Do you deal with notification overload on your Android device? Checking off these alerts one by one is a big waste of time. To stay focused, you need to manage these interruptions more efficiently. In this complete guide, we bring you the solutions to the most common notification issues and show you how to manage your notifications on Android.
1. Android System Notification
While the individual apps are seen as a major culprit, it’s the Android system notifications that are responsible for the bulk of spam. On an unlocked Android screen, there are three areas serving you separate system notifications.
- Status bar alerts in an area at the top
- Notification drawer in an area in the middle
- Bottom notifications in an area at the bottom
Once you know the exact area where you’re getting the alerts, they can be modified from system settings. This Settings app is commonly represented by a gear icon, and you can individually manage various notification sources for “status bar,” “notification drawer” and “bottom tray.”
There are certain Android system apps you should never disable: SIM display, battery status alerts, Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile data, and, perhaps, the Torch. But if these alerts come from sources such as “Talkback” or “Accuweather,” they are safe to disable.
2. Types of Notifications
There are different kinds of system or app notifications that show up on an Android screen. We have listed the major ones here.
From Android 5.0 onward, all devices allow notifications to display on the lockscreen. Usually as a default, the lockscreen hides any sensitive content, such as text messages. But if they do show up, you can disable them through “Settings -> Apps and Notifications.”
The Quick Settings menu on Android can be easily accessed by dragging down the top portion of your screen or from a pencil-like menu. It has important system features, such as Wi-Fi, mobile data, Airplane mode, battery status, Bluetooth, flashlight, and more.
Not to be confused with the lockscreen, the homescreen notifications are prominently visible in the notifications drawer after sliding the screen to the left.
Do you see frequent notifications from an unwanted source in the notification drawer? All you have to do is “long press” on the notification for the app and go to its “manage” section to disable it. This is the fastest technique to deal with the app overload problem, and we cover more of these tricks below.
Many Android notifications appear in a floating window, which can be annoying for less used apps. But they do save you time in not having to scroll further.
You can disable these floating windows entirely from “Settings” by not allowing any previews. If you must have the floating notifications for some important apps, have them enabled for those apps only.
Heads Up Notifications
Similar to floating notifications, heads up notifications spring into the top section for a brief instant. If you do not promptly interact with these notifications, they will be added to the notifications drawer for you to check later.
Make sure very few apps have heads up notification status, as they use ringtones, can vibrate, and can seriously interfere with your work.
Do Not Disturb Notifications
Just as they sound, “do not disturb” notifications will mute the incoming calls and messages once enabled and are very important for your much-needed privacy. This feature can also be accessed from “Apps and Notifications” in “Settings.” You can customize this feature to allow calls and messages from your favorite contacts, which can be family members and/or emergency contacts.
App Icon Badges
On devices with Android 12 and higher, notifications on the bottom tray can be further expanded using “app icon badges.” Just long-press on the concerned app for it to expand into the middle to display the full details.
3. How to Customize Notifications for Individual Apps
To access any of these customized notifications, go to “Manage notifications” in “Settings” and click one of the concerned apps. You can decide whether the notifications should be allowed on the lockscreen or be kept to the banner. You can also disable all notifications for apps you don’t use frequently.
4. Customize Notification Sounds
If you have the needs to customize the sound settings for individual apps, you can find the “Sound and vibration” section in Settings that helps you keep track of the sound alerts you choose.
Using a slider, you can tweak the volume buttons for the app sound notifications. You can further customize whether you want the phone to vibrate with the app notification. Mute the app notification if you don’t really need the app much.
You can also vary the notification ringtone for the app based on the available music selection or add your own music file.
5. Third-Party Notification Apps
Want more customization for your apps than the default options? There are some good third-party apps which give you more advanced capabilities. One of them is Bottom Quick Settings. It helps to customize your bottom tray screen.
To use the app, you need to set up some permissions from the phone’s “accessibility service” menu. It also needs permissions to modify your system settings.
Unlike Android’s built-in features, this app has a blacklisting capability which totally stops all notifications from certain apps in their tracks.
Want to control the app notification sounds? The app has a feature which allow you to control the notification volume with a slider, along with brightness, media playback, alarms and ringing.
Power Shade is another useful app which helps control the appearance and screen visibility of your Android device.
To work with Power Shade, you must enable it from System Settings.
While the app is running, you can customize your layouts, colors, pop-up windows, and edge triggers for the device on specific apps.
The following notification drawer has been greatly modified using Power Shade. if you don’t like your phone’s default notifications area, the app will bring about a great change.
6. Notification Histories
Most notifications histories for an Android app drawer don’t go further back than one day. If you want to keep track of all your notifications throughout a certain period of time, check whether your device has a “notification log” screen. If not, there are a few workarounds you may try to grab all the past notifications.
7. Granular Notification Controls
Most Android devices these days support granular notifications, such as with “Smart replies,” which do not need you to message from the app itself. Another feature is a motorcycle mode which allows you to reply to the messages and calls while driving a two-wheeler. We emphatically do not recommend driving and texting at the same time, but if you must reply to someone while on the move, you can use a feature where the phone call is answered only when the motorcycle is stopped.
With the apps providing constant reminders to the users, as well as texts from unimportant contacts and necessary system alerts, you may be compelled to turn everything off.