How to Enable and Disable Push Notifications on Android

Enable Push Notifications Android Featured

Ever miss an important update because your notifications weren’t enabled? This guide will solve this problem for you. It shows how to turn on Android push notifications, ensuring that you will always be up to speed with the latest information. It even covers how to turn them off if they get overwhelming.

Good to know: did you know that you can run iOS apps on your Android device? Here’s how.

How to Enable Push Notifications on an Android Device

Android push notifications are small messages that pop up on your device. They are designed to alert you to any updates related to the apps installed on your phone, such as receiving a new email or being tagged in an Instagram post. You can receive push notifications, regardless of whether you’re actively using the specific app.

Before you can receive push notifications on your Android phone, you’ll need to grant permission to the app to send them to you. When you install an app for the first time, it will typically ask permission to send notifications within the first few seconds. If you accidentally missed this prompt, follow the steps below to enable push notifications.

Turn On Push Notifications in Android Settings

Open the Settings app on your phone, and navigate to Notifications, then access App notifications. Depending on your Android model, you may have to go to App & notifications -> Notifications.

Selecting App notifications in Android Settings.

A Pixel phone was used for this example. To view all apps, I have to tap on the Most recent button at the top, and switch to All apps.

Switch to All apps under App notifications in Android Settings.

Find the app in question, and make sure the toggle next to it is enabled.

Enabling push notifications for Instagram app in Android Settings.

If you want to enable only select notifications – for instance, to receive alerts when someone comments on your posts on Facebook or you get a new friend request on the app – find the app under All apps, and tap on it. Scroll through the different types of notifications, and enable only the ones that you need.

Different types of notifications for Facebook app.

Push notifications can also place a dot on top of the app icon on your Android screen to signal that there are new alerts for the app. If you want to ensure that you have this feature on, go back to Settings -> Notifications.

Enable Notification dot on app icon option in Android Settings.

Swipe down to the General area, and make sure the Notification dot on app option is enabled.

Tip: learn how to share apps with friends on an Android device.

Enable Push Notifications From Individual Apps

Alternatively, you can enable push notifications from individual apps. Mind you, not all apps will have this option.

Take, for instance, the Facebook Messenger app. Open the app, and press on the hamburger menu in the upper-left corner, then tap the gear icon that appears next to your name.

Accessing gear icon in Messenger app for mobile.

Swipe down and select Notifications & sounds.

Selecting

Check whether the Notifications toggle is turned on.

Checking if notifications for Messenger app are enabled.

Some websites that you visit in your mobile browser may also want to send push notifications. A small pop-up will ask whether you want the website to send you alerts. If you missed this window, go to the website. This example uses Chrome.

Tap on the little icon that looks like two sliders in the address bar. Select Permissions.

Clicking on Permissions in Chrome app for mobile.

Tap on Notifications (Blocked), then enable the Show notifications toggle.

Enabling notifications for website via Chrome app.

Make sure to also turn on the Pop on screen option below to get notified whenever a breaking story is posted on the website.

FYI: beautify your Android phone with one of these stunning bokeh wallpapers.

How to Disable Push Notifications on Android

Push notifications are useful for keeping you informed, but they can get annoying fast. A constant flux of notifications on your phone may be very distracting, especially if you’re trying to focus on an important task. But you can disable push notifications – temporarily or for good.

Turn Off Push Notifications in Android Settings

The easiest way to turn off push notifications on your Android is to enable DND mode. This will allow you to quickly turn off notifications, or, depending on your settings, select notifications for an amount of time.

You can turn DND on by going to Settings -> Notifications -> Do Not Disturb and turning it on. Alternatively, check your Quick Settings for a DND toggle, for easy access.

Enabling Do Not Disturb mode in Android Settings.

If you want to disable notifications for good, head to Settings -> Notifications -> All apps, and disable the toggles next to any apps that you don’t want to send you push notifications.

Disabling push notifications for an app in Android Settings.

Tip: need to share files across Android devices? Learn how to do so quickly.

Disable Android Push Notifications From Individual Apps

Sometimes it’s not enough to disable notifications for an app (or more) from Settings. You’ll also need to do so from the app to stop seeing notifications from altogether.

I’m using the Messenger app as an example yet again. Go to Settings -> Notifications & sounds as previously shown.

Disable the first toggle. Note that Messenger does not allow you to permanently disable notifications from the app. The maximum it allows you to silence them is 24 hours.

Turning off notifications in the Facebook app.

Some apps send alerts that wake up your phone’s screen. While you may not want to disable receiving notifications, you still want to do something about this extremely annoying behavior. Put a stop to it by digging through the app’s settings and finding and disabling an option, such as Light. This will keep your phone’s screen off when you receive a notification.

Turning off Light feature in Facebook app.

Android is well-known for offering many customization options. For instance, you may want to learn how to add custom gestures on Android for improved navigation, or change default apps on Android.

Image credit: Freepik, Unsplash, Flaticon. All screenshots by Alexandra Arici.

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Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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