications on a per-app basis? That's at least a slightly more fine-grained hammer. Or are you referring to group policy adjustments in particular?

  7. Rob says:

    @Kevin and Simon: Yes, that's true, the Control Panel does support that.  But, that is a Shell "user-preferences-first" feature, which can't be controlled programmatically (at least, not with documented APIs).

  8. Mordachai says:

    It amazes me that anyone would expect Windows to have a fine-grained control for app-specific functionality.  If I write an app that displays various notifications, I had freaking better supply a control panel for that app to give my customers control over what, when, and for how long they see stuff.  It is not Windows responsibility, but mine.  And any failure to do so is clearly because I am an !@#$hole, and customers should say so.  Yeesh.

  9. Chris Crowther @ Work says:

    @Rob: There's a reason for that: they're *user* preferences.  You shouldn't be touching them.  They'd be no point in having user preferences if software could just come along and decide it knew better, changing the setting to one it thinks is more suitable.

    (Not you specifically, obviously.  Just programmers in general.)

  10. Sven2 says:

    On Windows 8.1, when I go to "Control PanelAll Control Panel ItemsNotification Area Icons", I have options to disable notifications associated to specific task bar icons. Isn't that pretty close to what was asked for?

    [Maybe I'm not reading it right, but the options I see are "Show icon and notifications", "Hide icon and notifications", and "Only show notifications". I don't see "Only show icon." Also, this doesn't let you disable a specific balloon, just all balloons associated with a particular icon. -Raymond]
  11. Marc K says:

    @Chris Crowther @ Work: A random commercial program shouldn't be messing with user preferences, but administrators of a corporate environment claim that privilege over their users.  If the Help Desk is inundated by complaints about notifications from Line of Business Application X, administrators may very well want to push out a setting that turns off notifications for that app.

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