How to Manage Notifications on Android

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Mobile notifications can get annoying sometimes, especially when you are trying to focus on important work. Now you could put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode to stop the endless barrage of notifications, but you might miss out on urgent calls and emails.

Fortunately, the newer versions of Android come with built-in tools that allow users to manage and prioritize various types of notifications. This guide will show you how to utilize them in meaningful ways.

Disable app notifications

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If a particular Android app keeps spamming you with incessant alerts even after changing notification settings from the app itself, consider temporarily muting them or disable them permanently. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Apps & notifications menu from the Settings, followed by selecting Notifications.
  2. Next, tap ‘See all from last seven days’ to expand the list of apps with push notifications enabled.
  3. Tap the Most recent option above, then select Most frequent from the drop-down menu so that you can see the apps that send you the most notifications.
  4. Now toggle off the slider next to the apps you don’t want to see notifications from.
  5. You can also tap the app name to block certain notification types from the app.

Silence unimportant notifications

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If your Android device runs 8.0 Oreo or later, you can quickly choose to silence a notification from interrupting you again. All you have to is long-tap a notification card or drag it to the left or right in the notification shade, then tap the gear icon to access its alert settings.

From the following “Notification category” options, you can switch the chosen notification from Default to Silent. They will still appear in the status bar but won’t bother you with vibration or any notification sound.

Android 11 users can also restrict silent notifications from appearing in the status bar. If your device runs the latest Android version, head over to the Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications menu, scroll down and expand the Advanced options, and then enable ‘Hide silent notifications in status bar.

Snooze app notifications

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If you aren’t in the mood to respond to a particular notification, but you want it to show up in your status bar later, you can choose to snooze it. The feature has been around since the release of Android 8.0 Oreo, but it isn’t accessible by default since Android 10. Here’s how to enable it:

  1. Head over to the Apps & notifications section in the Settings.
  2. Now visit the Notifications menu and expand the Advanced option at the bottom.
  3. After that, toggle on the slider next to Allow notification snoozing.

Once enabled, you can slightly drag a notification to the left or right and tap the alarm clock icon with a “Z” inside to snooze it.

Prioritize your chat notifications

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If your phone is running Android 10 or above, you can easily prioritize your chat notifications from WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Messenger, and other apps. Simply bring down the notification shade, drag the incoming message alert to the left or right, then tap the gear icon.

From the following menu, you can set the notification to Important so that it always shows up above in the notifications list. Plus, it will ping you to vibrate your device even when you have Do Not Disturb enabled.

Those who are on Android 11 can long-press a conversation and set it to Priority. All your chat alerts also get grouped under the “Conversations” section in the notification shade.

Hide private notifications on the lock screen

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Notification appearing on the lock screen is convenient, but it’s a major flaw in terms of privacy. If you would like to hide the contents of your texts and emails on your Android lock screen, perform the below steps.

  1. First, go to the Notifications menu from the Apps & notifications settings.
  2. Scroll down to the “Notification on Lock Screen” section and toggle off the Sensitive notifications option.
  3. If you don’t want any alerts to show up on the lock screen, select the ‘Notifications on lock screen’ option in the same menu and tap Don’t show any notifications.

Note that you will still get notifications from the apps you use, but the contents will stay hidden on the lock screen until you unlock your phone.

Control media playback from the notification shade

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The notification shade in Android 11 has a dedicated media player panel, allowing users to control playback from all their music and video apps. You get the option to play, pause, and skip to the next song without opening the media app. Furthermore, you can switch between your phone speakers, headphones, and external speakers for media playback.

However, if you don’t like the media playback control panel taking up space in the notification shade, long-tap it until you get to Dismiss it. The panel will reappear the next time you open an app to play music, podcast, or video.

Those who don’t find the option useful can swipe left or right on the panel, tap the gear icon, and disable the “Media player in Quick Settings” from the Settings.

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