How do I silence all notifications except one app?

Notifications on smartphones provide alerts and information from apps and services. They can be useful for staying updated, though many people feel inundated by the sheer volume of notifications they receive. According to one study, the average person receives around 65 notifications per day from their various apps and services.

While notifications can be helpful, the constant stream of alerts, messages, and other interruptions can also impact focus and productivity. Many users feel overwhelmed trying to manage so many notifications coming from different apps throughout the day. As a result, some may want to silence or turn off notifications broadly across their device, while allowing exceptions for their most important or frequently used apps.

This guide will explain how to silence notifications system-wide on a smartphone, while still allowing them from a single app. By customizing notification settings, users can reduce distraction and only receive alerts that are essential.

Understanding Notification Settings

Notifications on smartphones allow apps to provide alerts and information to users even when the app is not actively in use. Both Android and iOS platforms have notification settings that allow users to control which apps can send notifications, as well as how intrusive those notifications will be.

On Android, notification settings can be accessed by going to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Here you can toggle notifications on or off for individual apps, and set the priority level, allowing you to classify apps as urgent, high priority, medium priority, or low priority. Android also has Do Not Disturb modes that can silence all notifications temporarily.

On iOS, notification settings are found in Settings > Notifications. This screen shows a list of apps and allows you to turn notifications off, as well as set options for delivery style, sounds, and badges for each app. iOS also has a Do Not Disturb feature that can be scheduled or turned on manually to mute notifications.

Understanding the native notification settings on your smartphone platform is key to controlling which apps can send notifications and how disruptive those notifications will be. Both Android and iOS provide robust tools to customize notifications to suit your needs.

Silencing Notifications System-Wide

You can disable notifications for all apps at the system level on both Android and iOS devices. This will prevent any app notifications from appearing until you re-enable them.

On Android, open the Settings app and go to Apps & Notifications > Notifications. Toggle the switch next to “Notifications” off to disable notifications system-wide. You can also press and hold on a notification to open notification settings for that specific app.

On iOS, open the Settings app, scroll down and tap Notifications. Here you can toggle off Allow Notifications to disable them system-wide. You can also go into an individual app’s notification settings to disable notifications just for that app.

According to this guide, to stop receiving notifications from an app on your iPhone, go to Settings > Notifications. Then select an app and turn off the slider next to notifications to disable them.

Both platforms also allow you to enable Do Not Disturb mode, which will silence notifications temporarily until you disable it. This can be useful if you need to focus without interruptions.

Allow Notifications from One App

You can selectively enable notifications for a single app after disabling notifications system-wide. This allows you to silence most apps while still receiving alerts from your most important app.

On iOS, go to Settings > Notifications and tap the app you want to enable. Turn on Allow Notifications and customize the notification style. You can also go to Settings > Focus and select the Focus mode to allow notifications from just that app.

On Android, open the app’s notification settings and turn notifications on. Then go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > Advanced settings. Select “Override Do Not Disturb” and add the app. This will allow notifications from that app even when Do Not Disturb is on.

Third party notification manager apps like Notifica and Buzzkill also allow enabling notifications for only certain apps while keeping the rest silent. These give you more granular control.

So in summary, go to the system or app notification settings and enable notifications for just the desired app. Custom Focus modes on iOS make this easy. On Android, granting “Override Do Not Disturb” permission to an app will bypass silent mode.

Customize Notification Settings Per App

Android and iOS both allow you to customize notification settings at the per-app level to have more granular control. This allows you to mute notifications, set priority levels, show/hide previews, and more based on your preferences for each individual app.

On Android 9 and above, go to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications > App settings to customize notifications for each app. You can turn notifications on or off entirely for the app, set a priority level like Urgent or Low, allow peeking to show notification contents on the lock screen, and more.

On iOS, go to Settings > Notifications > [App Name] to configure options for individual apps. You can disable notifications, set Show Previews to When Unlocked/Always/Never, and assign notification privileges based on delivery time/location. There’s also an option to deliver notifications quietly by muting sounds/banners while still adding it to the Notification Center.

