How to disable Notification Center banners, popups, badges, and sounds on your iPhone and iPad

How to customize Notification Center alerts on your iPhone and iPad

Notification Center alerts you to everything that's happening on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad using a combination of banners, popups, badges, and sounds/vibrations. That's great if it's something really important like an alarm, appointment, or message. But when every app and game on your iPhone starts blinking, beeping, and buzzing at you, and lighting up your Lock screen, notification quickly turns into interruption. When everything is urgent, nothing is. Luckily, Notification Center also lets you turn off those banners, popups, badges, and sounds on an app-by-app basis, so you get to decide what's important enough to get your attention. That's right, serenity -- and sanity! -- can be yours again in just a few simple steps.

How to disable Lock screen alerts Notification Center

If your iPhone or iPad is sitting the table and an alert comes in, having the Lock screen light up and show it to you can be a great way to make sure you don't miss that important appointment or message. Having your Lock screen light up for every app or game you've installed, however, can be more than annoying. Even if you're not paranoid about battery life, having to look over and visually sort important alerts from unimportant one can be a constant source of interruption. Here's how to turn off the Lock screen alerts you don't need or want.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap iNotifications.
  3. iPhone settings panel
  4. Scroll down to the app you want to disable and tap on it.
  5. iPhone notification center main screen
  6. Scroll down to View in Lock Screen and switch the toggle to Off.
  7. iPhone NC turn off icon badges

That's it. Even if the app gets an alert, it will no longer light up your Lock screen to tell you. Repeat this process with any other apps you want to disable Lock screen alerts for.

How to disable banners and pop-up alerts in Notification Center

Banners roll down from the top of your Home screen to alert you to an incoming notification, and then roll back up again. They're mostly non-interuptive (and would be totally non-interuptive if Apple would stop them covering buttons at the top of the screen!), and fairly unobtrusive. They're great for email, social network messages, game challenges, etc. because if you choose to, you can ignore them and keep on doing what you're doing. Popups are in your face. They're great for alarms and appointments, when you want something to burst onto the screen and stop you from doing anything else until you choose to either act on them, or dismiss them. But what about when you don't want to be bothered by notifications of either type, at all?

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on Notifications.
  3. iPhone settings panel
  4. Scroll down and tap on the app you want to change or disable.
  5. iPhone notification center main screen
  6. Scroll down to Alert Style and tap on None.
  7. iPhone NC turn off banners and alerts

That's it. You'll no longer see banners or class pop-up alerts for that app. Repeat this process with any other apps you want to disable banners or popups for.

How to disable app icon badges in Notification Center

App icon badges are the little red circles that show up next to any app icon that has notifications waiting for you to view. They're handy for message apps so you can keep track of how many emails, tweets, IMs, etc. you have waiting for you, or todo apps so you can see how many tasks you have left to accomplish. But for apps you don't check regularly, they can add up, and then just sit there, staring at you. And since you can't "mark all as read", if you're the least bit obsessive about keeping your Home screen clean, they can be maddening. In those cases, it's best to just turn badges off completely.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap iNotifications.
  3. iPhone settings panel
  4. Scroll down to the app you want to disable and tap on it.
  5. iPhone notification center main screen
  6. Scroll down to Badge App Icon and switch the toggle to Off.
  7. iPhone NC turn off icon badges

How to disable sounds and vibrations in Notification Center

Nothing is more embarrassing than trying to have a conversation while your iPhone or iPad is beeping, buzzing, or otherwise attracting all the wrong kinds of attention. (Looking at you, Game Center!) Likewise, trying to sleep while your device constantly going off within each shot is not conducive to a good night's rest. For most of us, noise is an incredibly good way to get our attention, but that means we want to be really selective about which apps are allowed to make that noise and get our attention. Regardless the reason, or the app, you do have the option to disable them completely.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap iNotifications.
  3. iPhone settings panel
  4. Scroll down to the app you want to disable and tap on it.
  5. iPhone notification center main screen
  6. Scroll down to Sounds and switch the toggle to Off.
  7. iPhone NC turn off sounds

That specific app will no longer play notification sounds but you'll still receive any alerts or banners as well as badge app icons as long as you have those options enabled.

Note: Some built-in apps like Mail and Messages, and built-in services like Twitter won't have a disable sounds option in Notification Center, but rather put them under Sounds. (It would be nice if Apple put them all in one place, or even duplicated them in Notification Center for consistency.)

How to get more help with Notification Center

If you need more help setting up, using, or trouble-shooting Notification Center on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Mac, head on over to our iOS forum and ask away!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 4 comments. Add yours.

Dev from tipb says:

They really need to add profiles, or, at the very least, give us back the sort of global-turn-off notifications that we had a few revisions ago.

Rene Ritchie says:

Do not disturb is coming with iOS 6 :)

Seabassthegreat says:

Does do not disturb stop all notifications to stop working while u are still using the phone? That's the deal breaker for me that will decide if it's useless to me or not. I use a lot of private apps and I hate when someone asks me to see my phone (rather than sounding like I douche, I usually let them). but back in old 4 all I had to do was switch off the global switch of notifications off so they didn't see or read any of my private incoming messages from other apps that I would not want them to see... Now it's like iOS 5 made that take a step back cuz now I gotta remember which apps are more private than the others... When all I had to do on ios 4 was kill notifications and they could use my phone freely til I got it back after their viewing pleasure (can't tell u how many embarrassing messages would arrive from apps that I didn't want folks to read when seeing my phone...). So im really questioning the "do not disturb mode". If pop ups and notifications occur when ur still using the phone then it is pretty much rendered useless to me unless I'm sleeping

Brunsworks says:

Also, sometimes apps blatantly ignore these settings, and quite a few apps still leave lines in the pull-down Notification Center (what I like to call "Notification Center lint").