The primary notification functionality in iOS 10 has not changed dramatically. If your iPhone supports 3D Touch, reading, receiving, and replying to notifications is almost effortless! When it comes to notifications, we all want them smarter, less annoying, more relevant, and situationally aware. Notifications are intensely personal.
In this article, we cover some of the basics around setting up and using notifications on your iPhone
- How To Master Notification Center on your iPhone
- Stop Notifications on MacBooks
- Fix Repeating Notifications on Mac
- Fast Track
- Setting Up Notifications on iPhone
- Notification and Privacy on your iPhone
- 3D Touch makes Notifications Easy
- Swiping vs. Tapping for Notifications
- Notifications Not Working on iPhone, How-To Fix
- Change Notification Settings for Apps or Universally via Settings> Notifications
- Update Notification privacy through Settings > Touch ID & Passcode
- Use 3D Touch for quick access without exiting current app
- Troubleshoot with a Reset All Settings & Reset Network Settings
- Toggle OFF and ON WiFi and Cellular Data
Setting Up Notifications on iPhone
To set up notifications for your iPhone’s or another iDevice’s apps, just tap on Settings >Notifications > and choose which App you’d like to set-up or adjust. Most notification features are the same for nearly all your apps. There are exceptions, including some apps like Google Maps, which provide additional options such as previewing messages on the Lock screen via the Show on Lock Screen toggle.
In this Settings menu, you can also turn off all notifications for a particular app or select the types of information you want to receive and NOT receive. These selections include show in notification center, sounds, badge app icon, and show on lock screen. Toggle these ON or OFF as your prefer–this is one of the many ways our iDevices get us to personalize them.
Configuring an App’s Notifications
In the Settings >Notifications >App screen, you enable and disable the app’s notifications here by toggling the “Allow Notifications.” From this screen, you configure if you want to allow the app to notify you on your lock screen, play a sound as an alert or show you a badge.
Additionally, you choose what alert style you’d like to see when your iDevice is unlocked. Select between none, banners, or alerts. Again, it’s all your choice.
Banner vs. Alert
When you want the app’s notifications to appear at the top of the screen, alert you and then disappear, you choose the Banner as the style. When you want notifications to stick around, Alerts make a better choice.
If you have recently upgraded your iOS and your notifications do not clear, check the setting in the app. If you set it to Alerts, your former settings often linger around so manually change this to the setting you prefer.
Notification and Privacy on your iPhone
For the utmost confidentiality and security, set up your iPhone to restrict access to your notifications on your lock screen by tapping on Settings > Touch ID & Passcode. And the toggle OFF the options for Siri, Notifications, Wallet, and Reply with Message. Your settings in Touch ID & Passcode override any individual app notification setting that you created and only allow access to the notifications alerts after your iDevice verifies your credentials.
Also, manage your privacy by changing your app permission to display previews of notifications on your lock screen. For example with your Mail notifications, if you choose to Show previews and then select “When unlocked” under Mail Options as opposed to “Always.”
3D Touch makes Notifications Easy
Working with notifications on a 3D touch device is so much better. Firmly press an item in your notification screen or on a banner at the top of the screen to take action on the notification event. And then you seamlessly continue with what you were doing before the notification arrived. You don’t even have to leave your current app to deal with that notification. So yeah, there is a great benefit to 3D Touch!
And use the 3D touch functionality to remove all the notifications on your device. Tap on the ‘X’ to the right of the heading for a group of notifications. Tap clear all Notifications, and that’s it!
Swiping vs. Tapping for Notifications
On the lock screen, you swipe right on the notification item to deal with the alert. When working with the notification screen and center, you tap on the item itself to work with it. Swiping on this screen takes you to the Today’s view.
Notifications Not Working on iPhone, How-To Fix
First, check that you are not in Do Not Disturb Mode (DND). Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and toggle OFF if it’s on. But sometimes, when you set up all the right settings and your iPhone, is not in Do Not Disturb mode, your notifications still do not work in the way that you want them to.
Notification Troubleshooting Tips
- If you are having issues with your notifications, it’s a good idea to restart your phone
- Try to delete the app that is having notifications problems and re-install it to see if it works correctly
- If the notifications issues persist, reset the settings on your phone to make sure your apps and alerts aren’t using any old settings data. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings
- Backup your iPhone using iCloud or iTunes before you use the reset all settings
- Reset your network settings (Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings)
- Toggle both WiFi (Settings > WiFi) and Cellular Data (Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data) OFF and then back ON
- Change to Google’s DNS or Open DNS’s settings
- Go to Settings > WiFi > Click on the name of your network or the blue “i” next to it
- Tap DNS
- Take note of the current DNS numbers then delete them
- Enter “220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168” for Google’s DNS or “22.214.171.124,126.96.36.199” for Open DNS
- The two DNS numbers provide you with a primary and a secondary server
Be mindful that the Reset All Settings does not remove any of your personal data like apps, photos or contacts. But it does remove all of your preferences and passwords for WiFi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Notifications, General, Sounds, Touch ID, and Privacy. So you’ll have to set those things back up after a reset all settings. However, the Reset All seems to work for many people to fix notification problems, so it’s worth the trouble!
iPhone Reminder Notification Troubles, Tips
- The one exception to this is around using Reminders with Notifications. Several users continue to experience notification issues with their reminder app, and this bug remains even after trying to do a “Reset All Settings.”
- If you have turned on your iPhone into silent mode, that sometimes kills these reminder notifications. Disable your silent mode and check the reminder notifications. If you have issues with shared reminder notifications, disable Shared Calendar notifications in the Settings > Notifications > Calendar > Shared and reboot your iPhone. Then re-enable the shared calendar notification. This fix seems to work for many people.
- If you experience delays with responses to notifications, this issue is listed as fixed in iOS version 10.2. Now when you first click on the notification, there should be no delay of any sorts. It just works better and a heck of a lot smoother. So upgrade to iOS 10.2 or higher if your iPhone runs an older version
- I was able to solve this problem by deleting and re-installing each of the affected apps. This approach is a strange solution, but it worked for me. It was not enough to update the app to a newer version—I had to remove it and reinstall
- I went all out and restored from an iCloud backup and reinstalled a few apps. Things seem to work fine now
We hope that you found these tips helpful. Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or would like to share additional tips that worked for you to work with notifications on your iPhone.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.