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How to recover lost notifications on Android

Authored by: Sterling Keys — Dec 29, 2013

Have you ever cleared your notifications by accident and deleted things that you hadn’t checked out yet or wanted to keep for future reference? I know that I have. I open up the notification pane and before I can even think about it, WHAM, notifications have been cleared. But what about that message or e-mail? Which app was it from? Well, we’ll show you how to check out your notification history so you don’t have to worry about notification purgatory. 

Wait. What was that notification again? / © AndroidPIT

 First, the bad news, this feature is only available if you’re running Android 4.3 Jellybean or higher. However, if you have at least version of the OS, there isn’t anything else you’ll need to install or activate in order to get this feature working.

  1.  Open your app drawer and head to widgets
  2. Swipe until you get to the “Shortcut to Settings”, the widget will look like your Settings icon.
  3. Drag this widget to your home screen and place it somewhere. When you do, a bunch of options will pop up.
  4. Select Notifications
  5. An icon will be created on the desktop and when you click on it, you’ll have access to your notification history.
Getting your nofitication history is easy, as long as you've got Android 4.3. / © AndroidPIT

By opening this history, you’ll see a full report of all the notifications that you’ve received over the last little while, whether they have been cleared or not. You can check out the title of the notification, which application triggered the notification, and what time is was received on your device. Clicking on one of them will cause the application in question to fire up.

Had you heard of this tip before? If not, does it put your mind at ease knowing you’ll never not know which notifications you’ve received?

From all the way over on Vancouver Island, Sterling Keys started off his smartphone adventure with an HTC S710 equipped with Windows Mobile and knew there had to be something better. Over the next few years, and countless different operating systems, he has finally found his home on Android.


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  • Desiree Della Rocca 1 month ago Link to comment

    I have the settings shortcut but notifications is not a choice. LG G2 running Lollipop

  • shuiguobaobei 1 month ago Link to comment

    H-Data Recovery Master is great to recover android lost formatted data with easy.

  • Steve Rand Feb 18, 2014 Link to comment

    Nice tip! I had no idea that the settings shortcut widget even did these things.. I thought it was just the settings app for some reason.
    It is present as a widget in my Nova Launcher widget drawer, or can be added to the home screen directly by holding the screen in a free area and choosing "shortcuts" instead of widgets or apps.

  • Vaclav Panenka Feb 18, 2014 Link to comment

    I found this "widget" as Shorcut, not as Widget. Thanks. Great.

  • noor kabara Jan 4, 2014 Link to comment

    Thanks a million for this post. i fallow the instructions and it worked for me. i mistakenly unchecked my message notification in my app info. it stop showing msg notification. i have "checked" it back. thanks.

  • James Miller Jan 1, 2014 Link to comment

    I would say most of the articles I read here are not accurate. the widget they talk about here is not in most 4.3 phones.

  • Cat Snapp Dec 31, 2013 Link to comment

    Note 3 user. No widget here either

  • Mayur H. Dec 30, 2013 Link to comment

    can't get to.widget xperia Z

  • jim conti Dec 30, 2013 Link to comment

    I have 4.3 but cant find the widget

  • Taofeeq Adekunle Dec 29, 2013 Link to comment

    nice one, but you can only see it deleted notification but you can not check body of messages.

  • Kris Carlon
    • Admin
    • Staff
    Dec 29, 2013 Link to comment

    Nice tip Sterling! I get on one of my swipe-to-dismiss benders in notifications and before you know it I've cleared the baby with the bathwater. Good to know.

    • Phyllis Coppolino 6 months ago Link to comment

      On my T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III, version 4.3 I can get to the list of notifications, following your instructions, but the ones that have been viewed or deleted are gray and when I press on them I am taken to the App Info screen where I can't press on anything to see the actual notification that I accidently deleted. What else can I do?