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How to recover lost notifications on Android

Authored by: Robert Zak — 4 months ago

The Android notifications menu sometimes fills up with so much stuff that it's easy to instinctively close it without checking everything that was on it. If you've done this, but think there might have been something important on the notifications menu that you accidentally swiped into non-existence, then you can still get it back. Here we show you how to recover lost notifications on your Android device by finding the Android notification history.

The notification log - where you can view deleted notifications - is only available on Android 4.3 Jellybean or above. In our walkthrough, we used stock Android Lollipop.

androidpit recover notifications
Long-tap on an Android homescreen, then tap Widgets. Swipe left until you reach Settings shortcut, then drag it  to a homescreen and choose Notification log in the above-right list. / © ANDROIDPIT
  1. Long-tap an empty space on your Android homescreen, then tap Widgets
  2. Swipe left until you get to the Settings shortcut widget. 
  3. Long-tap the widget until your homescreens appear, then drag it to a homescreen of your choice.
  4. In the Settings shortcut menu that appears, scroll down to Notification log and tap it.
  5. A Notification log shortcut will appear on your homescreen. Just tap it, and you’ll have access to your notification history.
androidpit recover notifications 2
Once the Notification log widget is on your homescreen, just tap it to see your current and deleted notifications. / © ANDROIDPIT

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

Are you guilty of accidentally deleting your notification history? Has this tip saved your life? Let us know!

A tech aficionado since he first picked up a NES controller, Robert has written about technology, videogames, and film across a range of sites and magazines, including Den of Geek, Gamasutra, and Computeractive. At AndroidPIT, he'll be bringing you the latest Android news and reviews from the front line in the UK.

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  • Diego 2 months ago Link to comment

    I can't find the Settings widget shortcut on Android 5.0.2 Samsung S6, do you know where how I can reproduce your suggestion for Andriod 5?

  • For all the data loss on Android, like medie files or sms and contacts, Data Recovery tools for Android will provide the best solution to help rescue the lost data. I find this guide maybe helpful:

  • Jerrferry 3 months ago Link to comment

    It is not difficult to recover lost notifications on Android phone. Try to find some good way to solve it. You can search by google. Believe you can solve your problem as soon as possible.

  • I am running Android 5.0.1 like some others and I too don't have this Notification Log you mentioned. My available Settings Shortcuts are Location, Lock Screen, S Beam and Sound & Notifications but this last option has nothing about a Notification Log in it.

  • Recover Deleted Contacts, SMS Messages, Photos, Video, Music and more from Samsung Galaxy, also works with any other Android smartphones.

  • I can't seam to find it on my Galaxy Note 3. I have Android 4.4

  • Mark R. 4 months ago Link to comment

    HTC One running Lollipop has it under shortcuts, good tip!

  • I'm using Lollipop 5.0.1 on a Verizon Galaxy S4 & I don't have the widget

  • Just as Taofeeq Adekunle already wrote above, at least with Lollipop 5.1.1, you can create the shortcut and then see which app notified you. Tapping on an app only invokes the same app info that can also be found under "Apps" in the settings, but you cannot retrieve the actual contents of the notification. Well, at least it can help to find the wormhole (e-mail app, messenger app, etc.) where to start exploring...

    • Yes, it was what it said in that notification that I wanted to know, now I can't find it... :(

  • I found the shortcut, but I can't go back far enough to view what I am looking for. It is only showing about 30 notifications. Is there any way to view further than what is shown?

  • Even I have the settings shortcut but cannot find notification log as a choice. Phone : LG G3 running lollipop 🍭. Anyways thanks for the tip.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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

    • Danya Feb 2, 2014 Link to comment

      No settings widget on my Note 3 too!

    • Yes I ran into the same problem with my Galaxy Alpha, you can find widgets but then activities no. One important step is missing from the description above, YOU NEED TO HAVE A CUSTOM LAUNCHER like Nova Launcher or Apex launcher. I downloaded Nova. Then you have to press the home screen for a few seconds, Widgets will appear, click it, then then you can see things like Nova action, Activities and other things, click and drag the activities, it brings it to your home page, drop it and then activities will appear, scroll down to settings, to the left of the screen it says numbers like how much activities there are their, there should lots of setting like a few 100s, mine was 307, click that, then search for Notifications, and you'll find it at N. And there you have it, you can see the past 50 notifications. The problem with this is it shows the app from when the notification came and the time not the description of that particular notification, from which is what I was looking for. :(
      Anyway hope this helps you and everyone.

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