How to Manage Notifications on iPhone and iPad

Notifications are an essential part of the iPhone and iPad experience, but you may not always be happy with them. There are numerous ways to silence notifications, optimize the Notification Center, and only be alerted when you want to be.

What Is the Notification Center on iPhone and iPad?

An example of an annoying notification

The Notification Center on iPhone and iPad shows a history of your notifications. It can be accessed by swiping up on the lock screen, or swiping down from the top left on every other screen. You can choose whether you want notifications from apps to appear in the Notification Center, and they can be excluded from appearing on the lock screen. Essentially, the Notification Center is Apple’s version of Android’s notification shade system.

How to Silence Notifications on iPhone and iPad

You can silence notifications on an iPhone with the Ring/Silent switch, the “Do Not Disturb” Focus mode, or by turning off notifications for specific apps. The iPad does not have a Ring/Silent switch, but it does include the other options.

The Ring/Silent switch is the easiest method on the iPhone. Simply locate the switch on the left side of the iPhone and move it so you can see the orange background.

iPhone mute switch.
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

For a method that works on both the iPhone and iPad, first swipe down from the top-right side of the display to open the Control Center. Select the “Focus” tile and choose “Do Not Disturb.”


If you would like to schedule Do Not Disturb mode to automatically come on at certain times, you can do some from Settings > Focus > Do Not Disturb.

Do Not Disturb schedule on iPhone

Let’s say you just want to silence notifications for a specific app. First, open the Settings and go to “Notifications.”

Go to

Scroll down and select an app from the “Notification Style” section. Here you can toggle off the “Allow Notifications” option to stop notifications from the app.

Select an app.

That’s all there is to it. The iPhone may have a lot of notification options, but at least it’s easy to mute them when you need a break.

Related: You Should Be Using Focus Mode on the iPhone

How to Change Notification Sounds on iPhone and iPad

Text message and other notification sounds on an iPhone or iPad can be changed from Settings > Sounds & Haptics > Sounds and Haptic Patterns. You can customize the sounds for calls, text messages, voicemail, calendar alerts, and reminders, but not specific apps.

First, open the Settings and go to “Sounds & Haptics,”

Go to

Next, select one of the types of notification from the “Sounds and Haptic Patterns” section.

Select a notification type.

Now you can choose a different sound from the “Alert Tones” list.

Choose a sound.

Simple as that! You can do this for all the different types of notifications listed in the section.

How to Change Notification Type on iPhone and iPad

The iPhone and iPad include a bunch of different ways for apps to show notifications, and you can customize them by going to Settings > Notifications > Select an app. Here you can choose whether it appears on the lock screen and Notification Center, the banner style, and if it will show a badge on the app icon.

First, open the Settings and select “Notifications.”

Go to

Now select an app from the list to customize its notifications.

Select an app.

At the top, you can decide if the notification will appear on the lock screen, in the Notification Center, and as a banner across the top of the screen when it arrives.

Alert locations.

Below that, you can select “Banner Style” and choose from “Temporary” or “Persistent”—a persistent notification will stay on screen until you interact with it.

Banner style.

Lastly, you can toggle on or off “Sounds” and “Badges” for the app’s notifications.

Sounds and badges.

These options allow you to give priority to more important apps that you don’t want to miss—and downgrade other apps to less prominent alerts.

How to Silence Text Notifications on iPhone and iPad

You can easily silence those pesky text message notifications by going to Settings > Notifications Messages > Toggle off “Allow Notifications.” It’s also possible to turn off notifications for specific people.

First, open the Settings and go to “Notifications.”

Go to

Scroll down and select “Messages” from the “Notification Style” section. Here you can toggle off the “Allow Notifications” option to stop notifications altogether.

Turn off notifications.

To stop notifications from a specific person, open the “Messages” app and press and hold the conversation you’d like to mute. Select “Hide Alerts” from the pop-up menu.


Now you don’t have to be bothered by notifications from people you don’t want to hear from! Of course, blocking a contact is an even better solution in some cases.

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do in Apple Messages

How to Hide Notifications on Lock Screen on iPhone and iPad

There may be certain notifications that you don’t want prying eyes to see on your lock screen, and it’s easy to prevent that by going to Settings > Notifications > Choose an app > Uncheck “Lock Screen.” This will ensure that notifications from the app never appear on the lock screen.

First, open the Settings and go to “Notifications.”

Go to

Scroll down and select an app from the “Notification Style” section.

Select an app.

In the “Alerts” section, uncheck “Lock Screen.”


From now on, notifications from this app won’t be visible on the lock screen, but they will still appear in other places you choose.

Related: 8 iPhone Lock Screen Notification Tips You Need to Know

How to Clear Notifications on iPhone and iPad

Most notifications on the iPhone and iPad are put in two places—the Notification Center and the Lock Screen. Clearing the notifications from these two areas is a bit different, oddly.

Notifications that you see on the lock screen when first unlocking your device can’t be cleared in bulk. These are considered “Recent” notifications. You can do a long swipe from right to left to quickly dismiss a notification, or do a short swipe and tap the “Clear” button.

Swipe to clear a notification.

“Recent” notifications get moved to the Notification Center after you lock your phone. From here, you can tap the “X” icon and confirm by tapping “Clear” to clear all the notifications at once.

Clear all notifications.

It’s a bit of an odd system, but typically most of your notifications will end up in the Notification Center anyway (unless you remove it), and you can clear them all in one fell swoop.

Notifications on the iPhone and iPad have improved quite a lot over the years, but they might still be behind what Android users have had since the beginning. There’s certainly no lack of customization and options to choose from. Hopefully, you can get notifications under control.

Related: Android Notifications Are Still Miles Ahead of the iPhone

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