Notifications on your Android phone can be useful, but some people seem to get an excessive amount that is merely annoying and they get in the way. Stop Android notifications you don’t need.

One problem with Android notifications is that they can fill the screen. Pull down from the top of the screen to see the notifications and if they run off the bottom then there are too many. You need to reduce them to a more manageable number.

Notifications can cause sounds and vibrations, and when there are a lot of them they can have a detrimental effect on the battery life of the phone. Eliminate unwanted notifications and the battery might last longer.

It will also stop all those sounds coming from your phone every few seconds, demanding your attention. It would not be so bad if they were actually important, but many notifications are not and you could look at them later.

These screen shots and steps use a recent version of Android on a Samsung Galaxy S6. If you have an old version of Android you might not have all of the features. Different phones have different interfaces, so your screen might not look exactly the same. You should still be able to follow these steps though.

Swipe down from the top of the screen to show the notifications. Here are two. It does not matter which app they are produced by, this works for all apps.

Android notifications

Press and hold on a notification until it changes colour. Here you can see that the S Health notification has changed to a dark background, an icon and an i on the right.

Customise Android notifications

Press the i button and the notifications settings for this app are displayed. The switch at the top blocks all notifications and here it is turned off. If you do not want to see any more notifications from this app, turn the Block notifications switch on. (Notice that there is an option to hide notifications on the lock screen, which prevents someone picking up your phone and seeing notifications.)

Android notifications

Returning to the notifications, long pressing on the Gmail notification displays an extra item and there is a gear icon. Tap it to go to the app’s settings. It is a shortcut that some apps include in the notification when you long press it.

Android notifications

If you do not have these facilities in your version of Android, there is another way to stop notifications. This works on all versions of Android.

Go to Settings and find Apps, Application Manager or whatever your device calls it. Select an app that produces too many notifications, such as Facebook (do you really need to be alerted every time someone posts something? Stop Facebook notifications and notifications from other apps by tapping them to open the info screen.

Stop Facebook notifications

Clear the tick box, Show notifications and you will not see any notifications from the app. Very few apps have notifications that you cannot live without. Email and messaging are obviously essential, but social network updates, games, and other trivial apps are not.

Only allow notifications from apps you select. Notifications are enabled by default when an app is installed, so immediately after installing an app, turn off notifications if you don’t need them.