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3 min read 61 comments

How to recover lost notifications on Android

The Android notifications menu sometimes fills up so fast, it's easy to clear it without properly checking it. If you've done this, and think you might have accidentally swiped something important into non-existence, you can still get it back. Stock Android users can recover lost notifications on their Android device by finding the Android notification history. For devices with a different UI (such as Samsung's TouchWiz), this approach might not be available, but there is an app-based solution.

How to access Android notification history

The notifications log was first introduced all the way back with Android 4.3 Jellybean, and is still accessible from Android Lollipop through Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat. The Notification Log enables you to view deleted notifications (in fact, you can see all system notifications), but it is only accessible through an almost-secret widget. It seems that you need to enable the Developer Options first to unlock the widget on some phones. To unlock the developer options, go into your phone Settings > About Phone and then tap on the Baseband version several times. After 3 or 4 taps, you'll get an on-screen notification letting you know you are now a developer (it also adds a new section in your Settings menu). 

androidpit recover notifications
The notification log is key to recovering lost notifications. / © AndroidPIT

How to recover lost notifications on Android

1. Long-tap an empty space on your Android home screen then tap Widgets.

2. Swipe left or scroll down the widget menu until you get to the Settings shortcut widget. 

3. Long-tap the widget until your home screens appear, then drag it to a home screen of your choice.

4. In the Settings shortcut menu that appears, scroll down and tap Notification log.

5. A Notification log shortcut will appear on your home screen. Just tap this, and you’ll have access to your notification history.

androidpit recover notifications 2
Get the Notification log widget on your home screen, then tap it to see your deleted notifications. / © AndroidPIT

Once you're in the notification log, you'll see active notifications in white and notifications that you closed in gray. You can tap the gray notifications just as you would normally, and you'll be taken straight to the source of the notification.

App-based solution: Notification History Log

The above solution works fine for stock Android users, but we were disappointed to find that it wouldn't work on phones that had a different UI setup, such as is the case with Samsung phones. Fortunately, there is a useful app that will work on all phones that allows you to effectively recover and manage your notification history.

Notification History Log by ikva eSolutions is well-designed app that keeps a log of all notifications (up to one day old, but you can pay for a more far-reaching history), and after you activate the 'Advanced History' settings, allows you to bring up the app responsible for those notifications. You're able to blacklist certain apps and customize what gets recorded for recovery. All in all quite useful, even with the free version.

Notification History Log will work on different phones. / © AndroidPIT

Have you ever accidentally deleted your notification history? How did you try to recover it? Let us know in the comments.



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  • I have an s7. There is no settings widget on my phone. Is there another way to view old notifications without the widget?

  • Sri Gopal 3 months ago Link to comment

    Even my phone keeps a log of all notifications (up to one day old, right iam using Sony Xperia XA dual it keeps all the notifications to one day old.

  •   30

    app shortcuts and settings shortcuts can also be accessed with Nova launcher via "activities" and easily used in conjunction with Zooper or Kwgt widgets..
    I have a settings s/c to security settings top right hand corner on my home screen, and another invisible shortcut for Nova screen lock next to the power button..

  • Mark G. 3 months ago Link to comment

    This is what I find slightly annoying with phone manufacturers, I use the excellent Samsung S7 & Tab S2 both running Android 7, the extra features and UI/usability of Samsungs Touchwiz are brilliant and one of the reasons why I continue to buy Samsung... But if Android release a certain feature then it should be available across the different devices.
    I understand that there may be some features that Samsung feels don't enhance the overall quality and its subjective as to what is considered to be useful but surely there is a better way of doing things?

    Peace 🖖🏼

  • For Samsung, there is a great app, Shortcutter, that allowed me to create a widget for the settings for Notification History. It also allows creation of new Quick Settings, such as screen timeout.

  • It shows the notifications, but whan trying to press them, it goes to the application information. Pls help me.

  • I have the widget. I can just use that, no problem. But unfortunately, no "Notifications". I'm using a Dutch version of Android 6.0, but there is no Dutch word for "Notifications" either

  • For Samsung users (I have S7 edge) that don't have this widget, I found this app called "Notification History [4.3+] and it worked for me. When you open it, it will show current notifications and the dismissed notifications are grayed out. Tap on the notification that was dismissed and it shows a bunch of stuff that I don't understand, however, if you sift through it you can make out what the notification said by looking for android.text. I don't think there's a way to open the dismissed notification but you can at least see what the subject of it was.

  • How about the Samsung Galaxy Note 5? Am I able to retrieve a voice mail that I accidentally deleted? Someone left a message threatening my life. I was getting ready to take it to the police. But accidentally, I deleted it while listening to it again. I have t-mobile. Can I get it back? Does anyone know how? I would appreciate your help with this.

  • Mark G. 10 months ago Link to comment

    There is no settings widget on the Samsung S7. I believe it used to be on the Samsung S3.

  • golaok Dec 15, 2016 Link to comment

    Nice sharing. I want to know if I need to root my phone before recovering lost notifications on Android? I tried some android file recovery tools, most of them need to root.

  • Perfecto

  • I have version 5.1.1 but I doesn't have the settings when long pressing to pull up widgets.

  • This is all absolutely useless on the note 3. All of it.

  • hindi me padhe ye article hindi pathshala se

  • It seems these steps take me to the source of the notification, but not to the notification. How can I see the notification?

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