View and use notifications

Some of this information applies only to devices running Android 5.1 and higher.

Notifications alert you to things like new messages, calendar events, and alarms, as well as activities on your device like software updates.

Watch a short video for a quick overview
Notifications on Lollipop (1:13)

Watch this short video for a quick overview on how to read, manage, and dismiss notifications on your device with Android 5.0. Get more details in the instructions below.

When you get a notification

Open, dismiss, or save notifications

When you get a notification, you'll see it at the top of your device's screen. Here's how you can interact with them:

  • Open: Touch a notification to open it when it appears.
  • Dismiss: Swipe left or right to dismiss a notification. Notifications that can't be dismissed will move to the notification shade, which you can open by swiping down from the top of the screen.
  • Read later: If you want to read the notification later, swipe up. When you want to read it, swipe down from the top of the screen to open the notification shade.
  • Prioritize: You can prioritize notifications or limit interruptions for when you don't want to be disturbed.
See notifications at the top of your screen

When you save a notification, you'll see an icon in the status bar at the top of your screen, along with your device's system icons:

  1. These are your notifications. When you get a notification, you'll see its icon at the top-left of the screen. When you want to read a notification, pull down the notification shade from the top of the screen.
  2. These are your device's system icons. You'll see a star in the right of the the status bar when you've set your device to only show priority notifications. You'll also see system icons, including Wi-Fi and mobile carrier signals and battery strength here.

Manage notifications on your device

Some of this information applies only to devices running Android 5.0 and higher.
Manage notifications by swiping down the notification shade

You can get to a list of pending notifications by swiping down from the top of any screen. If you're using a tablet running Android 4.4 or lower, swipe down from the top left corner of any screen to open the notification shade.

  • Expand notifications you want to read: Certain notifications can be expanded in the notification shade to show more information, such as email previews or calendar events. The one at the top is always expanded when possible. To expand a notification, swipe down inside the notification.
  • Open notification apps for more information: To open the related app for the notification, touch the notification icon on the left. Some notifications also allow you to take specific actions by touching icons within the notification. For example, Calendar notifications allow you to snooze (remind you later) or send email to other guests.
  • Manage settings for the app: To change settings for that app, double tap on the notification or touch and hold a notification, then touch the information icon .
  • Manage notification settings for the app: To change notification settings for that app, touch and hold a notification, then touch the settings icon .
  • Dismiss notifications: When you’re finished with a notification, just swipe it away. To dismiss all notifications, touch the Dismiss icon .
  • If you don't have any notifications, the screen will say "No notifications."
Manage notifications on your lock screen

You can get notifications on your lock screen. First you have to change settings for what notifications show when your device is locked. When you get notifications on your lock screen, here's how you can interact with them:

  • Access Quick Settings: Swipe down from the top of the screen to get to Quick Settings.
  • Expand notifications you want to read: You can expand certain notifications on the lock screen. Just swipe down within the notification. If you have notifications set to "sensitive" for an app, you have to unlock your screen to see the contents of those notifications.
  • Open notification apps for more information: To open the related app for the notification, double tap on the notification or touch and hold a notification, then touch the information icon .
  • Dismiss notifications: When you’re finished with a notification, just swipe it away.

Elena is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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