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How to customize notifications on iPhone and iPad

Customize Notifications on iOS 15
Customize Notifications on iOS 15 (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore)

You're sitting on the couch. Your iPhone is on the coffee table. You get a notification. You grab your iPhone to see the message. You get another notice, and so forth. It's getting out of hand, and you're starting to feel all that notification anxiety. So many notifications and so little time!

Sound familiar? You can customize notifications and adjust how you receive alerts and how Notification Center looks when you access it. Don't be a slave to your app notifications. Make them work for you instead of driving you crazy.

These work on the best iPhones with iOS 15 and later.

How to enable Siri suggestions for apps

On iPhone and iPad, you can get help from Siri, for which apps can suggest shortcuts to notifications on your Lock screen.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Siri Suggestions.
  2. Turn on the app switch for apps you want to enable Siri Suggestions.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, tap Siri Suggestions, then turn on the app switch. (Image credit: iMore)

How to customize how notifications are grouped

Notifications are grouped into stacks, making addressing them much more manageable. You can customize how messages are grouped.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the app you want to customize notification grouping.
  2. Tap Notification Grouping.

To customize how notifications are grouped, select the app you wish to customize, then tap Notification Grouping. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Automatically to have Siri suggest how your app notifications are grouped.
  2. Tap By App to keep notifications grouped by app.
  3. Tap Off to disable notification grouping altogether.

To customize how notifications are grouped, tap Automatically, By App, or Off (Image credit: iMore)

How to manage notifications from Notification Center in iOS 15

Notifications in iOS 15 are heavily influenced by the new Focus tool, which pushes the Do Not Disturb feature to advanced levels.

  1. Unlock your iPhone.
  2. Swipe down from the top of your screen to access Notification Center.
  3. Swipe to the left on a Notification to view your options.

To manage notifications from Notification Center in iOS 15, unlock your mobile device, then swipe down to access Notification Center. Next, swipe to the left on a Notification to view your options. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Choose Clear to remove all notifications in the stack.
  2. Tap Options to manage an app's notifications. For most apps, you can choose from various options.
    • Mute for One Hour - no more notifications for the current app for one hour
    • Mute for Today - no more notifications for the current app for the rest of the day
    • Send to Summary - include the notifications in the Focus Summary
    • Configure in (the app) - make decisions on notifications in the app
    • View Settings - See iOS notification settings
    • Turn Off - Receive no more notifications for this app
    • Turn Off (in active Focus group) - You won't receive notifications anymore from this app, assuming you're currently using a Focus.

To manage notifications from Notification Center in iOS 15, choose Clear to remove all notifications from the stack, or select from the options. (Image credit: iMore)

How enable or disable notifications

If you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) and want to make sure you always know when something important comes in on your iPhone or iPad, make sure it's set to allow notifications.

If you feel like Notification Center is getting out of hand and seems like a big old mess, try disabling the unimportant ones from Notification Center to clear your head and clear your screen. Think of it as a bunch of Post-it notes stuck to your desk. For example, do you need a message to let you know that your game cooldown has been completed?

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the app you want to remove from Notification Center.
  2. Toggle the Allow Notifications switch on or off.

To enable or disable notifications by app, select the app, then toggle the Allow Notifications switch on or off. (Image credit: iMore)

When you disable notifications for apps that aren't important to your daily life, you'll feel better about Notification Center. There's no reason to bog down your important alerts with unnecessary interruptions.

How to use Immediate Delivery and Scheduled Summary in iOS 15

Apple has introduced two new ways to customize notifications in iOS 15 called Immediate Delivery and Scheduled Summary. With the former, you can make sure time-sensitive notifications from apps are always delivered, regardless of your Focus settings. With Scheduled Summary, you receive a summary of your messages either in the morning, evening or at a scheduled time. In addition, the synopsis makes it easier to catch up on notifications you might have missed during the day.

To set scheduled summaries:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select Scheduled Summary.
  2. Toggle on Scheduled Summary.
  3. Assign the schedule. By default, the system assigns a first and second summary. You can change these or add new ones.

To use Immediate Delivery and Scheduled Summary in iOS 15, select Scheduled Summary then toggle Scheduled Summary (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Choose Apps in Summary.
  2. Toggle on/off the apps that should be assigned to the Scheduled Summary. You can sort by Daily Notification Avg. or A to Z.

To use Immediate Delivery and Scheduled Summary in iOS 15, choose Apps in Summary, then toggle on/off each app (Image credit: iMore)

How to enable or disable banner notifications

If you want to make sure you're always aware of notifications coming in, you can set them as banners so you'll see them even if you're using another app. Conversely, if notifications keep popping up on your screen while using your iPhone or iPad and you don't want to be bothered by them anymore, you can disable them.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the app for which you want to turn on or off banners.
  2. Toggle the Allow Notifications switch on if it's not already.
  3. Choose how you'd like to setup your banners.

To enable or disable banner notifications, select the app you want to use, then toggle the Allow Notifications switch. Choose how you'd like to setup banners. (Image credit: iMore)

How to set banner notifications to temporary or persistent

Some apps are so important that you need to ensure you don't miss them under any circumstance. For example, you don't want to forget them just because they disappear from view while you're reading something on Twitter. You can make alerts temporary or persistent for the varying importance of alerts.

Temporary banners will appear at the top of your screen and disappear after about three seconds. Persistent banners must be manually swiped away or addressed before they go away.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the app for which you want to receive banners and alerts.
  2. Choose banner under Alerts.
  3. Click Banner Style.
  4. Tap Persistent to have them stay until you swipe them away. Tap Temporary to have them disappear on their own.

To set banner notifications to temporary or persistent, select the app you want to set then choose banner under Aerts. Click Banner Style. Tap Persistent or Temporary, depending your selection. (Image credit: iMore)

How to turn on or off sound alerts on your iPhone and iPad

Want to make sure you hear every Notification that comes in? Make sure you've got sound alerts enabled. Don't want certain apps to notify you anymore audibly? Here's how to turn off notification sounds (aside from just toggling your mute switch):

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the app for which you want to get an audible alert.
  2. Toggle the Allow Notifications switch on if it's not already.
  3. Toggle the Sounds switch on or off.

To turn on or off sound alerts on your iPhone and iPad, choose the app to set, then toggle on the Allow Notifications switch, if necessary. Toggle the Sounds switch on/off (Image credit: iMore)

How to turn on or off badge app icons on your iPhone and iPad

If you want to make sure you know about notifications, even if you miss them on your Lock screen or didn't hear the sound alert, turn on Badge App icons, so you'll always know what hasn't been addressed yet. If those numbers in red circles on each app annoy or stress you out, you can turn them off.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the app for which you want to see that red dot on the icon.
  2. Toggle the Allow Notifications switch on if it's not already.
  3. Toggle the Badges switch on or off.

To turn on or off badge app icons on your iPhone and iPad, select the app, toggle Allow Notifications, toggle Badges on/off. (Image credit: iMore)

How to turn on or off Lock screen notifications on your iPhone and iPad

If you don't want notifications from certain apps appearing on your Lock screen, here's how to turn them off:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Notifications.

To enable Siri suggestions for apps, launch the Settings app, then tap Notifications (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the app for which you want to have notifications appear on your Lock screen.
  2. Toggle the Allow Notifications switch on if it's not already.
  3. Tap Show Previews.
  4. Make a choice between Always, When Unlockaed (Default), or Never.

To turn on or off Lock screen notifications on your iPhone and iPad, select the app, toggle Allow Notifications, tap Show Previews, make your selection. (Image credit: iMore)

Stay alert

It's much easier to customize Notification Center alerts, banners, sounds, and app icon badges in iOS 15. It will be interesting to see what new features get added in iOS 16 and beyond. Stay tuned.

Updated June 2022: Includes iOS 15 updates.