How-To Geek

How to View Notifications You’ve Dismissed on Android

2016-02-09 20.51.41

You probably get so many notifications on your phone and tablet that it’s easy to dismiss them without reading them. But one day, as you instinctively swipe a notification away, you may realize it might have been important and panic. No worries: in Android, you can easily access a log of your notifications.

On most Android devices running 4.3 Jelly Bean and above, you can create a shortcut on your home screen that allows you to see all your previous notifications, even if you’ve dismissed them. For our example, we’re using stock Android on a Google Nexus 7. This option isn’t available on every device (it wasn’t available on our Samsung tablet, for example), but if it doesn’t work for you, we’ll list another option you can use to access the notification log at the end of this article.

To create the shortcut, tap the “Apps” icon either at the bottom (portrait mode) or on the right side (landscape mode) of your Home screen.

01_tapping_apps

On the “Apps” screen, tap the “Widgets” tab in the upper-left corner.

02_tapping_widgets

Swipe to the left until you see the “Settings shortcut”. Press and hold on the shortcut…

03_choosing_settings_widget

…until your Home screens display and drag it to one of the screens.

04_adding_shortcut_to_home_screen

When you lift your finger, the “Settings shortcut” screen displays, allowing you to choose the setting you want to attach to this shortcut. Scroll down and tap “Notification log”.

05_tapping_notification_log

You now have a shortcut to the notification log on your Home screen and you can view all previous notifications you’ve dismissed and find any important ones that might need your attention.

06_notification_log_shortcut

Active notifications that have not been dismissed display in white (including notifications that stay on the status bar) in the “Notification log” and notifications you’ve dismissed display in light gray. You can tap on any notification to go to the “App Info” screen for that app.

07_notification_log

If your device doesn’t have a “Settings” widget, like our Samsung tablet, we suggest using the Notification Saver app to access previous notifications. This app displays notifications the same way the Nexus 7 does, in white for active notifications and light gray for dismissed notifications. Tapping on a notification displays a dialog box with more information and buttons providing access to the app on the Play Store and in “App Info”. You can also export the notifications list as a .csv file (in the app’s Settings) you can open in Excel. There are several other apps on the Play Store that are similar to Notification Saver you can also try out.

08_notification_saver

NOTE: Any apps that provide access to your notification history don’t show any history from before you installed them. They start recording and displaying notification history after they are installed. Each app will also tell you that certain accessibility options need to be enabled for the app to work, usually providing links to easily access the settings that need to be enabled.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 02/12/16

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