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Did Chrome recently change notifications?
Question asked by System Administrator - 8/19/2021 at 11:34 AM
Answered
I feel like in the last month I've seen notifications from the SmarterMail web interface change in Chrome. Previously, a new message notification would have some info about the message; now I just see "Google Chrome: New notification".


My Google-Fu is usually pretty good but I'm having a hard time turning up anything at all related to this change. Does anyone have some insight on this?

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Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
I did a quick test on this under Chrome 92.0.4515.159 on MacOS and found my notifications display a preview of the incoming message. I did find though that MacOS has settings dictating when a preview is shown, and it is dependent upon the device being unlocked. Might you have security settings in place preventing the preview? Alternatively are you aware of any domain policies that might disable previews?
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Emily Ward Replied
Employee Post
Hi,

I'm using Google Chrome Version 92.0.4515.159 on Windows 10 and I still see details in my notifications.

These are the Windows settings I have for Google Chrome notifications (perhaps there's something there that changed):
Emily Ward
Customer Relations and Partner Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
Interesting.. I've checked my notification settings for Chrome in Windows 10 and they match the ones Emily shows. Using Windows 10 Pro (19042.1165) and Chrome 92.0.4515.159.

Checking Chrome settings for our webmail domain I can see this:

We are on a domain and there are some Chrome group policies applied (which is why our webmail domain has notifications force-allowed) but nothing I can see that would somehow "chop down" what the notifications display. They do appear, make sounds and behave as expected other than not showing any content.

I'll try resetting Chrome and see if I can figure out what setting is the culprit here. At least I know it's not some sort of recent update that changed the behavior and notifications should continue to show the extra details.

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Update on this for anyone that's interested!

After a whole lot of testing, it turns out this is a bug in Chrome when using a custom user data directory and UNC paths. If you have Chrome ADMX templates imported in a Windows domain you can set the user data directory with the following policy:

User Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Google > Google Chrome > "Set user data directory"
This is a very useful policy to help save users from loosing all their Chrome data (favorites/passwords/settings) if they have a problem with their PC and it needs to be replaced/reimaged or even move to a new PC. Yes, they could also enable Chrome sync but that's done per user and requires them to do work.

To work around the bug you can add a mapped drive for the UNC path you want and point the policy to the new mapped path.
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Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
I am really happy to hear you were able to get this figured out, and thanks for this excellent follow-up! This will make a great bit of information for us to tuck away for the future, and I'm sure someone will find it useful in the future. Have a good one!
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com

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