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6 ways to improve notifications on iPhone

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Joe Fedewa / Instruction Geek

Notifications are a blessing and a curse. They can be great in many situations, but you probably ignore most of them. There are several things we can do to make notifications on your iPhone work a little better.

Unfortunately, the notification situation on the iPhone is a bit tricky. There are many settings and options, but Apple doesn’t explain them well. We’ll show you the things you need to tweak to get the best notification experience on your iPhone.

RELATED: Android notifications are still far ahead of the iPhone

Adjust notifications as they arrive

Tap Manage in Notification Center

The best way to improve notifications is to modify them as they arrive. This is actually very easy to do on the iPhone. When a notification appears, slowly swipe left on the notification and select the “Manage” option.

This will immediately give you two options: “Deliver silently” and “Turn off”. There’s also a handy shortcut to full notification settings. This is a great shortcut to take action on your notification settings without going hunting.

RELATED: How to quickly turn off annoying notifications on iPhone or iPad

Hide sensitive content on the lock screen

iPhone message notifications with hidden content.

One way notifications can be annoying is when they share things you might not want others to see. The lock screen is set up for these kinds of notifications, so let’s fix that.

iPhone allows you to hide the content of specific notifications on the lock screen. This means that you will still receive the notification and it will appear on your lock screen, but its content will be hidden.

RELATED: How to hide sensitive notifications from your iPhone lock screen

Group (or ungroup) notifications

Grouping of notifications.

Speaking of the lock screen, iPhone notifications from the same app can be grouped together. They appear as a bundle on the lock screen and notification center. This is enabled by default, but can be changed for any application.

Each app has three different options for notification grouping, “Automatic” is the one that is enabled by default.

  • Automatic: App notifications are intelligently grouped by threads, topics, and other criteria.
  • per application: All app notifications are grouped together.
  • Off: Notifications are not grouped at all.

RELATED: How to Manage Notification Grouping on iPhone

Make notifications appear “silent”

Tap Deliver silently

Notifications don’t have to be loud and annoying. You have the option to make them appear “Quietly”. This can be done directly from the notification, as shown above, or from Settings.

When a notification is delivered silently, it basically shows up on your device without fanfare. You’ll still see it in Notification Center and on the Home screen badge, but not on the Lock screen, and it won’t vibrate or make any sounds.

Prevent notifications from turning on the screen

In an app's notification settings, uncheck "Lock screen."

By default, iPhone notifications always turn on the screen. Not only can this be annoying, but it also drains your battery faster if you get a lot of them. Fortunately, it can be turned off quite easily.

Each app has three different types of alerts you can do: “Lock Screen”, “Notification Center” and “Banners”. Simply turning off the “Lock Screen” option will prevent notifications from flashing on the screen.

RELATED: How to stop notifications from turning on your iPhone screen

Disconnect from notifications when you need to focus

iPhone user setting a focus mode.
Khamosh Pathak / Geek Instructors

One of the most powerful notification features on the iPhone is called “Focus”. It’s essentially a way to create custom “Do Not Disturb” modes for specific situations.

For example, maybe you want to limit distractions while you study. You can create a “Study” focus mode that blocks social media notifications and even create a custom home screen layout for those moments.

RELATED: How to set up Focus on iPhone and iPad

iPhone notifications can be great and they can be horrible. It’s up to you to customize the experience to your liking. If your iPhone is becoming a huge distraction and frustration, try these tips.

RELATED: How to master notifications on your iPhone


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