Notification emails

Stay informed about what’s happening in GitLab with email notifications. You can receive updates about activity in issues, merge requests, epics, and designs.

For the tool that GitLab administrators can use to send messages to users, read Email from GitLab.

Who receives notifications

When notifications are enabled for an issue, merge request, or epic, GitLab notifies you of actions that happen there.

You might receive notifications for one of the following reasons:

note
Administrators can block notifications, preventing them from being sent.

Edit notification settings

Getting many notifications can be overwhelming. You can tune the notifications you receive. For example, you might want to be notified about all activity in a specific project. For other projects, you only want to be notified when you are mentioned by name.

These notification settings apply only to you. They do not affect the notifications received by anyone else.

To edit your notification settings:

  1. In the top-right corner, select your avatar.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Notifications.
  4. Edit the desired global, group, or project notification settings. Edited settings are automatically saved.

Notification scope

You can tune the scope of your notifications by selecting different notification levels for each project and group.

Notification scope is applied from the broadest to most specific levels:

  • Your global, or default, notification level applies if you have not selected a notification level for the project or group in which the activity occurred.
  • Your group setting overrides your default setting.
  • Your project setting overrides the group setting.

Notification levels

For each project and group you can select one of the following levels:

Level Description
Global Your global settings apply.
Watch Receive notifications for any activity.
Participate Receive notifications for threads you have participated in.
On mention Receive notifications when you are mentioned in a comment.
Disabled Receive no notifications.
Custom Receive notifications for selected events.

Global notification settings

Your Global notification settings are the default settings unless you select different values for a project or a group.

  • Notification email: the email address your notifications are sent to. Defaults to your primary email address.
  • Receive product marketing emails: select this checkbox to receive periodic emails about GitLab features.
  • Global notification level: the default notification level which applies to all your notifications.
  • Receive notifications about your own activity: select this checkbox to receive notifications about your own activity. Not selected by default.

Group notifications

You can select a notification level and email address for each group.

Change level of group notifications

To select a notification level for a group, use either of these methods:

  1. In the top-right corner, select your avatar.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Notifications.
  4. Locate the project in the Groups section.
  5. Select the desired notification level.

Or:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Groups and find your group.
  2. Select the notification dropdown, next to the bell icon ().
  3. Select the desired notification level.

Change email address used for group notifications

Introduced in GitLab 12.0.

You can select an email address to receive notifications for each group you belong to. You can use group notifications, for example, if you work freelance, and want to keep email about clients’ projects separate.

  1. In the top-right corner, select your avatar.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Notifications.
  4. Locate the project in the Groups section.
  5. Select the desired email address.

Change level of project notifications

To help you stay up to date, you can select a notification level for each project.

To select a notification level for a project, use either of these methods:

  1. In the top-right corner, select your avatar.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Notifications.
  4. Locate the project in the Projects section.
  5. Select the desired notification level.

Or:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Projects and find your project.
  2. Select the notification dropdown, next to the bell icon ().
  3. Select the desired notification level.

To learn how to be notified when a new release is available, watch Notification for releases.

Opt out of product marketing emails

You can receive emails that teach you about various GitLab features. These emails are enabled by default.

To opt out:

  1. In the top-right corner, select your avatar.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Notifications.
  4. Clear the Receive product marketing emails checkbox. Edited settings are automatically saved and enabled.

Disabling these emails does not disable all emails. Learn how to opt out of all emails from GitLab.

Self-managed product marketing emails

The self-managed installation generates and automatically sends these emails based on user actions. Turning this on does not cause your GitLab instance or your company to send any personal information to GitLab Inc.

An instance administrator can configure this setting for all users. If you choose to opt out, your setting overrides the instance-wide setting, even when an administrator later enables these emails for all users.

Notification events

Users are notified of the following events:

Event Sent to Settings level
New release Project members Custom notification.
Project moved Project members Any other than disabled.
Email changed User Security email, always sent.
Group access level changed User Sent when user group access level is changed.
New email added User Security email, always sent.
New SAML/SCIM user provisioned User Sent when a user is provisioned through SAML/SCIM. Introduced in GitLab 13.8
New SSH key added User Security email, always sent.
New user created User Sent on user creation, except for OmniAuth (LDAP).
Password changed User Security email, always sent when user changes their own password.
Password changed by administrator User Security email, always sent when an administrator changes the password of another user.
Personal access tokens expiring soon User Security email, always sent.
Personal access tokens have expired User Security email, always sent.
Project access level changed User Sent when user project access level is changed.
SSH key has expired User Security email, always sent. Introduced in GitLab 13.12.
Two-factor authentication disabled User Security email, always sent.
User added to group User Sent when user is added to group.
User added to project User Sent when user is added to project.

Notifications on issues, merge requests, and epics

You also receive notifications for events happening on issues, merge requests, and epics.

Who receives notifications on issues, merge requests, and epics

In issues, merge requests, and epics, for most events, the notification is sent to:

  • Participants:
    • The author and assignee.
    • Authors of comments.
    • Anyone mentioned by username in the title or description.
    • Anyone mentioned by username in a comment if their notification level is “Participating” or higher.
  • Watchers: users with notification level “Watch”.
  • Subscribers: anyone who manually subscribed to notifications.
  • Custom: users with notification level “Custom” who turned on notifications for a fitting type of events.
note
To minimize the number of notifications that do not require any action, in GitLab 12.9 and later, eligible approvers are no longer notified for all the activities in their projects. To turn on such notifications, they have to change their user notification settings to Watch instead.

Edit notification settings for issues, merge requests, and epics

To enable notifications on a specific issue, merge request, or epic, you must turn on the Notifications toggle in the right sidebar.

  • To subscribe, turn on if you are not a participant in the discussion, but want to receive notifications on each update.

