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Your phone has the powerful ability to interrupt you at any time, day or night. Notifications are useful when you need them, but the constant spamming can tire you out and numb your senses for the really important information. Android has long let you organize and manage alerts. Most apps have their own settings that let you customize or set how often you receive notifications, but before Android 9.0 Pie there was no central place to adjust them.
Adjustment. Pie’s new notification management system now allows each app to identify different categories of notifications. For example, Facebook can differentiate between birthday notifications, comments on your posts, or events you’ve encountered. You can then enable or disable them by category. Here’s how to change notifications for each app and how to manage the flood of alerts you receive each day.
How to Disable Notifications on Android
Android has a built-in option to turn off notifications or only allow certain contacts to call or text. It’s called Do Not Disturb and you can find it in Settings. We’ll see how to enable it and customize the Do Not Disturb settings. There are also options to block notifications from specific apps. You can do all of this without any third-party apps. Before diving in, remember that some notifications are important and necessary. So you probably don’t want to turn off all notifications. But even if you need to see some important text, you probably don’t need to know that Amazon is running a sale on kitchen items today. Plus, turning off notifications can help restore your creative energy. Use these tools to stop unwanted notifications and get your attention back.
How to Enable Do Not Disturb on Android
The best way to enable Do Not Disturb mode and disable notifications on Android is to use the Quick Settings drop-down menu:
- Drag the top bar of your phone and pull it once more to reveal the Quick Settings menu.
- You can also swipe once with two fingers to go directly to this menu.
- Find and tap Do Not Disturb.
- You have three options:
- Total silence: Blocks all sounds and vibrations.
- Alarms Only: Blocks everything except alarms.
- Priority only: Block everything except alarms, reminders, events and important calls. You can customize this option, which we’ll look at in the next section.
- In the mode you choose, set how long Do Not Disturb is on. Put it on a timer for an hour or more, or until you manually turn it off.
How to Customize Do Not Disturb on Android
Android lets you customize Do Not Disturb preferences through the Settings menu. You can also set it to turn on automatically based on calendar events or clock time. To change that.
- Go to Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb Preferences.
- Touching for priority only allows it. Here, toggle the switches as you see fit. You can turn off reminders and events and choose who can call or message you: Nobody, Everyone, Contacts Only, or Starred Contacts Only.
- Then watch Block Visual Disturbances. Here you can choose to prevent notifications from showing when the screen is on or to prevent notifications from turning on the screen.
- Finally, navigate to Auto Rules > Add More > Event/Time Rule and configure a new rule. Here you can configure Do Not Disturb to activate according to certain events in your calendar or at a certain time or day. You can choose from the same three modes: Priority Only, Alarms Only, or Total Silence.
How to Disable Notifications for Any App on Android
Depending on the version of Android you are using, there are two ways to easily stop notifications from a particular app. First, you can go to settings to customize notifications. This method works on everything from Android 5 Lollipop to Android 10.
- Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > App notifications.
- Here you will see a list of all apps installed on your Android device. Scroll and touch any app whose notifications you want to customize.
- You’ll then see a list of all the types of notifications the app can send. Enable or disable each type of notification as needed.
- For finer control, tap a notification type and you can change its sound, vibration, and other settings. You can also toggle the main switch to block all notifications from this app.
- Some apps have additional notifications in their app settings. This is indicated by additional settings on the application button. Touch it to access the app settings and customize more notifications there. Obviously, what you see depends on the application.
- Second, you can change an app’s notification settings when it sends you a notification. As above, it works on Android 5 Lollipop up to Android 10:
- When you see a notification, press and hold it or swipe it slightly to either side to reveal a settings gear icon and a clock icon.
- Tap the settings gear icon to go directly to this app in the app’s notification menu.
- From there, follow steps 3 and 4 from the first method.
How to Disable Notifications in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to 4.4 KitKat
If you have an old Android phone that can’t run Lollipop, don’t worry. You can still block notifications on your device without too much trouble, as long as you’re running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or newer:
- Go to Settings > Apps.
- Tap the app for which you want to stop unwanted notifications.
- Uncheck the Show notifications box.
How to Disable Notifications on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or Earlier
Unfortunately, there is no way to turn off app notifications on older versions of Android. If you have an extremely old device, you will need to update your phone or install a custom Android ROM to get this feature.
How to Disable Lock Screen Notifications on Android
To make sure your lock screen doesn’t show any notifications on Android, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications.
- Tap On lock screen and choose Don’t show notifications at all.
- If you prefer, you can choose to hide sensitive notification content. This, for example, will let you know you have a new text message, but won’t show who it’s from or what the message says.
How to recover ignored notifications
If you accidentally deleted all notifications or missed an important item, you can recover it. Android lets you achieve this using a simple widget that shows all of your notification history:
- Touch and hold anywhere on your home screen to bring up the Widgets dialog.
- Tap Shortcut > Settings shortcut > Notification log. On some versions of Android, you may need to select the Settings widget first.
- You will see a new notification log icon on your home screen. Tap it to view all your notification history.
- Tap any app on this list and you’ll be taken to its Settings entry.
Final words: how to turn off notifications from any app on Android
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