How to see a log of old notifications on an Android by enabling a feature on your device

Morsa Images/Getty ImagesYou can access erased or old notifications through your Android’s Notification Log.
  • You can see old notifications on an Android that you’ve previously cleared via the device’s Notification Log.
  • You can only access your Notification Log after you activate it through your Android device’s Developer Mode.
  • To enable Developer Mode with just a few repeated taps, find the “Software Information” or “Build Number” options in your Android’s Settings app.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Have you ever cleared out your notifications on your Android device, only to realise you might have missed something? Typically, you can’t go back to old notifications once you’ve erased them, but there is a way around this through a hidden function called the Notification Log.

To view your Android device’s Notification Log, you will need to access a widget that is only available in Developer Mode.

Note that not all Android versions have this widget, so if your device falls into this category, you’ll need to download a third-party app to view old notifications instead.

Here’s how to see notifications you’ve previously erased on your Android phone.

How to see old notifications on Android

1. Open your Android device’s Settings.

2. Swipe up in the Settings menu until you see “About phone.” Tap it.

How to see old notifications on AndroidChrissy Montelli/Business InsiderYou will need to scroll to the bottom of the Settings menu list to see this option.

3. Tap on “Software information.” If you don’t see “Software information,” locate the “Build Number” option.

How to see old notifications on Android 2Chrissy Montelli/Business InsiderDepending on your phone model and software version, accessing build mode may look different.

4. Tap on “Build number” until you see a small message about being a developer.

How to see old notifications on Android 3Chrissy Montelli/Business InsiderThe Build Number is a string of numbers and letters related to your phone’s release version.

5. A message will prompt you with the number of times you will need to tap on the “Build number” to enter developer mode. If the message says you are three steps away from being a developer, tap “Build number” 3 more times to enable Developer Mode.

How to see old notifications on Android 4Chrissy Montelli/Business InsiderThe number of times you need to tap to enter developer mode will be displayed in a pop-up message as you repeatedly tap.

6. If prompted, enter your phone’s security PIN.

7. Return to your Android’s Home screen.

8. Tap and hold a blank space on the Home screen until a menu of options featuring “Widgets” appears.

How to see old notifications on Android 5Chrissy Montelli/Business InsiderThe Widgets menu will appear alongside a vertical or horizontal list of options.

9. Choose the “Widgets” icon.

1o. Swipe through the widget menu until you locate “Settings shortcut.”

  • Note: If this widget does not appear in the menu, then you have a version of Android that doesn’t support the Notification Log, and you’ll have to go the third-party app route.

11. Tap and hold the Settings shortcut widget, then drag it somewhere on your Home screen.

12. Open the Settings shortcut widget and swipe through the menu until you locate the “Notification log.” Tap on it to add an icon to your Home screen for the log.

How to see old notifications on Android 6Abbey White/Business InsiderThis list will feature options not available outside of Developer Mode.

13. Select the Notification Log icon on your Home screen to view a list of old and erased notifications.

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