    When you turn notifications on in an epic, you aren’t automatically subscribed to the issues linked to the epic.

  • To unsubscribe, turn off if you are receiving notifications for updates but no longer want to receive them.

    Turning this toggle off only unsubscribes you from updates related to this issue, merge request, or epic. Learn how to opt out of all emails from GitLab.

Notification events on issues, merge requests, and epics

The following table presents the events that generate notifications for issues, merge requests, and epics:

Event Sent to
Change milestone issue Subscribers, participants mentioned, and Custom notification level with this event selected.
Change milestone merge request Subscribers, participants mentioned, and Custom notification level with this event selected.
Close epic  
Close issue  
Close merge request  
Due issue Participants and Custom notification level with this event selected.
Failed pipeline The author of the pipeline.
Fixed pipeline The author of the pipeline. Enabled by default. Introduced in GitLab 13.1.
Merge merge request  
Merge when pipeline succeeds Author, Participants, Watchers, Subscribers, and Custom notification level with this event selected. Custom notification level is ignored for Author, Watchers and Subscribers. Introduced in GitLab 13.4.
Merge request marked as ready Watchers and participants. Introduced in GitLab 13.10.
New comment Participants, Watchers, Subscribers, and Custom notification level with this event selected. Also anyone mentioned by username in the comment, with notification level “Mention” or higher.
New epic  
New issue  
New merge request  
Push to merge request Participants and Custom notification level with this event selected.
Reassign issue Participants, Watchers, Subscribers, Custom notification level with this event selected, and the old assignee.
Reassign merge request Participants, Watchers, Subscribers, Custom notification level with this event selected, and the old assignee.
Remove milestone issue Subscribers, participants mentioned, and Custom notification level with this event selected.
Remove milestone merge request Subscribers, participants mentioned, and Custom notification level with this event selected.
Reopen epic  
Reopen issue  
Reopen merge request  
Successful pipeline The author of the pipeline, with Custom notification level for successful pipelines. If the pipeline failed previously, a “Fixed pipeline” message is sent for the first successful pipeline after the failure, and then a “Successful pipeline” message for any further successful pipelines.

If the title or description of an issue or merge request is changed, notifications are sent to any new mentions by username as if they had been mentioned in the original text.

If an open merge request becomes unmergeable due to conflict, its author is notified about the cause. If a user has also set the merge request to automatically merge when pipeline succeeds, then that user is also notified.

By default, you don’t receive notifications for issues, merge requests, or epics created by yourself. To always receive notifications on your own issues, merge requests, and so on, turn on notifications about your own activity.

Notifications on designs

Introduced in GitLab 13.6.

Email notifications are sent to the participants when someone comments on a design.

The participants are:

  • Authors of the design (can be multiple people if different authors have uploaded different versions of the design).
  • Authors of comments on the design.
  • Anyone that is mentioned in a comment on the design.

Opt out of all GitLab emails

If you no longer wish to receive any email notifications:

  1. In the top-right corner, select your avatar.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. On the left sidebar, select Notifications.
  4. Clear the Receive product marketing emails checkbox.
  5. Set your Global notification level to Disabled.
  6. Clear the Receive notifications about your own activity checkbox.
  7. If you belong to any groups or projects, set their notification setting to Global or Disabled.

On self-managed installations, even after doing this, your instance administrator can still email you. To unsubscribe, select the unsubscribe link in one of these emails.

Email headers you can use to filter email

Notification email messages include GitLab-specific headers. To better manage your notifications, you can filter the notification emails based on the content of these headers.

For example, you could filter all emails from a specific project where you are being assigned a a merge request or an issue.

The following table lists all GitLab-specific email headers:

Header Description
List-Id The path of the project in an RFC 2919 mailing list identifier. You can use it for email organization with filters.
X-GitLab-(Resource)-ID The ID of the resource the notification is for. The resource, for example, can be Issue, MergeRequest, Commit, or another such resource.
X-GitLab-Discussion-ID The ID of the thread the comment belongs to, in notification emails for comments.
X-GitLab-Group-Id The group’s ID. Only present on notification emails for epics.
X-GitLab-Group-Path The group’s path. Only present on notification emails for epics
X-GitLab-NotificationReason The reason for the notification. This can be mentioned, assigned, or own_activity.
X-GitLab-Pipeline-Id The ID of the pipeline the notification is for, in notification emails for pipelines.
X-GitLab-Project-Id The project’s ID.
X-GitLab-Project-Path The project’s path.
X-GitLab-Project The name of the project the notification belongs to.
X-GitLab-Reply-Key A unique token to support reply by email.

X-GitLab-NotificationReason

The X-GitLab-NotificationReason header contains the reason for the notification. The value is one of the following, in order of priority:

  • own_activity
  • assigned
  • mentioned

The reason for the notification is also included in the footer of the notification email. For example, an email with the reason assigned has this sentence in the footer:

You are receiving this email because you have been assigned an item on <configured GitLab hostname>.

For example, an alert notification email can have one of the alert’s statuses:

  • alert_triggered
  • alert_acknowledged
  • alert_resolved
  • alert_ignored

Expanding the list of events included in the X-GitLab-NotificationReason header is tracked in issue 20689.

Troubleshooting

Pull a list of recipients for notifications

If you want to pull a list of recipients to receive notifications from a project (mainly used for troubleshooting custom notifications), in a Rails console, run sudo gitlab-rails c and be sure to update the project name:

project = Project.find_by_full_path '<project_name>'
merge_request = project.merge_requests.find_by(iid: 1)
current_user = User.first
recipients = NotificationRecipients::BuildService.build_recipients(merge_request, current_user, action: "push_to"); recipients.count
recipients.each { |notify| puts notify.user.username }