Not getting release notification despite "Watching releases"

Hi folks,

I was glad  to hear that GitHub finally allows users to watch only the releases of a project and get notifications about those. Before I used blogtrottr to send me an email on changes to a certain release feed (e.g.

Unfortunately this feature doesn’t seem to work at all for me. I’m watching the releases of at least 5 projects and I haven’t recieved any kind of notification (neither mail nor GitHub notification) for several releases that have happened since then. Here are my notification settings, they seem correct to me:


Another hint might be that I currently have three mail addresses in my account. I don’t have access to one of them. However the “Default notification email” is set to my current one, which I do have access to. I also get updates regarding comments on issues and such to that mail address.

Best regards,



Hi @va1entin,

Could you share with me a couple of the projects that you’re watching releases for if they are public? I would like to review which releases that you should have gotten notifications for.


Hi @that-pat ,

thanks for the quick reply!

Going through the projects I’m watching releases of I think I might have found a hint for this issue. I haven’t recieved notification about the following public releases:

Nixpkgs - Release 19.03-beta

OpenWRT - Release 18.06.2

I have recieved a notification for this public project though:

The main difference I could spot is that pi-hole actually has messages added to it’s releases, contrary to nixpkgs and openwrt, which just have a plain release. Could it be that GitHub doesn’t notify users of “plain” releases?

Best regards,


Hi @va1entin,

I think you hit the nail on the head. Without adding a message to the release, it only counts as a “tag” and not as a full release. Part of the confusion comes from the fact that when a project isn’t using full releases, it shows the project tags under the releases tab.

I hope that helps. 


Hi @that-pat,

thanks for the confirmation and technical background. Is there any possibility to adapt GitHub’s behaviour accordingly/make it configurable in the future? I think it’s quite common for projects to not include a release message but from the user’s (or at least my subjective) perspective those are still releases all the same.

I’ll unwatch the repos again, go back to blogtrottr and subscribe to all the feeds again the meantime.

For anyone looking for a workaround: Just subscribe to<user>/<repository>/releases.atom there and get notified.


Hi @va1entin

I’ve passed your feedback on to our internal team. I can’t promise if there will be changes, what those changes will be, or when they might occur, but any changes will be announce in the GitHub Changelog.

Hope that helps!

1 Like

There was also already a discussion on the “isaacs/github” repository:

A service called was recommended there and it seems to work well so far.


I’m having the same issue - many projects don’t put messages in their releases, and instead put them in or something instead, so I think notifiying on the creation of a new release tag whether or not there is a message is necessary for a lot of us.


Nobody needs an alternative service for this, let’s just address this as a bug and that’s it.


I’m gonna bump this too. This issue needs to be taken as a bug, not a feature :stuck_out_tongue:


This service is great. I don’t think GitHub is going to support that much granular control on the notifications in the foreseeable future.
Thanks a lot for the reference!