One of the main strengths of the Android platform has always been the notifications system. Sadly, some app developers abuse it in order to spam you with promotional messages, enticements to fire up their app, and plain old pointless updates. The obvious answer is to uninstall the offending software, but what if it’s an app or a game that you enjoy using? There must be another way, right? Let’s find out.
With every new version of Android, Google has tweaked the way users can interact with notifications. While some settings are only available on specific manufacturers, the instructions we demonstrate can be done on any device running Android. If you’re operating on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later, you can also check out how to use Do Not Disturb mode to blacklist apps from sending you notifications.
How to turn off notifications in Android 10
The latest version of Android introduced alerting and silent notifications. The former is your standard notification that rings or vibrates your phone and appears as an icon in the status bar. The latter is silent but can be accessed by opening your notification panel.
- To silence your incoming notifications, open your notification panel.
- Tap and hold the notification.
- Toggle on Silent and press Save.
- To stop notifications in general, switch the toggle on the right off.
- You can get more in-depth with your notification settings by tapping Details and tweaking from there.
It’s important to know that not all apps will offer you permission to turn off notifications. System apps like software updates, for example, are deemed as essential for the well-being of your Android device so they can’t be silenced.
How to turn off notifications in Android 9.0 Pie
To turn off any unwanted notifications on Android 9.0 Pie:
- Simply long-press on it and you’ll see the option to Stop notifications.
- You can also tap the information icon — “i” — at the top right to go into the app’s settings. Here, you can choose Notifications and fine-tune precisely which notifications you do and do not want to receive from that app, or toggle them all off.
- For greater clarity, the notification you just received should be highlighted, so you can toggle it off.
If you pull down the notification shade, you’ll see a new option at the bottom left to Manage notifications. You can also go into Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > App notifications to see a list of the notifications you’ve been getting and you can sort them by Most recent or Most frequent, which is handy for unearthing those persistent annoyances and turning them off once and for all.
One great new development in Android 9.0 Pie that’s worth noting is the fact that the system will notice when you repeatedly swipe a notification away without tapping on it or expanding and it will prompt you to turn notifications from that app off.
How to turn off notifications in Android 8.0 Oreo
In Android 8.0 Oreo you get more fine-tuned control of your notifications than ever before. Tapping a notification in Android 8.0 Oreo will still open the app that sent it, but you can also swipe from right to left to close the notification.
- If you swipe just part of the way from right to left you’ll reveal two icons.
- The gear icon gives you the option to block notifications from that app or game.
- You might see a simple toggle to turn notifications off for that app, with the option to tap More settings to jump to the app’s notifications page.
- Or you might get the option to tap All categories to see exactly what notifications that app or service sends and toggle them off individually.
- The clock icon allows you to snooze the notification and choose a time period to snooze it for.
To review and set notifications the way you want them for all apps, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > App notifications, then tap the individual apps and decide what notifications you want them to send.
You can also turn off all lock screen notifications via Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > On the lock screen and then Don’t show notifications at all.
Check out our Android 8.0 Oreo tips to find out more about this version of Google’s platform.
How to turn off notifications in Android 7.0 Nougat
In Android 7.0 Nougat, tapping a notification will open the app or game that sent it, but you can also swipe right to left to close a notification.
- If you just swipe slightly from right to left, then you’ll reveal a gear icon on the right.
- Tap the gear icon and you’ll find the option to silence or block notifications from that app or game.
- You can also tap More settings at the bottom to jump to the app’s notification page and make further changes.
If you want to run through your apps and games and set notification rules all at once, then head into Settings > Notifications and choose All apps from the drop-down menu. Tap on each individual app to access its notification settings.
You might want to delve into our Android 7.0 Nougat tips to find out what else it can do.
How to turn off notifications in Android 5.0 Lollipop and above
Google made some changes in Android 5.0 Lollipop to offer you a lot more control over the notifications you see. For the first time, you had a dedicated notification section, and some real power to discern what you do and don’t get bothered by.
- When a notification pops up in your notification shade you can simply long press on it to bring up a link to the notification page for that app via the “i” icon.
- It’s a shortcut to the app notification page, which you’ll also find listed at Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications.
- Every app is listed here, and you can decide if you want to turn notifications off by toggling the Block option.
You can also use the Priority option to ensure that notifications gravitate to the top of your notification list and still come through when you’ve turned on Allow only priority interruptions via Settings > Sound & notification > Interruptions > When notifications arrive.
If you use a PIN, pattern, or password for screen lock then you can also set notifications as Sensitive, which will prevent the notification content showing up on your lock screen. For example, you’ll get a notification about a new email, but it won’t display any of the content in the email.
How to turn off notifications in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above
If you’re rocking Jelly Bean or KitKat on your Android device, then your task is easy. The fact that Google worked in a system for identifying the app responsible and turning notifications off forevermore is a pretty clear sign that notification spam was becoming a problem.
- Simply long press on it and App info will pop up.
- Tap on that and you’ll be taken straight to the app management screen where you can uncheck the Show notifications box and free yourself from spam.
- It does mean that all notifications from that app will be turned off. As the warning states, “If you turn off notifications for this app, you may miss important alerts and updates.”
You can also go to Settings > Apps and slide over the All tab and run through each app, unchecking that Show notifications box for anything you don’t want bothering you.
How to turn off notifications in older versions of Android
The horrible truth with older versions of Android is that you are at the mercy of the app developer. Each individual app handles its own notification system. To see whether you can turn off or customize your notifications you need to fire up the app in question and hit the Menu button. You should find a notifications option in Settings. There is no standard, so it could be anywhere, or it might not be an option at all.
Big apps like Facebook have a whole range of notification options so you can decide on alerts, vibrations, and choose ringtones, as well as dictating exactly what should trigger an alert. Some apps don’t have any notification options at all.
If you have the option to set a ringtone for your notifications within an individual app’s settings, then you can get around the main annoyance they cause, which is making you think something important has popped up on your phone. Set the same ringtone for nonessential updates and you don’t need to turn notifications off, but you’ll instantly know it isn’t that text you’re waiting for.
It is also a good idea to set different ringtones and vibrations for different things so you have a good idea whether it’s something you need to check or not. Most people have ringtone and vibrate for calls, and maybe just vibrate for texts and emails. You might find additional options depending on the phone you have.
- How to use Do Not Disturb mode in Android
- How to use gesture navigation in Android 10, or how to turn it off
- How to use Android Auto
- Common Samsung Galaxy S8 problems and how to fix them
- Android 11: Everything you need to know