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How to recover deleted notifications on Android

The Android notifications menu can fill up quickly, 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 Pie.

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. On many phones, it seems that you need to enable the Developer Options first to unlock the widget and retrieve your lost notifications.

To unlock the developer options, go into your phone Settings > About Phone and then tap on the Build number 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). 

notification log pie
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 and be able to retrieve those missed notifications.

notification log pie2
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 solutions

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, it 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.

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

Nova Launcher

If your phone's UI deviates too far from Android stock, you might want to consider installing a new launcher instead. While we have a list of favorite launchers available for your Android phone, Nova Launcher is always a favorite and comes particularly recommended for this purpose.

Thanks to Karl Bell, who commented with this tip for retrieving your notifications using Nova Launcher: From the Nova launcher widget itself, select Activities and then Settings. In the options presented under Settings, you should find the Notification Log

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 entered developer mode and tried all the steps above. I'm using a Sony Xperia X. I need to recover a notification from this morning to be able to file charges for breaking an order of protection for the safety of myself and my 2 year old son.


  • I followed the steps as what you suggested but I cannot find notification log on my phone. I use Tecno Camon I. Android 7.0 and it has HiOS v3. 2.0


  • Yo! What the hell is the Build Number?


  • Thank you! :) Cool. I've just done the steps in the article like:
    1. set the developer mode
    2. at the widgets I did drag & drop the settings / notifications icon
    Now I can see the notification log history, BUT the problem is that
    I can only see the main title for a particular notification. For example:
    I can see that I had an instagram notification at 21:00, but I can't see what was that exactly? It only shows that "Instagram 21:00" but I can't check what was this notification is about... :( Was it a friend request from somebody or something else... If I tapped on the notification itself then it just opens up the instagram app (as the article said), but I can't see what was the notification about.
    I use a Samsung SIII Neo GT-I9301I (Android version = 4.4.2)
    Could you help me to explain how can I see what was my instagram notification is about exactly?


  • The notifications log works on my Moto G5 but it only goes back a few hours to a day max. Any way to go farther back like a week without using a third party app?


  • Monu ag 11 months ago Link to comment

    Check my blog www.tricksspot.com for some great tech tricks. Do let me know in the comments your feedback or other queries


  • I am using Huawei P 10 Lite I can't get my notifications back.. How do I do it?!


    • kai 11 months ago Link to comment

      HUawei P10 you may try this out androidcure.com/recover-lost-notifications-on-android-phones/ I found it on the web.. hope this help!


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


    • Install Nova launcher. You can keep using Samsung's default launcher, like myself, but it comes with a useful widget. Follow the same steps as above but instead of just finding the "Settings" widget, you want to find the Nova launcher widget, there are 2. Select "Activities" and from there it will show up a large list. You'll then scroll down and find Settings, select it to drop down everything under settings and find Notification Log. Tested and works for myself.


  • 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.


  •   31
    Deactivated Account Nov 4, 2017 Link to comment

    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..


  • 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.


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

    Deactivated Account


  • 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.


    •   24
      Deactivated Account Mar 19, 2017 Link to comment

      no, you dont need to root your phone to do this


  • 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?


  •   8
    Deactivated Account Mar 16, 2016 Link to comment

    You can use an recovery tool to restore them, I think it is very useful! Have a look at this, http://goo.gl/o52tkZ
    which tells you to recover many kinds of files on the phone.


  • Sorry, but this does not work for Android 6.0 there is no notifications log on the settings shortcut menu.


  • I'd rather suggest my app - Notibox app - try out and see, it works better.


  •   8
    Deactivated Account Feb 1, 2016 Link to comment

    I found a good recovery tool, http://goo.gl/TzKNYp , give it a try!


  • I think this can be helpful for those who are looking for how to recover lost notifications on Android but i found one article about how to recover lost notifications on Android :www.alltech2buzz. com


  • I think this can be helpful for those who are looking for how to recover lost notifications on Android


  •   8
    Deactivated Account Jan 20, 2016 Link to comment

    well, thanks for your share! And i also find a good recovery tool, http://goo.gl/TzKNYp , give it a try!


  • Hi what is your wallpaper, I like it can you share it? thanks.


  • Good tip..thanks:)


  • Why do we get tips that are only available on a small minority of phones? Doesn't AndroidPit vet these tips?


  • For those who doesn't have the log, or it is unavailable from any kind of reason: this app will not help for notifictions already dismissed, but you can install it today and you will not regret it, PAST NOTIFICATIONS by Tossy.
    It can filter notifications by time or by app, material design, great app.


  • Thanks. Great piece of information!


  • Settings widget is not available on my S5 running Android 5.02....
    Is this the only way to recover notifications?


  • I have the Settings shortcut but no Notification log (on 5.0.2)


  • Diego Jul 21, 2015 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?


  • 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.


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


  • 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...


  • 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.


  • 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.


      • Thanks for the walkthrough... ☺ However, I did all that and got the "Unfortunately, Settings has stopped" message. I have Galaxy S4, lollipop 5.0.1.


  • can't get to.widget in.my xperia Z


  • I have 4.3 but cant find the widget


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


  • 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.


    • 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?