Browsing past notifications by date?

After longer absences from iNaturalist I sometimes come back to a few hundred dashboard notifications. Dealing with these backlogs is difficult because they can only be accessed by clicking through them chronologically from youngest to oldest. Is there a way to specifically call up notifications by date without having to click through all the notifications that came after that date?

The system probably does not store notifications indefinitely but I assume they are archived at least for a few months before they are deleted.


until notifications in the system are revamped, there’s probably not a great way to look things up this way in system, but the API offers a slightly more targeted way to get the information – at least for notifications that affect individual observations, such as identifications and comments.

you can use this page to help you get information from the API in more human-friendly interface:

for example, looking for notifications created after 12AM UTC on 5 July 2023 and jumping to the last page gets me this:

generally, these kinds of notifications should get deleted after 3 months, although as of today 2023-08-14, i’m seeing not only notifications since 2023-05-14, but also some notifications from 2022-05-20 to 2022-05-26. so @tiwane and crew may want to look into why some of these older notifications were not deleted:


Not perfect, but this is the best workaround I’ve found after searching through the forums, it should allow you to see all your comments and ones referencing you in chronological order, without having to click through each:

Search tags for self (replace my user name with your username after the @symbol):

Search comments by self:

Search comments by self by topic (replace ‘gall’ with search term):

No snideness intended, but unfortunately it seems iNat either isn’t willing or able to set up the capability you (and many others, including myself) are asking for when it comes to making notifications less limited in this capacity.

I think they must figure the average user doesn’t need, wouldn’t find such a feature useful, or maybe have their hands full with bug fixes, version and model updates, etc…when you think about it, it’s amazing this site does so much with what I assume is a relatively shoestring budget!

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A revamp of the notifications system has been planned for many years, so yeah, just limited staff time.


Thanks for the reply, I was hoping to get some insight on this so your response was really helpful. Sometimes moderator responses to user concerns or requests can come off a little dismissive (personal opinion), but I really appreciate what you guys do, and what iNat does.

At the end of the day, I do marvel to imagine all the work that has gone into creating the infrastructure that makes everything work, not to mention the work maintaining everything …I almost imagine it’s on the level of a medium-sized social media company at this point!

Thanks again!


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