How to Review Notifications on Your Android Phone

By Dan Gookin

Notifications appear as icons at the top left of the Home screen of your Android phone. To review them, pull down the notifications drawer by dragging your finger from the top of the screen downward. Two variations on the notifications drawer presentation are illustrated below.

Reviewing notifications.

Reviewing notifications.

Peruse the notifications by swiping them up and down. To deal with a specific notification, tap it. What happens next depends on the notification, although typically the app that generated the notification runs and shows more details.

After a notification is chosen, it disappears. Or you can dismiss a notification by swiping it to the right or left. To dismiss all notifications, tap the Clear icon. If the Clear icon isn’t visible, swipe the notifications drawer up or down to locate it.

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To hide the notifications drawer, swipe the notifications drawer handle upward on the screen. Or, if you find this process frustrating (and it can be), tap the Back navigation icon.

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  • Notifications can stack up if you don’t deal with them!

  • When more notifications are present than can be shown, the More Notifications icon appears on the far left end of the status bar.

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  • Some ongoing notifications cannot be dismissed. For example, the USB Connection notification stays active until the USB cable is disconnected.

  • Swiping away some notifications doesn’t prevent them from appearing again in the future. For example, notifications to update apps continue to appear, as do calendar reminders.

  • Some apps, such as Facebook and Twitter, don’t display notifications unless you’re logged in.

  • New notifications are heralded by a notification ringtone.

  • Notifications may also appear on the phone’s lock screen.