How to recover deleted notifications on Android

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 / © NextPit

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 / © NextPit

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 a 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.

Notification History Log will work on different phones / © NextPit

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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  • Cornan 11 months ago Link to comment

    I'm already in developer mode on my Samsung Note 10+ and there is no "Settings" shortcut.

    All I want to do is view recent Public Safety Alerts, which seem to have been moved from the "Messages" app to the "Notifications". When I swept the notification to the right, I didn't expect the alert itself to become inaccessible.

    Need to see recent alerts on Note 10+ (Verizon)

  • marco sarli
    • Admin
    Dec 2, 2019 Link to comment

    Interesting information

  • TeslaCoil Apps says that Nova Launcher has no such feature, because that would be collecting personal customer data, which they have pledged to never do. I do not find any notification-log feature myself under Nova Launcher settings.

    • long press empty space on your homescreen > widgets > long press activities (shortcut) > scroll down and press Settings (white icon) > scroll down to notification logs. Hope this helps.

  • 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?

  • Check my blog 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 Jun 17, 2018 Link to comment

      HUawei P10 you may try this out 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.

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