When I'm active, I'm often participating in multiple questions and even different SE sites. I find myself refreshing random pages just to see if there's new items in the global inbox. If these notifications were available as an RSS or Atom feed, I could easily use various desktop/dockbar/browser/etc. widgets to ping me.

Could we get a feed for the global inbox?


2 Answers 2


Lacking such a feed, I've been abusing https://stackoverflow.com/inbox when I want a page I can just refresh; it's intended to help with debugging the inbox but it's a quick way to see if anything has changed. There's also the JSON version that actually powers the inbox, so you could wrap that in a script

  • Nice! I wasn't aware that existed; if it didn't require a login cookie, it'd be easy to wrap into a feed.
    – Gnome
    Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 1:47
  • 3
    @Roger It's sort of undocumented, like /reputation. Accessing the JSON version will even mark all the new posts as read (the HTML version won't), since that's how the real inbox does things, but the login cookie part is a bit of a problem Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 1:54
  • There is such a feed. See my answer below. Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 2:21
  • It seems stackoverflow.com/inbox is deprecated. The JSON version is still there though. Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 7:52
  • The JSON version is no longer there, either. Saddest day. ;_; Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 18:24

This is easy to answer - I wrote a small application that does exactly that. It's called Stack2RSS and you can use it by visiting this page.

The URL for the feed you'd want is as follows:


Where $site is the domain name of the site you're interested in and $user_id is your user ID for that site. (You can find this by visting your profile page and looking at the URL.)

For example, an RSS feed for replies to you on Meta (right here), you would use:


  • 1
    That is site-specific, the global inbox is not.
    – Gnome
    Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 2:25
  • @Roger: You mean you couldn't use multiple feeds? Maybe I'll have to add that ability to Stack2RSS - you're not the first to request it :) Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 2:37
  • 8
    I'd prefer a single feed instead of 20, yes. :)
    – Gnome
    Commented Oct 6, 2010 at 2:40
  • @Gnome: You can merge several fields into one using Yahoo! Pipes
    – VitalyB
    Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 9:01
  • That will require listing each feed - rather laborious. Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 17:42