When I arrive at ELU, if I have unread messages or notifications, I see a highlighted number next to the "StackExchange" element of the page headline. When I open the drop-down box and use it as a link to one of these items, the highlighted number vanishes, even if I started with multiple messages unread.

Can we have this number remain, and remain highlighted, with the number of as-yet unread messages or notifications? I would like to be able to know by this indicator if I've read them all or not.

  • 2
    The downside of this proposal is that the number would remain there until I visited each of the messages from the alert link - even if I've already seen them.
    – J.R.
    Apr 1, 2013 at 17:18
  • 1
    I don't care if the number stays there or not, but it would be helpful to keep the Inbox menu on top until one has gone through the messages; I often look at one and get involved, forgetting that there are more, and they don't pop up when I look because what's always on top is Hot Questions, which is not really relevant here. Apr 1, 2013 at 18:26
  • Actually, J.R., part of my suggestion is that the number should update itself (magically!!) so that it reflects only the number of unread messages. I didn't state that clearly enough, but that was my intention when I said "as-yet unread." Apr 1, 2013 at 21:41
  • This should maybe be on SO Meta, since it is a feature-request that would affect SE globally, presumably.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Apr 2, 2013 at 13:22
  • @KitFox I seem to recall that this was a denied feature request on MSO.
    – tchrist Mod
    Apr 3, 2013 at 1:48
  • 1
    I use a right-click to open each new message in a new window. That seems to keep the number there & the new messages highlighted.
    – user21497
    May 26, 2013 at 5:42

2 Answers 2


Agree wholeheartedly. In its present format and layout, the highlighted news is counter-intuitive. Click on one, the others should remain "unread" not fade back with the others.

P.S an option to enlarge the "Stack Exchange" box, would be handy. The print is quite quite tiny and I can't always find my reading glasses. :)

  • Resizing text is a feature of most browsers. In several I use, the controls are Control +, Control -, and Control 0.
    – MetaEd
    Jun 16, 2013 at 7:15
  • @MετάEd Thank you, I keep forgetting these keyboard tricks exist! But I was thinking of more on the lines of dragging the corners, as in the comment box, it would aid legibility IMHO.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 16, 2013 at 7:38

I'll reproduce J.R.'s comment here, because I think it's an important factor...

The downside of this proposal is that the number would remain there until I visited each of the messages from the alert link - even if I've already seen them.

I must admit when I started on ELU I used to get irritated by the "alert list" being cleared completely every time I followed a single link in it.

But then I wised up and started checking out comments starting with the oldest one. Provided I look at all outstanding items within one continuous process, I only have to remember the one I was just looking at when I return to the inbox (and move on to the one above that).

Unless I make a real effort, I'm positively meshless sieve-brained, but this much I can manage.

  • I just middle-click the one that I want to see, so that the list doesn’t go away.
    – tchrist Mod
    Jun 16, 2013 at 19:10
  • @tchrist: I was only saying to a Mac-owning mate yesterday that having two mouse buttons was well worth it, but so far as I knew the third/middle button never really turned out to be much use, so they stopped bothering with it. I love browsing with my trusty Logitech mouse and its back/forward side buttons, but it's never even occurred to me to see if pressing the top wheel would do anything useful (if it works for this, it'll be a toss-up between whether I'll be wanting to marry you, or Logitech's Head of Design! :) Jun 16, 2013 at 20:11
  • Yes, it’s a Logitech mouse I’m using. Press the middle wheel: it’s a middle button. The middle button is normally used for pasting, but on a link, it opens the link in a separate tab. At least, the way I have things configured.
    – tchrist Mod
    Jun 16, 2013 at 20:27

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