Over the holiday break, working from a desktop, I migrated subscriptions from one YouTube channel I had to another. The newly migrated subscriptions were set to an “all” notification status. That’s when darkness descended over notifications.
The new year began quiet. Too quiet. I started seeing “new” labeled videos from subscribed channels being suggested that I had no idea existed. Still on a desktop, a review of the subscription management page showed none of the migrated subscriptions were set to “all” status any longer. I soon discovered that neither “all,” nor any other notification status could be permanently set from the watch page, channel page or sub management page. A refresh of these pages would instead show the old status. This was occurring with Firefox and Brave desktop browsers. Not Chrome.
A thorough review brought an interesting notification issue to the surface that others may be experiencing. Our dark tale begins in May of 2017 when YouTube implemented the Polymer framework into a redesign.
After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, YouTube learned it was not a good idea to drop a redesign on the world without much notice. Without a lot of notice in-fact. Learning from this, YouTube now releases a new design change slowly as an opt-in experience before eventually rolling it out as the default. When users opt-in/out a cookie is set to remember this change so each visit the same experience is seen.
While opt-in/out is a good solution, it can have the unfortunate side-effect of sticking to an opt-out choice longer than it should. This is the crux of this notification problem. A cookie created over two and half years ago (that desktop YouTube experience still looks for and responds to) shows an older design which is no longer maintained and is becoming unstable. This can also happen if you tried one of those old hacks that were popular to stay in the older design even after it was officially replaced.
To resolve this, you can quickly confirm if you are stuck in the past by looking at the notification options from a channel page.
If you see the options under the ‘x’ above, your desktop browser is stuck. Get unstuck by visiting the browser’s cookie management section and remove the YouTube labeled cookies. This may require you to reset some of your personalization.
Whether your desktop cookies have you stuck in the past or your disdain for the current design has you choosing to live there, it’s time to get the DeLorean up to 88 miles per hour and go back to the future.
Did this fix YouTube notifications for you?
Let us know in the comments!
Cover Image: Pixabay