I've been missing new messages/replies lately, because the red indicator in the header line is not always visible. Seems having a big Green number obscures the red one.

If I hover over the inbox icon, then the red number becomes superscripted and peaks above the green number.

Linux with Firefox:
enter image description here

Windows with Firefox:
enter image description here

Sure the quick and simple fix is to click the green number and clear it. But stacking the info seems sub-optimal.

  • 7
    You might want to click that green button once in a while...
    – Luuklag
    Aug 2, 2021 at 5:02
  • 1
    rene mentioned this in The Tavern, but apparently didn't follow through reporting it.
    – Rob
    Aug 2, 2021 at 6:34
  • 2
    – Luuklag
    Aug 2, 2021 at 7:47

3 Answers 3



You can add a following CSS ruleset to override the behaviour:

.top-bar .-secondary .-link .indicator-badge:not(._regular) {
  position: relative;

.top-bar .-secondary .-link[data-unread-count]:not([data-unread-count='0']) {
  flex-direction: column;
  flex-flow: column-reverse;
  justify-content: flex-end;

If you need a quick way to insert the overrides, here is a small snippet:

((_w,d) => {
    const style = d.createElement("style");

    const {sheet} = style;
    if (!sheet) return;

.top-bar .-secondary .-link .indicator-badge:not(._regular) {
  position: relative;

.top-bar .-secondary .-link[data-unread-count]:not([data-unread-count='0']) {
  justify-content: flex-end;
  flex-direction: column;
  flex-flow: column-reverse;

})(window, document);

Long answer

To second Glorfindel, this is indeed non-trivial as those status badges are positioned via position rule set to absolute (a common technique of putting absolutely positioned children into a relatively positioned parent) which removes them from the normal document flow. Quoting MDN:

The element is removed from the normal document flow, and no space is created for the element in the page layout.

What you want requires the document flow to account for the width of both, so the first thing you need to do is to set position to relative which makes the badges, quoting MDN again:

positioned according to the normal flow of the document, and then offset relative to itself based on the values of top, right, bottom, and left.

Additionally, you'll need to adjust top rule to somewhere around -20% (and maybe set left to the same value for good measure) as otherwise, the badges will stick to the bottom (there are other ways to align them, but since we are using relative, we might as well harvest the benefits of top).

The problem is that, of course, once you do that, the parent element's width will be expanded to accommodate the elements which is likely not what you wanted (although serviceable):

relatively positioned badges

Flexbox to the rescue. If you take a close look, each of the menu items are flex containers by themselves with display set to inline-flex. Why not use that to our advantage? First, let's review how each is structured:

<a> <!-- flex container -->
  <svg>icon</svg> <!-- flex-item -->
  <span>number</span> <!-- flex-item -->

The container has the flex-direction set to row (as this is the default), thus making <svg> and <span> items align themselves horizontally. Let's change that to column (assuming we removed the position: absolute rule earlier):

with flex-direction set to column

Now we are getting somewhere. But we obviously want the badge to be displayed on top of the icon. Flexbox has us covered: we only need to change the flex-flow rule to column-reverse to invert positioning:

with flex-flow set to column-reverse

We also want the badges to slightly overlap the icon. It's a bit tricky, but here is where the position rule comes handy: if we set it to relative for the badges, we get the desired result:

with position set to relative on badges

Oh, no! Now we lost our neat vertical alignment of icons. Fear not as flexbox has all we need. We just need to adjust the justify-content rule to flex-end (as we inverted the item flow with column-reverse) only for the items that have the badges displayed.

Note that we take advantage of the observation that menu items with activity badges have a data attribute unread-count:

.top-bar .-secondary .-link[data-unread-count]:not([data-unread-count='0']) {
  justify-content: flex-end;

And voila, everything's neatly aligned and not overlapping:

with justify-content set to flex-end

The only small caveat is the positioning of very small values, but it's a separate topic:

small values positioning


This is rather non-trivial, as these two indicator badges have no knowledge of each other's existence. A trivial solution would be to give the red one a higher z-index, but then we'd get complaints that the reputation indicator would not be readable...

enter image description here

Given the very few users who have this problem, they might be better off installing a custom stylesheet on their own, with a stylesheet manager. For example,

.top-bar .indicator-badge ._important {
  z-index: 1

would already work (sort of). You would see something like this:

enter image description here

Kudos for resisting to click that achievements button for so long (I initially blamed mass association bonuses) ... I only know of one flower with that kind of discipline.


If you must have the edge case usage it's possible, but is it worthwhile:

Suggested Fix for obscured Inbox and Achievements

Everything visible, clickable, without conflicts; but unworthy of the Developer's budget.

If you really want it you could: ask at StackApps, use an existing full-page App, or modify some existing code. You can improve what's available and offer it back to the community.

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