How to turn off annoying notifications on your smartphone

If you’re like us, your smartphone gets filled up with pop-up notifications daily. Many of them are not just annoying; they can be downright overwhelming, distracting and even bad for our mental health.

One study found that smartphone users who turned off notifications for 24 hours felt less distracted and more productive. In another, researchers found that certain smartphone notifications can negatively affect a user’s mood.

While many notifications can be extremely useful — say, that important text message or work email — many are not. Here are some quick tips to manage or stop those annoying notifications on your smartphone.

Manage notifications on iOS (and iPadOS)

In the current version of iOS 14, you have a few options to handle notifications — by managing how they display on your home screen, manage app by app, grouping by app, or by turning them off altogether. In the upcoming iOS 15 (available sometime this fall), Apple redesigned notification management to give you more control, so stay tuned for that update.

For now, here’s how to manage your notifications in the current iOS:

Change how notifications are displayed on your home screen

  • Go to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews
  • Choose Always, When Unlocked, or Never. (You can override this setting for individual apps.)

Manage notifications app by app

  • Go to Settings > Notifications and scroll to Notification Style to see a list of your apps
  • Choose the app you’d like to manage
  • Toggle the slider for Allow Notifications to turn notifications on or off
  • If you turn on notifications, you can manage alerts, including on your lock screen, notification center and banners, as well as sounds, badges, and previews (overwriting the setting above)

Manage notification grouping

  • Since iOS 12, you can group notifications from the same app to reduce clutter on your home screen
  • Go to Settings > Notifications and choose the app you’d like to manage
  • Scroll to Options > Notification Grouping, then choose Automatic, By App, or Off

Silence all notifications

  • Go to Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb
  • Turn on Do Not Disturb. To learn more about the settings in Do Not Disturb, read this article from Apple

Manage notifications on Android

Just like iOS, you can control your notifications on an Android device in a few different ways — app by app, snoozing, or stopping notifications altogether. You can see your notifications by swiping down from your home screen, but you can also control how they are displayed when your phone is locked. Note: Settings can vary phone by phone with Android, so check with your manufacturer.

Snooze notifications

  • Snoozing allows you to choose which apps you’d like to silence notifications.
  • To turn on snoozing, go to Settings > Notifications > select Allow notification snoozing.
  • To snooze a notification, drag it slightly left or right, and then tap Snooze. To pick a time, tap the Down arrow.

Turn off all notifications with Do Not Disturb

  • Do Not Disturb will silence your phone, including stopping all notifications, sounds and vibrations.
  • To turn Do Not Disturb on or off, swipe down from the top of your screen, then tap Do Not Disturb.

Turn off notifications app by app

  • Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications.
  • Under Recently Sent, you will see which apps have sent notifications, and you can turn them off.
  • You may have to choose Advanced to turn off all notifications for a listed app and for additional options.