Most of us receive countless notifications on our phones on a daily basis. But how many times have you swiped them away too quickly, and because you weren’t really looking, you ended up dismissing something important? The good news is that it’s possible to retrieve your notifications if the need arises. Here is how you can view your notification history on Android.
Once dismissed, your notifications don’t have to go to the land of oblivion permanently. From missed messages and emails to notifications about game updates or event updates, it’s all still there on your Android phone. You just have to learn how to gain access to that information.
Note: you won’t be able to access the notifications you’ve received prior to turning on the feature discussed below, but if you want to keep track of your notifications in the future, then this guide is for you.
Check to See If Your Phone Has a Notification Log
Many Android smartphones have a Notification Log feature baked in. Since it’s a bit hidden from view, the trick here is to learn how to find it. Follow these steps on your Android device to see whether the feature is available for you.
1. Long-press anywhere on the Home screen – preferably in an area that’s not taken up by apps.
2. Select Widgets from the options that appear in the lower part of the display.
3. Scroll down until you find the Settings widget.
4. Long-press on it and drag it to your Home screen.
5. Tap on it to access a list of features.
6. If your device has it, you’ll find the Notification Log listed here. Tap on the widget, and you’ll be granted access to your notifications.
It should be mentioned that the view offered by the Notification Log is rudimentary. Basically, it looks like code, and you’ll have to look very carefully for the information you want to recover (like the title of an email). Moreover, it’s not possible to interact with these retrieved notifications the same way you would the originals. For starters, you won’t be able to click on a link or quickly reply to a message. Another low point is that Notification Log only shows you the notifications you received during the day in the process of deleting the older ones.
We tried checking various phone models to see if they have Notification Log. The OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, and Honor 7S all had the feature; however, the Samsung Galaxy A3 (2016) did not. If that’s the case for your phone as well, don’t worry, as you can still get access to your notification history.
No Notification Log? Try this Workaround
If you own a phone that doesn’t have Notification Log listed anywhere or if you simply want a more intuitive way to look at your old notifications, we recommend installing the Notification History Log app from the Google Play Store. The app requires Android 4.4 KitKat or above to function and therefore should be compatible with the vast majority of devices out there right now.
To start viewing your notification log, tap on the “Advanced History” button. Here you’ll find all your notifications grouped by app. Simply tap on a specific app to view the notifications associated with it.
Interact with Your Notifications
Unlike the default notification logs in Android, you will be able to interact with the notifications in this app, although in a limited manner.
For example, a restored BBC News notification did give us the option to “Open” the link. However, when we tapped on it, it simply redirected us to the BBC News app and not to the exact story. Obviously, you can use the information in the quick preview to look for the news article using BBC’s own search function, but it would have been nice to have a more direct route available.
Similarly, a recovered WhatsApp notification only shows the app’s icon and message, but it won’t allow you to send a quick reply. It is possible to click on the notification, but that will have the effect of taking you straight to the app and not that particular conversation.
Another advantage of Notification History Log is that it does not delete older notifications, so you can check on those older than the current day
How to Filter Notifications
The app has a very handy filter function you can use to search the notification log. Tap on a specific app and then on the inverted pyramid icon in the upper right to open the filter and select the specifics. For example, you can filter to view new or old notifications first or arrange them alphabetically A to Z or Z to A.
The app also includes a free-to-use search function that allows you to look for specific notifications – for instance, to quickly check whether you’ve received an email from PayPal you might have missed.
In addition, there are few extra options for Pro Version users. For example, one can filter notifications based on their estimated time of arrival. An export feature is available, too, but to unlock the Pro Version, users will need to spend $5.99.
Now that you know how to check your notification history, you may also be interested in expanding your knowledge on the matter. Learn how to how to hide sensitive notifications from your Android’s lock screen and how to see Android notifications on your Windows 10 desktop.
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