When you’re using your PC, Gmail is rolling out a feature that lets you pause mobile notifications

When you're using your PC, Gmail is rolling out a feature that lets you pause mobile notifications

This feature first appeared in a limited fashion back in February, according to 9to5Google, but the rollout appears to have accelerated today. We have heard from several readers (thanks, Nick) who saw the notification pause dialog in Gmail, and I saw it myself just a little bit ago. If you take Google up on its offer, you’ll have to allow Gmail to monitor your device usage (see below). As of this writing, I have not seen any settings in Gmail to enable or disable this feature, but you can control the device access permission under settings > Security and Privacy > Site Settings > Additional Permissions.

Notifications on your smartphone are useful, if not crucial, to the overall experience. Android’s early advantage in notification management was important in its success against Apple. Notification overload is a problem these days, with hundreds of apps and services vying for your attention, but Google is releasing a new feature that will help you cut through the noise in one specific situation. You may turn off Gmail notifications on your phone while using Gmail on your PC. However, there is certainly more work to be done.


  • Since there aren’t any settings in Gmail, it does not appear you can turn this feature on manually—you simply have to wait for Google to offer. It does appear to be offering this on a lot of accounts today, though. Presumably, this feature will be made official at some point, hopefully with usable settings. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the above popup.

  • With the notification pause enabled, new emails will only alert on your desktop. Of course, you still get those emails on your phone, but they don’t make a peep or appear on your screen. Step away from the computer, and notifications should start coming through on the phone again.