One of the main strengths of the Android platform has always been the notification system. Unfortunately, some app developers misuse it to spam you with promotional messages, temptations to launch their app, and just plain old, pointless updates. The obvious answer is to remove the offending software, but what if it is an app or game that you enjoy using? Surely there must be another way? Let’s find out.
With every new version of Android, Google has changed the way users can interact with notifications. While some settings are only available on specific manufacturers, the instructions we demonstrate can be performed on any Android device. If you’re running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later, you can also check out how to use Do Not Disturb mode to blacklist apps so they don̵
Disable notifications in Android 10
The latest version of Android introduced warning and silent notifications. The first is your default notification that your phone rings or vibrates and appears as an icon in the status bar. The latter is silent, but can be accessed by opening your notification panel.
- Open your notification shade to mute your incoming notifications.
- Tap and hold the notification.
- Switch on Quiet and press Save.
- To generally stop notifications, turn off the toggle on the right.
- You can get more information about your notification settings by tapping Details and tweak from there.
It’s important to note that not all apps allow you to turn off notifications. For example, system apps like software updates are considered essential to the wellbeing of your Android device so they cannot be suppressed.
If you want to know more, you can also refer to our guide on how to delete apps in your Andriod.
Disable notifications in Android 9.0 Pie
To turn off unwanted notifications on Android 9.0 Pie:
- Just long press it and you will see the option to Stop notifications.
- You can also tap the information icon – “i” in the top right to access the app’s settings. Here you can choose notifications and fine-tune which notifications you do and don’t want to receive from that app, or turn them all off.
- For clarity, the notification you just received should be highlighted so you can turn it off.
If you pull down the notification shade, you’ll see a new option at the bottom left Manage notifications. You can also comment on Settings> Apps & Notifications> Notifications> App Notifications to see a list of the notifications you have received and you can sort them by Most recent or Most common, which is handy for tracking down those persistent annoyances and turning them off once and for all.
A great new development in Android 9.0 Pie worth noting is the fact that the system will notice when you repeatedly swipe a notification without tapping or expanding it, and it will ask you to turn off notifications from that app .
Disable notifications in Android 8.0 Oreo
In Android 8.0 Oreo, you get more fine-grained control over your notifications than ever before. In Android 8.0 Oreo, tapping a notification will still open the app that sent it, but you can also swipe from right to left to close the notification.
- If you just swipe part of the way from right to left, you will see two icons.
- The gear icon gives you the option to block notifications from that app or game.
- You may see a simple toggle to turn off notifications for that app, with the option to tap More settings to go to the app’s notifications page.
- Or you will be given the option to tap All categories to see exactly what notifications that app or service is sending, and turn them off individually.
- The clock icon allows you to snooze the notification and choose a time period to snooze it.
To view and set notifications for all apps as you like, go to Settings> Apps & Notifications> Notifications> App Notifications, then tap the individual apps and choose which notifications you want them to be sent.
You can also turn off all notifications on the lock screen via Settings> Apps & notifications> Notifications> On the lock screen and then Don’t show notifications at all.
To learn more about this version of the Google platform, check out our Android 8.0 Oreo tips.
Disable notifications in Android 7.0 Nougat
In Android 7.0 Nougat, tapping a notification will open the app or game that sent it, or you can swipe from right to left to dismiss a notification.
- If you swipe a little bit from right to left, you will see a gear icon on the right.
- Tap the gear icon and you’ll find the option to mute or block notifications from that app or game.
- You can also tap More settings at the bottom to go to the app’s notification page and make further changes.
To go through your apps and games and set notification rules all at once, go to Settings> Notifications and choose All apps from the drop-down menu. Tap on each individual app to access the notification settings.
You may want to delve into our Android 7.0 Nougat tips to find out what else it can do.
Disable notifications in Android 5.0 Lollipop and above
Google has made some changes to Android 5.0 Lollipop to give you a lot more control over the notifications you see. For the first time ever, you had a dedicated notification section and some real power to discern what you are doing and not be bothered by it.
- When a notification pops up in your notification shade, you can simply long press it to open a link to the notification page for that app via the “i” icon.
- It’s a shortcut to the app notification page, which you can also find at Settings> Sound & notification> App notifications.
- Each app is listed here and you can decide if you want to turn off notifications by using the Block option.
You can also use the Priority option to make sure notifications come to the top of your notification list and still come through when you have them enabled Only allow priority interruptions through Settings> Sound & notification> Interruptions> When notifications arrive.
If you use a PIN, pattern, or password for screen lock, you can also set notifications as Sensitive, preventing the contents of the notification from appearing on your lock screen. For example, you will be notified about a new email, but the contents of the email will not be displayed.
Disable notifications in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above
If you are rocking Jelly Bean or KitKat on your Android device, your job is simple. The fact that Google worked in a system to identify the responsible app and turn off notifications forever is a pretty clear sign that notification spam was starting to become a problem.
- Just long press and App information will appear.
- Tap this and you will be taken directly to the app manager screen where you can remove the check mark View 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 notifications and updates.”
You can also go to Settings> Apps and slide over the All of them tab and go through each app, turn that off View notifications box for anything you don’t want to bother.
Turn off notifications in older versions of Android
The terrible truth with older versions of Android is that you are at the mercy of the app developer. Each individual app has its own notification system. To see if you can turn off or adjust your notifications, you need to launch the respective app and click the Menu button. You should find a notification option in Settings. There is no standard, so it could be anywhere, or it might not be an option at all.
Great apps such as Facebook have a whole host of notification options. You can decide on alerts, choose vibrations and ringtones, and also dictate what should trigger an alert. Some apps have no notification options at all. Facebook wants to make sure you know what’s going on on the platform. It also wants you to visit the app more often. However, some apps don’t have notification options – and it’s all up to the developer.
There are a whole host of custom options available on Android, allowing you to dive even deeper into your phone’s settings. With these advanced options, any type of notification can be assigned to a specific event, meaning you’ll know what’s happening even if you can’t check your screen.
If you’re like most people, you probably use a default ringtone for your phone calls, and maybe a vibrate or tone alert for texts and emails. Those default text and email notifications are often the same as the default for many of the apps you use. Due to the lack of variety, users cannot be sure how urgent the notification is or which app is sending it.
But if you use unique tones for each application, you can prioritize notifications from your Android device. All you need to do is group similar notifications under the same tone, and you can leave non-essential notifications on instead of silencing them.
You can also set a custom ringtone and text tone for every contact on your device, so you never have to worry about missing an important call or text message again. It can be a tedious process, but it is worth it.
There are multiple options for muting and personalizing your notifications on Android. Some options are as simple as activating airplane mode before a meeting, and some require a bit more work on your part, such as setting custom ringtones for your most important apps and contacts. Only you can decide how simple or advanced you want it to be.