Motivated by the fact that Dr. Manuel Kühner seems to have also missed at least one message, and that this happened to me, too, I would like to know if this is a well-known problem. My impression is that this started only recently. The problem:

Some messages get suppressed.

I did not dare to tag this "bug" since (a) it is not inconceivable that both of us did something incorrect (even though it happened to me a few times) and (b) this cannot be reproduced easily. Yet I believe to have now enough evidence to bring this up, but of course apologize in advance in case I did something stupid and/or missed something basic.

Clarification: I am asking about all the inbox items (I am familiar with).

  1. Comments on questions and answers;
  2. Chat;
  3. An answer to my question has been submitted.

There are at least two different levels of the problem:

  1. There might just not be a red number popping up or
  2. the message may not be present at all in the response tab. Notice also that there are two ways of looking up the messages, either in the inbox enter image description here or in the responses enter image description here.

Of course, to find out whether or not this really happens, there must be a way to prove it. I am, however, not really sure how such a proof could work if "only" the red number does not show on the inbox. Any ideas would be welcome.

  • 1
    Have you checked whether they appear under the response tab?
    – Dai Bowen
    Apr 30, 2018 at 12:22
  • @DaiBowen I have not but that's a good point and I will do so next time it happens.
    – user121799
    Apr 30, 2018 at 13:30
  • i'm pretty sure this has happened to me, but i don't have any solid evidence. it does happen with great regularity that pings to me in the chat are not listed in the inbox, but i assume that you're asking only about comments/pings on questions. Apr 30, 2018 at 15:10
  • @barbarabeeton No, I am asking about all of them. Thanks! I have added a clarification.
    – user121799
    Apr 30, 2018 at 15:13
  • @marmot: Do you use the app at all? What about viewing notifications there which are then removed from your inbox when viewed on the web...
    – Werner Mod
    May 3, 2018 at 16:01
  • @Werner Sorry, how can anyone view my notifications on the web? (No, I am not logging in with my ultra-modern iPhone 3 ;-) This can only work if someone else has my login information, right? Of course, that's a logical possibility, too.
    – user121799
    May 3, 2018 at 16:04
  • @marmot: I didn't mean someone else logs into your account. Just that notifications viewed on a phone is removed from the web view. iPhone 3... yikes! :)
    – Werner Mod
    May 3, 2018 at 16:07
  • @Werner But you'd have to log in, right? I cannot see, say, your notifications, right? So how would that be possible if I do not log into TeX.SE with my cell phone, nor any device other than my laptop? (The iPhone 3 does a terrific job as a phone, and that's what I am using it for ;-)
    – user121799
    May 3, 2018 at 16:09
  • @marmot: Correct, notifications should only be visible to the logged in user. That is, I can't see your notification, just like I can't see which posts you've voted on.
    – Werner Mod
    May 3, 2018 at 16:12
  • @Werner But than this is no explanation for the loss of messages unless someone else has hacked my account, logs in, and once in a while looks at my inbox. Do you agree?
    – user121799
    May 3, 2018 at 16:15
  • @marmot: True. I just thought you might use your phone and view message there causing them to be removed from your web view. But if you're not using your phone, then the problem remains. If you're concerned that someone may have hacked your account, then you'll probably also notice other things you didn't do.
    – Werner Mod
    May 3, 2018 at 16:19
  • @Werner I consider the explanation "someone hacked my account" extremely unlikely since I do receive a bunch of messages and only later realize that one additional is not showing. And this is not the first message, but, say, the third. How would it be possible to arrange things then that my inbox shows 4 unread messages while in reality these are 5? My personally most favorite explanation (of course very likely wrong) is that if I do something else like clicking on a question right at the moment when the inbox wants to increase the counter, this does not happen.
    – user121799
    May 3, 2018 at 16:45
  • 1
    @marmot Do the lost notifications point to the same page as other notifications? There seems to be some "merging" going on if there are multiple events on the same page. May 4, 2018 at 10:33
  • @samcarter No, they don't. These are completely unrelated events in very different questions/answers. And I accidentally discover them much later when I return to the question for another reason, often without any inbox action. (The other thing I have also noticed, and I would not have complained about.)
    – user121799
    May 4, 2018 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


Well, note that pings in the chat have two special behaviours:

  1. Since about a year ago, it's been impossible to ping people who hadn't visited the chat for a while. Their name won't appear in the auto-complete, and I'm not sure you can reply to very old messages either.

  2. A chat message appears in the inbox only if you haven't read it for X minutes.

And then, not related to the chat:

  1. If you click on the inbox icon too early and the page is still loading, the behaviour is strange. Just now I lost a message this way I think.
  • Thanks for the answer! I think that the 3. point might be it, but I am not sure. I am really most worried about some comment on an answer or a question. In Dr. Manuel Kuehner's case mentioned above, the message that there is a new answer to his question had been swallowed. I had similarly severe experiences.
    – user121799
    May 4, 2018 at 10:39
  • If you reorder the items in the question such that what is now 3 becomes the first item I'll be very happy to accept your nice answer. I am asking this because many users may never use the chat, so I think it is fair to say that this has lower priority.
    – user121799
    May 6, 2018 at 3:48

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