How to Master Notifications on Your iPhone

App notifications management screen on iPhoneKhamosh Pathak

The iPhone is a notification machine. Left unchecked, it will ping you about every little thing from every single app, all day long. It’s time to take control and master iPhone notifications once and for all.

Turn Off Notifications for Annoying Apps

The best time to act on an app that’s sending you annoying notifications is the exact moment you get one. If you’re running iOS 12 and higher, you can now turn off notifications for an app without going to the Settings app.

From the Notification Center, swipe left on a notification and tap on the “Manage” button.

Tap on Manage from notification options

Here, tap on the “Turn Off…” button. That’s it. No more notifications from the app.

Tap on Turn off to disable notifications

If you want to turn off notifications for an app that hasn’t sent you a notification yet, you’ll have to launch the “Settings” app, then tap on the “Notifications” option. From there, select the app in question.

Now, tap on the toggle next to the “Allow Notifications” option. Instantly, all incoming notifications from the app will be stopped, and you won’t see notification indicator on the app badge as well.

Tap on toggle next to Allow Notifications

If you only want to disable certain parts of the notification, like banners or alerts, you can do so from the “Alerts” section.

Customize the notification for the app

RELATED: How to Quickly Turn Off Annoying Notifications on iPhone or iPad

Deliver Notifications Quietly

Apple’s Deliver Quietly feature is another boon to notification management first introduced in iOS 12. When you swipe left on a notification in Notification Center and tap on the “Manage” button, you’ll see a “Deliver Quietly” option.

Tap on Deliver Quietly

When you tap on it, notifications from the given app will go into silent mode. They’ll still be visited when you open the Notification Center, but they won’t show up on the Lock screen, and they won’t buzz you either.

You can disable the feature by going back to the manage notification screen and tapping on the “Deliver Prominently” option.

Tap on Deliver Prominently

Alternatively, you can go to the Notifications section in Settings, choose the app, and then re-enable all the alert options.

Preview Notifications Without Unlocking

If you’re using an iPhone X-style device with Face ID, you might have noticed that all notifications are hidden until you unlock your device. That can be a bit annoying if you simply want to glance at notifications and you don’t perceive a big privacy risk by not hiding notifications on the Lock screen.

You can enable notification previews on the Lock screen by going to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews. Here, switch to the “Always” option.

Choose Always from Show Previews option for Notifications

RELATED: How to Make Notifications Actually Display on iPhone

Judiciously Use Do Not Disturb Mode

Do Not Disturb mode on your iPhone helps you allow notifications for a set time period, giving you some peace of mind. You can schedule Do Not Disturb to enable automatically at night, or you can enable it manually for some time.

Go to the “Settings” app and choose the “Do Not Disturb” option. If you just want to turn on the feature for now, tap on the toggle next to the “Do Not Disturb” option.

Alternatively, tap on the toggle next to “Scheduled” to put this on a schedule. Choose the “From” and “To” timing, and leave the rest to your iPhone.

Alternatively, you can open the Control Center and tap and hold on the “Do Not Disturb” icon (crescent moon icon) to see contextual options. Here, you can choose to enable Do Not Disturb mode just for one hour, until this evening, or until you leave the current location.

Choose the Do Not Disturb timing from the popup

Consider Keeping Your Phone Always in Silent Mode

Silent Mode enabled banner

Semi-permenately enabling Silent Mode on your iPhone is something that not everyone will be able to do. But if your job doesn’t depend on answering every single call or message immediately, you should seriously consider always keeping your iPhone in silent mode. This becomes easier if you own an Apple Watch (which will notify you about notifications by tapping gently on your wrist).

When you flick the “Ringer Switch” found on the left side of the iPhone and engage Silent Mode, your life becomes quite blissful. While your iPhone will still vibrate (you can even change this from Settings), it won’t make a sound.

You can keep checking your iPhone every hour or so to see what’s new or if you’ve missed anything important.

Enable Emergency Bypass So Family Can Always Reach You

Turn on toggle to enable Emergency Bypass for a contact

Do Not Disturb mode combined with Silent mode is indeed blissful, but can sometimes be quite lethal. Right now, Apple doesn’t offer granular controls for Do Not Disturb mode. It’s not possible to say that if you get notifications from a particular app, always make a sound.

But there is an exception and that is for phone calls and messages. You can use the Emergency Bypass feature. Once enabled for a contact, your iPhone will ring and vibrate, no matter if your iPhone is in Do Not Disturb or Silent mode.

You should enable Emergency Bypass for your family members, significant other, or your closest friends. To do this, open the “Contacts” app or the Phone app and navigate to a contact.

Here, tap on the “Edit” button and select the “Ringtone” option. From the top of the menu, tap on the toggle next to “Emergency Bypass” to turn on the feature.

RELATED: How to Let a Contact Bypass iOS’ Do Not Disturb Mode

Enable LED Flash For Visual Feedback

Tap to enable LED Flash for alerts

Your iPhone has an accessibility option to make it easier to spot when you have a call or a notification. The LED Flash feature will pulsate the LED flash that’s on the back of your iPhone. This way you can tell when you have a new notification even if you can’t feel the vibration of your iPhone when it’s in silent mode.

To enable this feature go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual. Here, tap on the toggle next to the “LED Flash for Alerts” option and make sure that the “Flash on Silent” option is selected as well.


Once you’ve configured the notifications on your iPhone, it’s time to configure the settings.

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