Today, we’re releasing a new version of our notifications system and changing the way you watch repositories on GitHub. You’ll find the new notifications indicator next to the GitHub logo that lights up blue when you have unread notifications.

There’s a lot going on in this announcement, so hold onto to something and prepare to take a step into the future.

Introducing stars

Stars are a new way to keep track of repositories that you find interesting. Any repositories you were previously watching can now be found on your stars page.

You can star or unstar a repository from the nav with the brand new star button.

A quick note: activity from starred repositories will not show up in your dashboard feed.

Notifications: now powered by the watch button

Notifications are now powered by the repositories you are watching. If you are watching a repository, you will receive notifications for all discussions.

  • Issues and their comments
  • Pull Requests and their comments
  • Comments on any commits

If you are not watching a repository, you’ll only be notified for discussions for which you participate.

  • @mentions
  • Assignments
  • Commits you author or commit
  • Any discussion you’ve commented on

You’re automatically watching a bunch of repositories based on your permissions — it’s probably a good idea to go through and unwatch repositories you’re not interested in.

Activity from your watched repositories will show up on your dashboard feed as well.

Auto watch

When you’re given push access to a repository, we automatically watch the repository for you.

If you’d like your notifications to be 100% opt-in, you can disable this feature in the watching section.


Notifications now roll up into threads of activity, much like conversations in Gmail do. This should work great in your email client of choice if you receive notifications via email.

Simple configuration

We’ve simplified notifications settings and taken a new approach to controlling which notifications trigger emails.

Per organization email routing

For those of you who want to route notifications for work-related projects to different email addresses, you can now configure email routing based on the organization a repository lives in.

First class email

As a bonus, we’re also rolling out improved notification emails today.