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How to Control Annoying Notifications on Your iPhone

Apple has worked notifications into almost every corner of iOS—from the lock screen to a dedicated Notification Center that can be accessed with a simple swipe. While this sounds great in theory, in practice it can lead to desensitization from notification overload.

Too many notifications can drain your iPhone battery heavily through unnecessary screen activation and vibration. The good news is that iPhone notifications are incredibly customizable. So, let’s see what you can do to make iOS notifications useful again.

Adjust notifications within apps

Before delving into the iOS notification settings, you should take a look at the individual settings inside your apps. The images above show the notification options available in Instagram’s settings.

When you download a new app, take your time scrolling through the list of settings. Apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter often let you adjust different types of notifications. That means you can opt-in for notifications about what your fiancé posts, but opt out of annoying group notifications from your mom and me classes.

You can similarly control iPhone message notifications in WhatsApp, Slack, and more, so you won’t be bombarded with endless memes and GIFs from group chats or bothered by work messages after you’ve gotten out of the office.

About Notification Center

You can access Notification Center at any time by swiping down from the top of the screen. You can also swipe right on the Today tab to view any widgets you have enabled.

The notifications you receive while your phone is locked will always be displayed chronologically, with the most recent at the top of the list.

Your iPhone’s lock screen and notification center give you some control over the way things are displayed, which we’ll cover below.

Display information as a number, stack, or list

Once you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 16 or later, you can choose to display notifications on your Lock screen in three different styles: Count, Stack, and List. Go to Settings > Notifications, and tap to select the style you want.

Count: Displays the number of notifications you have at the bottom of the screen. Tap on the number to see your notifications. This style is more low-profile, offering a clean, minimal look if you don’t like blocks of app notifications obscuring your lock screen wallpaper.

Stacks: As the name suggests, it displays your notifications as a stack at the bottom. This style allows you to take a quick, convenient glance on the lock screen for the latest notification without other unread notifications filling the screen.

List: Each notification is traditionally displayed one after the other on your lock screen, with the latest one taking the top spot. With this style, it’s easy to read multiple notifications at once without tapping anything on your screen.

Using, Disabling, and Customizing Grouped Notifications

Besides the three notification styles, another way to organize your notifications is by grouping them by apps. So, instead of seeing 20 notifications from a single WhatsApp thread, iOS only shows you one grouped notification stack. To take action on a single notification or an entire stack, tap and hold on a notification or swipe left.

Notifications are automatically grouped by location, app, or threads. By default, you don’t have control over how a particular app groups notifications together. However, you can change the setting on a per-app basis.

The default is the Automatic option. To force iOS to group all notifications from an app into one neat stack, tap the App option. If you want to turn grouping off completely, select the Off option.

Receive a scheduled summary of notifications

Most alerts (such as those from social media) do not require our immediate attention, yet they are often our greatest source of information.

To maintain control over your notifications, you can choose to receive them all at a specific time instead of having your phone respond to likes, comments, or random stories every other minute.

Go to Settings > Notifications > Scheduled Summary. Turn on Scheduled Summary, set the time, and toggle off the apps you want to receive scheduled notifications from.

Customizing Notification Alerts in Settings

You can go to Settings > Notifications to view the notification status of the app. Tap an app and toggle the Allow Notifications toggle to allow or revoke permissions and make further changes to how the app notifies you.

If you grant notification access to a given app, you can choose from three iPhone notification alert types: Lock Screen, Notification Center, and Banners:

Lock Screen and Notification Center: Selecting this option will allow iOS to still display notifications on the Lock Screen and/or Notification Center, but you will not be alerted to any incoming notifications while you are using your device.

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