My Account

For Adults

Managing Mobile Phone Notifications

01/09/2021 | Technology Skills

Mobile phones and tablets use push notifications to send messages to your display to grab your attention. Notifications are represented by small icons in the notification area, usually at the screen’s top left or on the front of your phone or tablet screen. Different icons can tell you what type of information the notification is or what app it is related to.

You can choose which notifications you receive and when and how you receive them.

Why is this Skill Important?

Receiving too many notifications can be overwhelming and makes your device seem cluttered. Learning to limit how and when you are notified gives you:

  • more control over your device
  • helps ensure that you get the notifications that are most important to you
  • helps increase battery life by decreasing the drain caused by unviewed notifications

Taking steps to control the amount of time you spend on your device and how often it grabs your attention is an essential part of balancing your technology use with other aspects of your life. Limiting push notifications is a simple step you can take that may help improve focus and stress levels. Find more Digital Wellbeing tips for Android and Google devices by competing the technology self-assessment.

Managing Notifications - Android

On an Android device, most choices about notifications can be made in Settings.

Set the notifications from certain apps as priority notifications to mark them as the most important and help ensure that you never miss a notification you need. You can also set your device to block notifications from being generated by other apps to prevent notifications you do not want.

The Interruptions menu even lets you control which notifications will interrupt other things you are doing on your phone.

Visit Google’s Android Help Center to learn more about how to control notifications on your device.

Managing Notifications - iPhone and iPads

On an Apple device, you can customize notifications through Settings. You can choose which apps are allowed to alert you and how those notifications appear on your screen.

Visit Apple Support to learn more about how to manage notifications for iPhones and iPads.

For more tips and expert advice see our schedule of online classes to level up your tech and mobile skills.

Need help? The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone, as well as search and download materials from the Library's extensive collection of e-books, e-audiobooks and digital music.

Would you like to learn more?

See our listing of online classes to level up your tech and mobile skills.

You can also call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. We are here to help you find what you need and make the most of Library resources.

Declutter Your Device: Learn to Manage Your Digital Life

Looking for resources to help you dig deeper into managing your digital life? Check out these book suggestions for mastering the fundamentals of how your mobile devices work and learn more about how to balance your online and offline life!


Balancing Life and Technology in A Digital World

Dodgen-Magee, Doreen

Gain insight into how technology use affects the brain and learn how to apply a mindful approach to create healthy habits with all of the devices in your life.


Gookin, Dan

Let this friendly guide show you the ins and outs of your Android device— master the basics and get the most from your Android phone or tablet!

Digital Minimalism

Choosing A Focused Life in A Noisy World

Newport, Cal

This book will challenge you to rethink your relationship with your devices, reconnect with the offline world, and get technology to support your goals. Also available as an eBook and digital Audiobook!