There is a similar question here already: The StackExchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™ says I've got replies, but I've already viewed those

The issue there was that the OP had viewed the relevant comments / answers / pings, etc., but not the global inbox. My issue is that I have viewed the inbox and (from the inbox) the items that I was being notified of, yet they show up as unread again at some future point.

When I turn on my computer in the morning and log into Stack Exchange, I see that I have one or more unread items in my global inbox, so I click on the global inbox and then, from there, click each notification, opening each item in a new browser tab. When I'm done looking at the new items, I close those tabs and resume my normal browsing on SE and other sites. My inbox at this point shows no unread items.

A few hours later, my global inbox shows new unread items, except when I click on the global inbox, they are the same items I viewed several hours previous. This has happened with pings in chat, new comments, and new answers on questions I've asked.

Specifically, I've had two instances where I had 2 unread items in my inbox: 1 chat message and 1 new comment on an answer. Each instance was a different chat message and a different comment, but in each instance, the notifications for that pair of messages appeared in my inbox as unread, twice, a few hours apart.

I've encountered this problem several times in the last week or so, on multiple browsers (Safari and Chrome) on multiple devices.

Why does the global inbox keep notifying me of messages I've already viewed in the inbox? Is it some sort of caching problem, or is it a bug in the way global inbox notifications work?

  • 6
    And this is a long running thing too, for weeks, possibly months. Though it didn't happen too frequently, it seems to happen a lot more now. The same could be said about "dropdown notifications" (the "you got a new badge for this post" notifications). Jan 9, 2012 at 19:09
  • @jeff confirmed, I've seen this a lot recently too and rarely (if at all) in the past. So something we did is causing this to happen pretty frequently now. Jan 10, 2012 at 0:10
  • When this happens to me, it coincides with the arrival of a separate, unrelated comment. The global inbox correctly notifies that I have a new comment, but it omits the new comment from the list, instead highlighting the previous comment as though it were the new one. I can see the real new comment in the "responses" section of my profile page. Jan 17, 2012 at 21:14
  • not seeing it so much now, so I am marking this complete. Feel free to ping Marc via a comment if you see it again and he can re-open this. Jan 24, 2012 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


This is something we are already investigating, and indeed is something I've seen too often too. We recently found and fixed one potential cause of this (deployed 8 hours ago, so after this post). It remains on my list, though, and I will be continuing to look at this area as needed.

  • I always assumed it's due to deleted comments e.g. additional comment on the same post triggered the Inbox then deleted afterwards. Jan 10, 2012 at 9:59

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