Not using Chrome?

Don't worry, Stack Alert is available for other browsers as well. Visit the appropriate page for your browser below:

Screenshot / Advertisement

Stack Alert in action on Chrome.      Stack Alert Advertisement.


What better way to keep an eye on your inbox than with a Chrome extension? Now you can tell at a glance how many items are in your inbox without worrying about having a tab open to a Stack Exchange site.


GPL version 3


You can get the extension from the Chrome Web Store:


Any platform that runs Google Chrome or Chromium.


I can be reached at admin@quickmediasolutions.com.


The extension is written in JavaScript.

You can get the code here: https://github.com/nathan-osman/Stack-Alert
(look in the chrome/ folder for the Chrome-specific code)

  • Suggestion: can you make the app mark an item as read when I click on it? – David Z Jan 2 '12 at 2:14
  • @DavidZaslavsky: Still looking into that since the API doesn't provide that capability. But yes, that would be a nice feature. – Nathan Osman Jan 2 '12 at 2:35
  • OK, I had a feeling. Though even if you can't mark it as read with an API call, just having the app keep a local cache of items that have been clicked and marking them as read until the next refresh would be useful. – David Z Jan 2 '12 at 2:51
  • would it be possible to scroll through old items? BTW love the Chrome Extension! – Sathyajith Bhat Jan 2 '12 at 4:37
  • @Sathya: I can add that, sure. – Nathan Osman Jan 2 '12 at 19:13
  • Slight problems with unicode characters? i.imgur.com/gEIdS.png – Sathyajith Bhat Jan 8 '12 at 4:40
  • @Sathya: Oy! That's a bad Unicode bug. I'll look into it. – Nathan Osman Jan 8 '12 at 5:24
  • @GeorgeEdison also, with the last update, clicking on anything goes to Google.ca – Sathyajith Bhat Jan 8 '12 at 5:59
  • @Sathya: 0.15 has been released and should fix that last problem. – Nathan Osman Jan 8 '12 at 6:24
  • @GeorgeEdison thanks - that fixes the Google.ca problem... and brings in one more :( i.imgur.com/B4bEv.png – Sathyajith Bhat Jan 8 '12 at 7:59
  • ok, with the latest update the all items link to a totally random question – Sathyajith Bhat Jan 10 '12 at 12:22
  • @Sathya: I can't seem to win :) I'll get it fixed as soon as I can. – Nathan Osman Jan 10 '12 at 18:59
  • @Sathya: I think everything is fixed now, but (as mentioned in the note at the top) you will need to uninstall it and install it from the link above. The extension is now listed in the Chrome Web Store. – Nathan Osman Jan 11 '12 at 6:28
  • 1
    @Tiago: turn it off? – Nathan Osman Jul 23 '14 at 1:18
  • 1
    Mysteriously, this extension got automatically removed from my Google Chrome install, and trying to add it back gives a download error: Invalid manifest. It might have to do with Chrome's latest update. – EKons Jun 4 '18 at 18:47

EDIT: Implemented using Web Sockets (because the caching characteristics of the API does not allow real-time notifications). I created a Chrome extension and Firefox add-on, and created a Stack Apps listing at Real-time desktop notifications for Stack Exchange inbox.

In Google Chrome, the popup is closed when performing an action outside it (clicking, navigating, ...).

Can you implement Desktop Notifications in the Google Chrome extension (sample code 1, sample 2)?
It would look like this:
New Message! @RobW Hello!

Related documentation

  • 1
    Thank you for asking. Popup notifications are planned for a future release but I will need to be careful when implementing them because this extension is designed to work on multiple browsers. That shouldn't be a problem (since I can always disable the feature on browsers that don't support desktop notifications) but it is definitely something to keep in mind. – Nathan Osman Apr 10 '12 at 22:56
  • @GeorgeEdison Currently, Chrome is the only browser which natively support notifications. I can imagine that some users don't like notifications in Chrome, so add an option to set this preference. To implement this feature in Firefox, you can have a look at the source code of this add-on. – Rob W Apr 11 '12 at 8:15

Bug: When the error popup is displayed, no error is displayed (only a .), and clicking the Ok button does not dismiss the popup box.

Error box

  • Trying to get a screenshot, but clicking off it dismisses it. I'll get it next time. – C. Ross Jan 17 '12 at 20:12
  • Thanks for the error report - I'll see that this gets fixed soon. – Nathan Osman Jan 17 '12 at 20:44
  • 1
    I've been getting this fairly often, esp when there is an unread item – Sathyajith Bhat Jan 18 '12 at 5:20
  • @C.Ross: This is now fixed with the latest release. – Nathan Osman Jan 19 '12 at 20:39
  • @GeorgeEdison Is it up on the web store? – C. Ross Jan 19 '12 at 21:04
  • @C.Ross: Yes, version 0.21 is up now and contains the fix for your problem. – Nathan Osman Jan 19 '12 at 21:19
  • 2
    @GeorgeEdison FYI: Version 0.21 does not fix that problem. I still have it all the time (as in: two or more times per day). – Tomalak Aug 5 '12 at 9:11
  • @GeorgeEdison Yeah, I still get the problem too. I've just gotten used to clicking OK ... – C. Ross Aug 5 '12 at 12:43
  • 1
    I really need a Chrome extension developer to figure out what's going on - plus I'm swamped with other projects. – Nathan Osman Aug 5 '12 at 14:39
  • Same issue here. Details say "error: invalid_request error description: OAuth request must be over HTTPS" – Daniel Oct 27 '13 at 15:23
  • Anyone know how to turn this off – Tiago Lira Dos Santos Jul 22 '14 at 23:43

Bug: You didn't escape the title's HTML.

Bug Screenshot

I've been using this plugin for a long time, just noticed it today. The title was "How to add general keyword to <select> ..." I think it will break too on other tags.

I think you should make a fix.


As you can see, I think the <ul> <li> situation in the plugin have too much of a padding. I suggest improving the UX of the UI with something like this:

  • no padding on <ul> (since not actually "listing" text)
  • add great padding to each <li> (to separate items and give space to each content)
  • omit list-style and widen the items so they fit the popup 100%(better appearance and take advantage of space usage)
  • imitate official inbox on the Stack Exchange community, make background of "Inbox" gray and uppercased, remember to reset the padding and margin of the html's <body> (give users a warm welcoming experience)
  • add spacing, color and font-size difference between question title and the context (so people actually know they are really 2 things)

Wish you could respond. :)

  • I'm afraid the response probably isn't the one you're looking for, but I'll give you an honest answer. Stack Alert hasn't been touched in a long time and the source code doesn't follow best practices by any means. (And it has a few bugs.) I'm currently looking for a new maintainer since it is becoming a maintenance burden for me. – Nathan Osman Oct 1 '14 at 14:23
  • Thanks anyway for your reply. I just thought a plugin to browser is really a good idea. :) – Daniel Cheung Oct 1 '14 at 14:32

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .