How To View Past Notifications On Android

Missed notifications are a thing. It’s when you dismiss a notification only to realize that you need it later. You might dismiss it accidentally or on purpose but once you do, there’s rarely any getting it back. Some apps have their own built-in notifications panel. Facebook and Twitter are both a good example of such apps. If you dismiss notifications from either of these apps from your lock screen, you can still see them inside the app. Not all apps have their own notification panel though. In fact, the majority of apps do not have one. The good news is that Android maintains a log of every notification you get. You can use this log to view past notifications on Android.

Access Notifications Log

Getting to your notifications log is a terribly complicated process. So much so that you’d have a hard time remembering just how to get there. Fortunately, with Android there’s always an easier way to do things. In this case, you can use a simple widget. You won’t need to install a third-party app or anything. Everything you need is already on your device.

Tap and hold on your home screen. You will enter editing mode for the home screen. Tap Widgets, and from the list of widgets you can add, select the Settings app widget.

The Settings app widget lets you add a shortcut to any setting on your home screen. If there’s a setting that you access often, you can use this widget to jump right to it instead of browsing the Settings app. Once you select the Settings app widget, it will ask you which ‘setting’ you want to associate with it. Pick Notifications log.

That’s it. The Settings widget will be added to your home screen and it will point you to the notifications log where you can view past notifications. Just tap the widget to jump straight to the log.


This shortcut will show you a list of the notifications you’ve received however, they aren’t the richly formatted notifications you see in the Notifications shade. They can tell you which app sent the notification, what the notification was for, and what time you received this. There’s additional information that isn’t very relevant like the app package name, the title, the intent, etc. If you tap on this notification, it does nothing, It will not take you to the app that sent the notification.

The good news is that it will show you the text that was in the notification. For example, when you get a notification from Gmail about a new email, a short snippet from the email is included in the notification. The log will show you this short little snippet which includes the sender’s name. You can use this information to find the email that you’re missing.

If you aren’t running stock Android, the log might be accessible more easily, or it may not be accessible via the Settings widget.

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About Kelli Smith

Kelli Smith
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.

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