Sometimes I see that I have some responses (the envelope lights up) and when I go to see the responses I see one I want to act upon (edit the answer or post another comment). However I may not have the time at the moment to respond to this item and the next time I go to recent-activity page the item will not show up (as I've already seen it).

I would like to request a feature in which I can mark responses as unread so that they will show up next time I visit the recent-activity page and I will be able to treat them at my leisure.

  • 6
    I agree this would be a hugely useful feature, especially if it could work so that the notifications on your inbox could also be reinstated, so as to act as a reminder.
    – Mild Fuzz
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 11:25

7 Answers 7


I look forward to this as well. The closest you can get now is keeping in mind that some response still needs attention and scan recent responses later. Or store a link to the response in your browser's favorites (in a TODO folder).

Adding a post to my favorites (in the user profile) does not work for me because I mark posts as favorite for many other reasons. I'd soon loose track which response in which favorite needed attention.

Is this hard to implement? Every software engineer knows that seemingly easy adaptations can actually be very hard, well, so much for this request then. Otherwise, please give it a chance.


I agree - not everybody has time to sit on Stack Overflow all day long. Not always do you reply to every comment you get right away. Hence, there will be a situation when you read all comments, but managed to reply to only 50% of them. Then you went home, to work, to gym or whatever. When the next day you are back, depending on the number of comments you got, you may not remember to which you replied, and to which you did not.

This is why switching to "Responses" tab should not mark them as read. Instead, it should be triggered manually by the user. Or it could be configured in the settings (i.e. what happens when user navigates to their "Responses").

Regardless of the default action, it should be possible for the user to override and mark "Read" → "Unread" and vice versa. Visiting a link through "Responses" should not mark it as "Read", even though technically you just read it (or it could be an option in the settings too).


I also agree with this request. My current workaround is to wait the 3 hours it takes for an email notification with the inbox message to be sent to me. I use that as my todo reminder.


If you want to keep track of posts to act upon I suggest pasting the URI into a todo webapp such as RememberTheMilk.


Batch marking notifications as read or unread would be very helpful, and it's best to also support batch selecting notifications via Shift and Ctrl:

enter image description here

The screenshot was taken from the GitHub notification center, it supports all the mentioned features.


Add the post to your browser's favorites, then check back on it when you have time.

  • Difficult to distinguish between posts that are favourites for other reasons. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 15:12
  • @DuncanJones, use a separate folder named "read later SO" in your favorites and that will keep them separate.
    – jzd
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 15:16
  • Oh, you mean the browser favourites, not SO favourites! I read that wrong. Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 15:23

I disagree with this request. SO is not running a mail service here - the 'inbox' is really a colloquialism for a notification center - something that you read once and move on.

Seeing as there is very little substantial user-made content up there (the excerpts from comments are as close as it gets, and they only go about 75 characters), it doesn't look like there's content worthy to 'read later' there. It may make sense if you didn't have infinite1 time to view them after they've been read, and I particularly don't like a little red box on the top of my screen all the time. Call it whatever you'd like, OCD, Crazy, or insane, but I don't see the usefulness.

I shouldn't have to click on every little notification (especially if it's because of something like a badge that I earned, or a 'thanks' response to an answer) in order to get it out of my inbox, and nor do we need to clutter that interface more with a 'mark all as read' button.

The interface is simple, and it works. Don't mess it up because some people want a mail client in here, it will become clumsy and difficult to manage.

  • Stack Exchange could do what Reddit does. By default, Reddit marks all notifications as read every time you open your inbox. But there's a preference for those who prefer otherwise. If you enable the preference, Reddit won't mark any notification as read until and unless you click on the notification itself. Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 0:36

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