The other day, a reader commented with this question. “Is there an option in Skype4B to have it set up where your chat does NOT blink or pop up on your screen? I would like just an icon on my taskbar, until I acknowledge it.”
You know this one. Whenever you get a new IM, or an incoming call, a little box appears in the bottom right of your screen with a message – “John Smith is calling!” – and an Accept button.
I replied to the comment, saying, “I’m not sure the option you’re looking for is available. Part of Skype for Business’ central approach is to show you notifications when someone wants to chat or call you. That said, you CAN turn Push Notifications on & off for the mobile apps.”
Afterward, I did a little more research. Judging from the results, this reader is definitely not the only person interested!
Disable Pop-up Notifications – SkypeFeedback.com Forums
I pored through help files, forum threads, and even the cmdlets index. We know that you can limit alerts on the Windows client–for example, stopping them when your Presence is set to Do Not Disturb.
What about a universal “turn off alerts” setting though? Does it exist?
After the research (example: the above link) and user comments, I can say this. No, you cannot totally disable the Alert notification popup. But you can control where it appears, and how often.
So we have something, at least! Let’s list out how to control what we can control here.
Control Where the Alert Popup Appears
By default, the Alert Popup appears on the bottom right of your screen. But you can change that.
Enter Settings by clicking the gear in your Skype for Business client, and select Alerts in the left column.
Look in the first box on the right. You’ll see a line saying, “Where should alerts appear?” with two dropdown menus.
Click the second dropdown (titled “Position”) and you’ll see the options. Lower-Right Corner, Lower-Left Corner, Upper-Right Corner, Upper-Left Corner.
Click the option you want, and then click OK.
Control How Often the Alert Popup Appears
The Alerts window contains more options than just Position. They’re broken up in three categories: “General Alerts,” “When my Status is Do Not Disturb,” and “Contacts not Using Skype for Business.”
- In “General Alerts,” you can turn off alerts for someone adding you to their Contacts list.
- In “When my Status is Do Not Disturb,” you can turn off all alerts, show only alerts from people in your Workgroup, or show all alerts (but only conversation alerts from people in your Workgroup).
- In “Contacts not Using Skype for Business,” you can block all invites and communications, allow invites but block all other communications, or allow anyone to contact you.
Your system admin may set some of these via Group Policy. Otherwise, you can change them yourself.
If the “Don’t show alerts” option was in the “General Alerts” section, this post would be over. One click and we could shut off alert popups. Sigh.
Control Push Notifications on Mobile
We have a little more Alert Popup control on mobile devices than on desktops. There are two ways to control Push Notifications on mobile: on the phone itself, and on the Skype for Business Server.
On the Phone (iPhone):
Navigate to the Skype for Business app (it may be labeled just “Business”) in the apps list.
To turn off all notifications, tap the toggle next to “Allow Notifications.”
*Note: If you have grayed-out options, then push notifications are not enabled on the server. See the next section.
On Skype for Business Server:
Log into the Skype for Business Server Control Panel.
Click the “Clients” menu.
Click “Push Notification Configuration.” You may have an existing Global policy set. Like this:
If so, double-click the Global policy. (If not, click “New” to generate a new policy.)
Check (or uncheck) the boxes next to “Enable Microsoft push notifications” and/or “Enable Apple push notifications.”
Control Notification Sounds
For this, I hearken back to the original 2015 post I did on notifications: Make Lync Stop Bugging You – How to Shrink its Powers of Distraction
Look at Option 1, “Turn off the annoying “Ding!” sound when an IM comes in.” We end up doing this a lot for customers, for some reason…
We Cannot Make the Skype4B Alert Popup Go Away. Yet.
At the end of the day, you’re still going to see someone’s face pop up on your screen, when they want to talk to you. It’s central to Skype’s communications.
That said, nothing says this won’t change in time. We’ve already seen third-party tools for modifying alerts & notifications, like SuperToast. I’m not a developer, but I can easily see one building a tool to control Alert Popups.
I’d bet many of us would gladly pay for such a tool, wouldn’t we?
What do you think about Skype’s Alert Popups? Useful reminder or productivity-attacking pest? Please weigh in, in the comments or via email.