GitHub started clearing my web notifications


I have been using both web and email notifications for a long time. I receive email notifications when I am participating to keep updated of important issues on my phone when I am not at a computer. I usually never reply and leave it for later to read it again when I have access to a computer. Recently GitHub started clearing my web notifications and it seems to be when I read the emails. That means I need to remember all these issues and find them again through the web interface which both takes a long time and it’s very easy to forget something. I haven’t changed any settings or done anything different to what I usually do. The only change I can think of is that I started using WiFi on my phone instead of the mobile network!

Is there any way to turn this off so GitHub leaves my web notifications alone when I read the emails?

Hi there Ben3eeE!

The shared read state is powered by the 1x1 pixel image that’s included in our email notifications. When your email client loads that image, we mark the corresponding web notification as read. We don’t currently have an option to disable this functionality.

It’s not an ideal solution but I’d recommend stopping your mail client from loading images included in emails from This will stop your web notifications from automatically being marked as read. How you make that change will depend on your email client but I hope that’s helpful for you to know!


Thank you so much :heart: I didn’t know this!

I must have my phone configured to automatically load images over WiFi! I’ll try changing that setting.

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Do you know if this is an intended ‘quirk’, or is it just a side-effect of reusing images?

@timrossback wrote:
Do you know if this is an intended ‘quirk’, or is it just a side-effect of reusing images?

The image we include in notifications to track read status is unique for each email sent. By blocking images in your mail client, the image is never loaded from GitHub’s servers so we don’t know if you’ve opened it and can’t mark the web notification as read.

I’m afraid I’m not sure what you meant by “reusing images”. Let me know if I didn’t answer your question!

Are there any plans to make this optional? There’s no way to prevent images from being downloaded from a particular domain unless you decide to do so for *all* emails, which is far from ideal.

Hi @jtanx,

Thanks for this feedback! We’re always working to improve GitHub, and we consider every suggestion we receive. I’ve logged your feature request in our internal feature request list. Though I can’t guarantee anything or share a timeline for this, I can tell you that it’s been shared with the appropriate teams for consideration.