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Notification overload is a real issue. The apps installed on your phone fight for your time, and the best way to capture your attention is to send a push notification. If you have hundreds of apps installed on your amazing Android phone, it can quickly add up and become frustrating.

In the long run, unwanted notifications affect your work-life balance and mental health. So, if your phone keeps buzzing with alerts and unwanted notifications, take these steps to manage notifications on your Android phone in a better way.

1. Disable app notifications

You don't need to receive notifications from all the apps installed on your phone. One of the best Android 13 features requires users to approve notifications delivery on a per-app basis. This change will be enforced starting mid-to-late 2023. Even so, once you grant an app the necessary permission, there's no guarantee it won't send you multiple unwanted notifications every day.

A Pixel phone showing Android 13's notification permission dialog.

If notifications from such apps are not essential, disable them. For example, disable notifications from all the games installed on your phone if they aren't crucial.

Follow the below steps to revoke the notification permission from an Android app:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Apps.
  3. Select the app from which you no longer want to receive notifications.
  4. Tap Notifications. On Samsung phones, this option is located under the Privacy category.
  5. Disable the Show notifications toggle.

You can continue using an app after disabling its notifications without any loss in functionality.

2. Use notification channels

It's not always possible to entirely disable notifications from an app. Periodically, they may send important updates that you cannot miss. For example, disabling notifications from food delivery apps is not an option, as you won't get any order updates until the app is opened. The problem is that such apps can spam you with irrelevant notifications daily. Similarly, you may be unable to turn off app notifications from banking apps, even if they show at least one notification promoting their services daily.

This is where Android's excellent notification channels come in handy. It lets you block app notifications based on categories. So, you can disable all marketing and promotional notifications from food delivery apps on your phone while still getting order updates.

You can even use notification channels to prioritize notifications from contacts or groups. In Telegram for Android, you can use notification categories to disable notifications from group chats, prioritize notifications from certain channels, and more.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Apps.
  3. ​​Tap the app from which you want to disable unwanted notifications.
  4. Tap Notifications. You'll see the different notification categories.
  5. Disable the categories from which you don't want to receive the notifications.
  6. Tap a notification category to customize it further.

3. Limit notifications on your smartwatch

If you use one of the best Android smartwatches or a wearable with your Android phone, you should set it up properly. You don't want notifications from every app on your phone to arrive on your watch. That leads to the wearable buzzing constantly, which can be distracting. Instead, only allow notifications from a handful of important apps to appear on your smartwatch.

If you use the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, use Samsung's Galaxy Wearable app to customize the notifications. For Wear OS 2-based smartwatches, you need to use Google's Wear OS app.

Here's how to manage app notifications on the Galaxy Watch 4 or the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5:

  1. Open the Galaxy Wearable app.
  2. Select Watch settings.
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Select More from the Most recent on phone or watch section.
  5. Select the apps from which you'd like to receive notifications on your watch.

Only select those apps whose notifications are important and require your urgent attention.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5
Source: Samsung
Samsung Galaxy Watch 5

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is a refined upgrade to the phenomenal Watch 4. Sapphire Glass makes Samsung's newest wearable more durable, and its larger battery makes it easier to get through the day without charging.

4. Deliver notifications silently

Not all notifications require your immediate attention. Some apps can deliver their notifications silently, without your phone buzzing or playing the notification sound. You can check such notifications at your own pace the next time you pick up your phone. For banking apps, you can set them to deliver notifications quietly, as they don't require immediate attention.

The simplest way to ensure an app delivers its notifications silently is by long-pressing on its notification and selecting Deliver silently. Alternatively, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Navigate to Apps.
  3. ​​​​​Select the app that you want to deliver notifications silently.
  4. Tap Notifications.
  5. Select Deliver quietly. On Samsung phones, this option is located under the Alerts category.

5. Set up Do Not Disturb

The Do Not Disturb option has been around for a few years in Android. Over the years, it has become more powerful, with the ability to set different schedules that can be triggered based on time. You can also specify contacts that can bypass the Do Not Disturb mode.

Setting up different Do Not Disturb profiles the first time around is a time-consuming process. You need to select the contacts and apps from which you want to receive notifications, set the time, and more. However, after that initial effort, you'll notice a dramatic reduction in the number of notifications you receive.

Here are some examples:

  • If you want peace and quiet while sleeping, trigger Do Not Disturb automatically to mute all incoming notifications except for those from family members and repeat callers.
  • Schedule Do Not Disturb when you're working to hide notifications from all non-work apps and friends.
  • When on vacation, create a Do Not Disturb schedule to mute all notifications except those from your friends.

If you are ready to put in the effort, follow our guide on how to use Do Not Disturb on Android to learn how to set up different schedules and trigger them based on time or calendar events. Consider setting up Bedtime mode on Android if you want to mute all notifications when you sleep.

6. Snooze notifications

You may not want to act on all notifications immediately, but you may want to circle back to them later. For example, when you are in a meeting or your day is about to get over, and you get a message from your friend or family, you can snooze that notification. It then reappears later when you can take action on it.

  1. Expand a notification.
  2. Tap the snooze icon you see in the lower-right corner of the notification.
  3. By default, a notification is snoozed for an hour.
  4. If that's too long (or short), tap the down arrow you see and select a more appropriate duration.

7. Mark chats as priority conversations

Not all notifications require your immediate attention. Similarly, some conversations and notifications are a higher priority than others, say those from your spouse or family member. You can mark such chats as a priority so that they appear at the top of conversation notifications, can interrupt Do Not Disturb, and show up as a bubble when your phone is unlocked.

Keep a check on notifications

If you have hundreds of apps installed on your phone, notification overload is a possibility. You might not think much about this, but the stream of unwanted notifications gets frustrating over time. It also takes your attention away from notifications that matter.

Once you are done keeping a tap on notifications, learn how to check notification history on your Android phone if you accidentally dismiss an important notification and want to go through it again.