The notification shade on Android devices is one of the most unique and functional aspects of the operating system. It can be accessed by pulling down from the top of your screen, basically anywhere in the phone. It’s where you can easily control music, read text messages, and more. There are a few different types of notifications, and multiple ways to handle them.

If you’re wondering how to work the notifications on your device, you’re in the right place.

KEEP IN MIND: Not all Android phones are the same. Some will have more steps required to complete each task, others will have less. At AndroidGuys, we will do our best to walk you through each task as well as we can.

Swipe to get rid of notifications


We’ll begin by getting rid of a notification. Let’s use a text message for this example. Once you receive a text message, it can be accessed through the notification shade. If you’ve read it and don’t feel the need to reply, simply swipe it away. This won’t delete the message, only clear it from your notifications.

Ongoing notifications

Notification 2

Some notifications aren’t able to be swiped away. These are called ongoing notifications. I have a notification in my shade that displays the weather at all times. Since it’s there at all times, it can’t be swiped away. If I click on the notification, though, it will bring me straight to the app.

Actionable notifications

Notification collage 2

Some notifications can be acted upon from the notification shade. If you receive an email, it may look like it does in the first picture above. If you’d like to expand it to show more options, swipe down on the notification. It will show a few different actions that you can choose, including deleting or replying. Click one of those, and it will bring you to the app to complete the action.

Quick settings

Notification collage

Quick settings are something that have been added to Android pretty recently. Instead of accessing your notification shade with one finger, swipe down with two. This should open your quick settings shade, something that could be very useful if you don’t want to dig through your settings menu.

If you don’t find swiping down with two fingers to be useful, open your notification shade and click the top-right button (pictured above). The button will look different depending on which device you own. Different devices will have different quick settings, but they’re usually accessed the same way.

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