Novu provides a way to store user preferences in the subscribers data model. This allows subscribers to specify and manage their preferences, without your intervention. Customizing preferences has become the standard expected behavior for people and Novu can take the technical burden of managing preferences off of you.

Novu allows several levels of preferences:

  • Workflow level channel preferences
  • Subscriber level channel preferences
  • Global level channel preferences

Workflow level channel preferences

When creating a new workflow, you can specify default preferences for the subscribers in channel settings. They will be used unless the subscriber overrides them by his own custom preference.

This will allow you to create sensible defaults but still provide the user with the ability to override them. All channels are ON unless specified otherwise.

Subscriber level channel preferences

Our Inbox component will show a user the available preferences, user will be able to modify on the channel level. Critical workflows will be excluded from the list. Click on cog (setting) icon on notification center component to open subscriber channel preferences page.

Only channels with a matched step will be returned from the API in Ibox preference page. In case no channel content was found, the API will return an empty array.

Global level channel preferences

Subscribers can set global channel preferences, which override individual settings. For instance, if there are 10 workflows, and a subscriber wants to disable SMS notifications for all of them, they can do so with a single global preference.

Global subscriber preference can be updated and accessed using API and SDK only. Currently we have not added support of global subscriber preference in UI.

Exclude workflows from preferences (critical workflow)

In some cases, you don’t want the subscriber to be able to unsubscribe from mandatory notifications such as Account Verification, Password Reset, etc…

In those cases you can mark a workflow as critical in workflow settings. By default, every workflow is non-critical and subscribers can manage channel preferences irrespective of workflow-level channel preferences. Critical workflow will not show on the subscriber preferences page.

Order of priority of preferences

  1. if Users will be able to manage subscriptions toggle is turned off i.e workflow is critical, this will override workflow level and subscriber level preferences and notification will always be sent.
  2. if workflow is non critical and subscriber has false value set for enabled field in preference then all other channels will become inactive even if they have true state.
  3. if workflow is non critical and subscriber has true value set for enabled field in preference then notification will be filtered based on subscriber channel preference.
  4. Workflow level channel preferences will be applied to all subscribers by default unless subscriber overrides them.


  1. For First Workflow, critical is false, enabled is true, in_app, email, push channels are true and sms, chat channels are false. As per above order of priority of preferences, notification will be filtered as per the subscriber preferences. The subscriber will receive in-app, email and push notifications, but not receive sms and chat notifications.

  2. For Second Workflow, critical is false, enabled is false, all channels are true. As per above order of priority of preferences, subscriber will not receive any type of notification because all channels become disabled due to false value of enabled field.

  3. For Third Workflow. critical is true, enabled is false, email, chat channels are false and the other three channels are true. As per above order of priority of preferences, subscriber will receive all type of notifications as this workflow is critical.

  "template": {
    "_id": "firstWorkflowIdentifier",
    "name": "First Workflow",
    "critical": false
  "preference": {
    "enabled": true,
    "channels": {
      "in_app": true,
      "email": true,
      "sms": false,
      "push": true,
      "chat": false


Frequently Asked Questions