How To Hide Google Plus Message Count Icon From All Google Services

Ann Smarty 29-08-2011

google plus hide commentsWe tend to sceptically greet any new features of the sites we are used to. We are never happy to discover new (potentially annoying) tweaks to very familiar interfaces.


However things still change. And the tools we love and have been using for ages are always being further developed and changed.

Google has been introducing new and new features for ages and it has started changing actively especially recently.

Furthermore, Google is well-known for pushing their new features too hard. And the worst thing about that is that Google never makes it easy to opt out of its new features. For example, there is no good way to disable Google Instant How To Permanently Disable Google Instant & Google Suggest Read More and there is no way at all to opt out of search suggestions (which do interfere with our search behavior).

We can like new features or we can resent them – that’s our choice – but it’s always a good thing to have that choice.

The same goes about the actively promoted Google Plus platform. Once you opt in, you start seeing their “New message” notifier icon everywhere: when searching Google, when checking new messages on Gmail, when working with spreadsheets, etc.


It does draw us into Google Plus to check new updates from our contacts but it can be remarkably distracting interrupting our work flow.

So how do we get rid of it (especially when we do not need it?)

1. How Google Lets Us Hide It

The first obvious way to use Google services without being constantly drawn to Google Plus is to sign out of Google:

Signed-in view:


google plus hide comments

When you sign out:

hide google plus comments

However, you will certainly not be able to access most of Google services that way like Gmail and Google spreadsheets. You will only use distraction-free search.


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any more options within Google Plus “Account Settings” that would allow me to get rid of the new message notifier the “legal” and official way.

Luckily, there are a few easy third-party tools to help:

2. Try a User Script

If you don’t mind playing with user scripts, you will be happy to discover this little script that removes the tiny “new update” count from the Google Plus panel.



hide google plus comments

With the script installed:

hide google plus comments

The script has proved to be working on Firefox 6 (with Greasemonkey) and Google Chrome.

3. Try a User Style

This user style is another interesting option for Stylish FireFox add-on fans. With it, you can handle the new update count icon in two ways:

  • Hide it completely;
  • Hide it until you hover over the place where it used to be.

With the latest version of FireFox you can also choose to:

  • Hide on all Google sites except Google+
  • Hide on all Google sites.

I tried using the first option (hide the icon on all services except Google plus) and found that it also enabled the icon on generic Google search page (which was not my intention). So I hid the icon on all Google pages.


google plus count

With the style installed:

google plus count

With the style installed on hover over:

google plus hide comments

Are there any other ways to get rid of Google Plus new update count? Please share them in the comments.

Related topics: Google, Google Plus, Mozilla Firefox, Notification, Programming.

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  1. Anonymous
    September 3, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you i was waiting for this for a long time, it works  great for chrome