How to Program Push Notifications on an iPhone

By Diana V. Faustmann

Some of your iPhone apps are more pushy than others, and often you'd like them to stay that way. These apps take advantage of Apple's push notification service to send you badges, sounds and alerts to let you know when something develops so you can take swift action. However, too many notices from too many apps can get distracting, even annoying. They can also drain battery power and consume precious cellular data in limited monthly data plans. Thankfully, you can tame the push notifications of apps individually or collectively using your iPhone's "Settings" panes.

Step 1

Tap "Settings" on your iPhone's home screen.

Step 2

Tap "Notifications," which is the third setting from the top.

Step 3

Apply a global notifications setting to all your apps. Tap the "Notifications" switch to toggle it "Off." This abruptly restrains all your third-party apps from sending you visual or audible notices of any kind.

Step 4

Adjust individual app notification settings instead. Set the "Notifications" switch to "On." Scan the comprehensive list of all your push-enabled apps below it.

Step 5

Tap each app in turn. Toggle its switches for "Sounds," "Alerts" and "Badges" to "On" or "Off," according to your preference. Then tap "Notifications" on the upper left to return to your apps listing.

Step 6

Press the "Home" button to return to your home screen. Your new push notifications settings are now in force.

Tips & Warnings

  • You do not see "Notifications" as an option in your main settings screen if none of your apps use push notifications.
  • You can also adjust push notifications built into your "Mail" app. Tap "Settings," followed by "Mail, Contacts, Calendars." Select "Fetch New Data" and then toggle the "Push" switch to "On" or "Off." Turning it off forces all email sound, alert and badge notices to come via "Fetch" instead, which checks for new mail according to a frequency that you set.
  • The more notifications you curtail, the more battery life you conserve and the less cellular data you use.
  • For an app to send you notifications of any sort, you must use it at least once. The same holds true for an app that you restore on a new iPhone from a backup.