How to enable notification history on your Android (and why you should)

June Wan/ZDNET

Notifications are an important piece of the mobile puzzle. They keep you informed and up-to-date throughout your day. 

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally deleted a notification I needed to read or brushed one off… only to find out l should have paid attention. Over the years, that issue has led me to miss out on some important communications, news pieces, and updates.

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Fortunately, Google offers two options for accessing your notification history, both of which are easy to use. Which one you use will depend on which version of Android you have on your device. I will demonstrate this feature on Android 14, but the process is the same for Android 11, 12, 13, and 15.

How to enable Notification history

Pull down the Notification shade twice from the top of your screen and tap the gear icon under the quick tiles section to open your phone’s settings.

Once in the Settings app, tap Notifications to go to the Notifications settings. You may also need to click Advanced settings within this menu.

Notifications settings

Accessing the Notification history in Android 12.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

empty Notification history

Enabling Notification history.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

How to access the Notification history

Now that it’s enabled, there are three ways to access the Notification history. The first is the easiest. Pull down your Notification shade once and scroll to the bottom of your notifications. You should now see a History button. If you don’t, skip the next two instructions. 

Notification history

The History button has been added to your Notification shade.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Tap History to access your past 24 hours of notifications.

Notification history

All your history is there for you to view.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

If you tap any of those notification entries, you will open either the app that sent the notification or the settings for that app, from which you can reach the app. So, if you tap a Slack notification entry from the history, it’ll open the Slack app. 

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The second method is just another way to navigate to your history. Go back to Settings > Notifications. When you view the Notification history (where you enabled the feature), you’ll see your most recent notifications appear. This is the same page that appears when you tap the History button from within the Notification shade.

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However you access it, this is a great way to ensure you don’t accidentally miss a notification from any app or service on your Android device.


Is there a way to see all your past Android notifications?

In short, no. Android only keeps the past 24 hours of notifications so they don’t clog up the local storage on your phone. At a certain point, all that locally stored data would slow down the phone until it became unresponsive, hence the 24-hour limit. There used to be third-party apps in the Google Play Store that were viable options, but those are either no longer available, no longer trustworthy, or cost-prohibitive for many.

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