Android’s notification system is second to none. But it’s often spoiled by custom manufacturer skins or glitches in particular apps. This sometimes leads to odd behaviors and delays, which could cause your Android device to not get notifications.
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to get your notifications back to normal. If your Android notifications are not working, here are some fixes to try.
1. Reboot Your Phone
The first step towards troubleshooting why no notifications are getting through to you is to ensure that it’s not a temporary hiccup.
To do that, you’ll need to reboot your phone. Doing so puts an end to all background processes or services that might interfere with an app’s ability to push notifications. This will also restart your phone’s core components in case any of them crashed during a task.
To reboot your phone, hold the power button and then select Restart.
2. Review the App’s Notification Settings
If restarting your phone didn’t do the job, one of the most common reasons notifications don’t show on Android is because of the notification settings of the app in question. It’s possible that you may have mistakenly messed up with the default notification settings, and so now you’re not receiving them properly.
The majority of Android apps offer their own set of customizable notification options to modify how often such apps can push alerts, which type of notifications you want, and more. Gmail, for instance, lets you completely switch off sync. So make sure you haven’t accidentally tapped any buttons to shut off that feature while browsing the app’s settings.
If you don’t find the relevant settings in the app, you can turn on Android notifications for specific apps under Settings > Apps > All apps > [App name] > Notifications.
3. Disable Software Battery Optimizations
To preserve battery life and prevent apps you don’t regularly use from remaining active in the background, Android uses AI-based battery optimizations. But the algorithms powering these are not perfect and can wreak havoc when their predictions go south.
One of the most common victims of this is the notification system. If you’re thinking, “Why am I not getting notifications?”, then the adaptive battery feature of Android could be the culprit. The adaptive battery feature analyzes how you use your phone over time and starts prioritizing battery power for the apps you use the most. This gradually makes your battery last longer.
On stock Android, you can disable the Adaptive Battery feature under Settings > Battery > Adaptive Battery to turn it off for all apps. But this is probably overkill. Instead, you can turn off battery optimizations for each app by going to Settings > Apps > All apps > [App name] > Battery.
To find out if the adaptive battery is the reason why your notifications are not showing, it’s best to turn these settings off for a few days.
4. Check for Proprietary Power Savers
Some manufacturers go the extra mile by adding even more power-saving tools that automatically block apps they think are not important. So, in addition to the one’s Google bundles, you will have to check whether your phone comes with any other in-house optimizations.
For example, Xiaomi phones have a preloaded app called Security that houses several of these functions. Typically, such pre-installed battery-saving apps use Android’s force doze mode. The device tries to save battery life in the doze mode by limiting some apps’ ability to access the internet.
Besides, it also blocks important notifications by putting apps into a deep sleep state where battery-consuming apps get frozen for a while. So, the next time you feel you’re not getting notifications, you now know the possible reason.
If you’re still using any third-party battery-saver apps, you don’t need them anymore, thanks to massive power optimizations in the latest Android versions.
5. Reinstall the App or Wait for Updates
One of the main reasons why your phone’s notifications aren’t working could be due to broken app updates. If your Android device is not getting notifications from one app in particular, it’s possible that the developers have accidentally rolled out a buggy update. For those scenarios, you have three options:
- Uninstall and reinstall the app: Sometimes, uninstalling an app and reinstalling it from the Google Play Store can do the trick for you.
- Wait for an update to fix the issue: You can even drop a mail to the developer and make them aware of the notification issues you’re currently facing.
- Revert to an older version of the app: If you want to get an older version, there are various sites for downloading Android APK files. Find the one you want to reinstall, and you can sideload the app for the time being.
6. Check the Do Not Disturb Mode
Most Android phones ship with a handy Do Not Disturb mode. This is designed to suppress all notifications except for a handful you choose to let through.
Software designers tend to put their switches in easily reachable places like Quick Settings. Thus, if you’re unfamiliar with it, there’s a decent chance you could have mistakenly turned it on.
Head into Settings and under Sound or Notifications (depending on your specific Android device) review the Do Not Disturb mode. If you can’t find it in either of these places, search for Do Not Disturb from the search bar present at the top of Settings.
7. Review the Background Data Settings
In Android 8 and later, you can cut off apps’ access to mobile data in the background. While you probably didn’t toggle this setting by accident, it’s still worth checking out when you have a notification problem. After all, no internet access renders many apps essentially dead.
You’ll find this option at Settings > Apps > All apps > [App name] > Data usage > Background data.
8. Is Data Saver Turned On?
The Data Saver feature lets you restrict the number of apps that can use data when you are not on Wi-Fi. This can surely help you save money on your mobile phone bill, but it can also cause you to miss out on notifications.
To confirm the data saver mode isn’t at fault here, use your phone without it for a while (if you currently have it enabled). Visit Settings > Network & internet > Data Saver to take a look.
9. Is the App Allowed to Run in the Background?
On Android 8 and above, you can completely shut off apps from running when you’re not actively using them. It’s included to disable apps that consume way too much of your phone’s battery life. It’s a nifty addition that safeguards your phone’s battery life from poorly built apps.
However, it can also lead to problems if switched on for apps that matter to you. Unfortunately, Android can make changes to this on its own if it thinks it’s necessary. You should thus review the settings for apps with notification problems.
It’s located under Settings > Apps > All apps > [App name] > Battery. Sometimes the option to turn off or restrict the background usage appears as a toggle.
10. Manually Tweak Sync Intervals
In Android, the sync interval period is the time after which the device will check for pending notifications itself. But sometimes, even after a sync interval, the device doesn’t check again for new notifications. This is why tweaking the sync intervals is of utmost importance sometimes.
Google removed the built-in function through which you could alter sync intervals on Android. Fortunately, you can always rely on third-party developers to step up and fill in the gaps. The app Heartbeat Fixer lets you adjust sync timing with minimal fuss.
You can change the sync individually for both mobile data and Wi-Fi connections. You can raise it up to 15 minutes (which is the Android default) and drop it to as little as one minute. Note that adjusting these preferences will take a toll on your phone’s battery life.
Download: Heartbeat Fixer (Free, in-app purchases available)
Master Your Android Phone’s Notifications
If, after all these steps, you’re still unable to get your notifications back in order, it might be a device-specific issue. In that case, it’s best to check for software updates or contact your phone’s manufacturer.
When you’ve figured out the culprit, you should learn how to control notifications on Android precisely. Doing so will allow you to filter them and free your life from those unnecessary pings. To do that, you will need some tips and tricks for mastering Android notifications.