So if you only want to receive notifications from a single app, you can turn off notifications system-wide, then go in and enable notifications for just that one app. Just remember to adjust the notification settings per app based on your preferences.

Manage Notifications by Type

You can filter notifications by type on iOS to only allow certain categories to come through. This allows you to silence things like promotional emails or game invites, while still receiving important notifications like calls, messages, and calendar alerts.

To manage notifications by type:

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications.
  2. Select an app.
  3. Tap the app’s name to go to its notification settings.
  4. Under Allow Notifications, toggle off any notification types you want to silence.

Common notification types that can be disabled include:

  • Promotional – Marketing messages and advertisements.
  • Message – Instant messages from the app.
  • Social – Social media notifications from the app.
  • Activity – Notifications about friend or follower activity.
  • Alarm – Scheduled alerts and reminders.
  • Alert – Important non-scheduled notifications.
  • Badge – App icon badge count updates.
  • Sound – Sounds that accompany notifications.

By default, critical notification types like Calls, Messages, and Reminders cannot be disabled. Customizing notifications by type allows you to maintain meaningful alerts while reducing notification noise.

Set Notification Priority

One way to customize notifications is to set priority levels for different apps. This allows you to control which app’s notifications will show when Do Not Disturb mode is enabled.

To set notification priority:

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications.
  2. Tap on an app.
  3. Tap Importance.
  4. Select an importance level:
    • Urgent – These notifications will show even when Do Not Disturb is on.
    • High – These will not make a sound when Do Not Disturb is on.
    • Default – Follows your default Do Not Disturb settings.
    • Low – These may not show notifications when Do Not Disturb is on.

By customizing notification importance per app, you can ensure that the most essential apps can notify you even in Do Not Disturb mode. Just be sure not to set too many apps to Urgent, or you may get more notifications than intended!

Schedule Do Not Disturb

One way to silence notifications is to schedule Do Not Disturb during certain times when you don’t want to be interrupted. This allows you to automate turning on Do Not Disturb mode based on a schedule.

To set up a schedule for Do Not Disturb on iPhone or iPad (as per iDownloadBlog):

  1. Go to the Settings app and tap Focus.
  2. Tap Do Not Disturb.
  3. Tap Add Schedule.

You can then set up a schedule based on time of day, specific events, or even location. For example, you may want to turn on Do Not Disturb every weekday from 10pm to 7am. Or only silence notifications during a weekly team meeting. The schedule can repeat daily, on certain days, or for a date range.

Scheduling Do Not Disturb allows you to customize and automate when notifications are silenced on your iPhone or iPad. You can continue receiving notifications from select apps while silencing the rest based on your set schedule.

Third-Party Notification Manager Apps

In addition to the built-in notification settings on Android and iOS, there are some useful third-party apps that can help manage notifications.

One popular option is IFTTT, which stands for “If This, Then That.” IFTTT allows you to create customized applets that trigger actions based on various events.

For notifications, IFTTT enables you to set up applets to mute or unmute notifications from specific apps based on time of day, location, or other factors. For example, you could create an applet to suppress all notifications except Slack between 9am-5pm on weekdays when you’re at the office.

IFTTT also makes it easy to route notifications from various services into a single app. This consolidated feed can help reduce notification overload from multiple apps.

Overall, IFTTT provides more advanced ways to automatically customize your notification experience across devices and services. It has integrations with many popular apps for both Android and iOS.


In summary, you have a few options for silencing notifications from all apps except one on your device. The easiest way is to enable Do Not Disturb mode and add an exception for the app you want notifications from. You can also dive into the notification settings for each individual app and disable sounds/banners for distracting apps while keeping them on for your priority app.

A few final tips for managing notifications from just one app:

  • Use notification channels on Android to disable certain notification types from apps while keeping others.
  • On iOS, set a distinctive notification sound for your priority app so you can identify it easily.
  • Try a third party notification manager if you need more advanced scheduling and automation.
  • Set up Bedtime mode on iPhones to pause notifications at night except from allowed apps.
  • On Android, blacklist apps from overriding Do Not Disturb using the system settings.

With some adjustments to your device and app notification settings, you can take control and simplify notifications from a single app you care about while muting the rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *