As you start to amass a huge library of apps, many of which ask for permission to send you push notifications, you can find yourself with an iPhone or iPad that is constantly pushing notifications.  When first installing an app, I tend to make the mistake of letting apps push notifications, without first thinking it through. As a result of my mismanagement of notifications, I’m rewarded with a steady stream of pop-up banners, alerts and a Notification Center that looks like Grand Central Station. It’s easy to find yourself with too much information, some of which is not exactly mission critical. Do I really need SpeakZoo letting me know when new animals are available? The persistent connections, sounds and the screen turning on can also have a negative impact on battery life. Needless to say, even the most well intentioned users can end up with an iPhone that is constantly buzzing. Here’s how to turn off alert and banner notifications on iPhone and iPad.

banner notifications on iPhone

Understanding the two different types of iOS notifications

There are two distinctly different types of notifications in iOS 7. By understanding the differences, you’ll be able to get a better idea of which will work best for different apps.

Probably the most common and most intrusive are Alerts. This will pop-up in the center of the screen. iOS 7 provides options for both enabling and disabling alerts on the lock screen. These sorts of notifications are typically best for your core apps, including Messaging and Phone, where you are likely to want to be alerted to missed calls, voicemail and text messages.

Alert notification

Tip: Ideal for when you absolutely must get alerted.

Now you see them, now you don’t. Banners are quick notifications that pop-up up at the top of your screen, and in a flash, they are gone. You can quickly dismiss a banner, but they too can be intrusive and disrupt your workflow.

Banner notification

Tip: Use these for friendly reminder alerts, ideal for social networking apps, including Facebook or Twitter alerts.

How to turn off alert and banner notifications on iPhone

If you are being bombarded by push notifications from Facebook, you’ll sometimes wish you hadn’t replied to a mile long birthday thread. Along with Facebook, there is an easy way to stop annoying notifications on your iOS device from any app.

  1. Navigate to Settings > Notification Center
  2. Scroll down to ‘Include’ section. Here you will find a list of preferences for both stock and third-party applications.
  3. Select the app that you would like to turn off notifications.
  4. Tap on the ‘None’

If you want to turn off lock screen notifications, you must toggle ‘Show on Lock Screen‘. Green is on, so flip the switch as shown in the screenshot below to disable lock screen notifications.

How to turn off notifications on iOS 6 or lower

While the release of iOS 5 was a welcome one thanks to the inclusion of notifications, the popup alerts can be increasingly annoying. If you’re like me, you look at them with disdain, even more so as they pile up in Notifications Center. At some point, you’ve thought, is there a way to stop Facebook notifications? How can I end this alert and notification madness? Thankfully, it’s easy to do just that in both iOS 5 and even more so with Apple’s iOS 6. Here’s how to turn off notifications on iPhone and reclaim your time.

how to turn off notifications on iPhone

Since the advent of notifications, more and more apps have started to utilize them. Some for good reason, while some violate your willingness to accept their invitation only to alert you of promotions. Either way, we’re going to get them under control. From your iPhone, go to Settings > Notifications. If Settings is not readily available, swipe right and start typing ‘Settings’ to find it.

There should be two lists of apps. One that says ‘In Notification Center’ and the other ‘Not In Notification Center’. As you scroll, you’ll get an idea of how much damage you’ve done by viewing the number of apps you’ve permitted to use Notifications. You are not alone. At the time of writing this tutorial, I had a whopping fifty five apps using Notification Center. 55.

This is madness

Let’s use Facebook as an example, all though in my case there worse offenders. Notifications can be categorized into two groups. There are alerts, which are the pop-ups that occur either in the middle of your screen. Banners appear briefly at the top and the vanish, often leaving you wondering about the contents of the message. You can set the Alert style to ‘None’, but that doesn’t turn off notifications. It won’t trouble you with alerts, but will fill up your notification center with messages.

Turn off Facebook notifications

If you don’t want any sort of alert or notification, you’ll want to select ‘Off’ next to Notification Center and then select an Alert Style of ‘None’. This will cage the animal completely, jettisoning them to the ‘Not In Notification Center’. Turning off alerts and notifications doesn’t signal the end of the relationship. You can always reverse course and turn them back on.

Removing Default Widgets From Notification Center

In addition to applications, you’ll also find Apple’s default widgets which include a Stock Widget, Weather Widget and a Share Widget. Don’t care about the stock market, click on the widget and set to Off. I’ve tweeted once from the Share Widget, so just today I switched that to Off. I can already feel the weight of a few widgets lifted.
Remove unused widgets in Notification Center

Using Do Not Disturb

In iOS 6, Apple realized that notifications can be problematic, especially for those who enjoy sleep. If you back out of Notifications, you’ll see Do Not Disturb. You can toggle this On or Off, but configuration takes place in Notifications.

Do Not Disturb iPhone

If you select Do Not Disturb, you can enable scheduling. Personally, I retire around 11pm each night and start my day at 7am. Those are my quiet hours. The next setting allows you to silence calls based upon grouping within your Contacts. You can set this to Friends, Work or even All Contacts. If someone in your contact list is calling you at midnight, it might be for good reason. A neat feature allows the first call to be silenced, but your iPhone will ring on repeated calls. If there is an emergency of some sort, a friend or family member might not be calling from a phone number that is familiar to your iPhone.

To recap, by removing and customizing your alerts, you can save yourself from needless interruptions. Not to mention, depending on how many you cut down, you’ll increase the battery life on your iPhone. Removing notifications doesn’t have to be permanent, as you can always re-enable them. So set your iPhone to Do Not Disturb and tame those unruly notifications.