How to Manage Push Notifications on the iPad

Save battery life and your sanity

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A push notification on your iPad notifies you of an event without the need to open the app, such as the alert that appears on the screen when you receive a message on Facebook or the vibrating buzz and sound that plays when you get a new email. This is a great feature that lets you know about events without taking the time to open a lot of apps, but it can also drain your battery life.

If you get a lot of notifications from a lot of apps, it may be annoying, but you can control how may notifications and from whom. It is easy to turn off push notifications, and if you accidentally turn them off for an app, it is easy enough to turn them back on. Notifications became easier to manage when Apple introduced the Notification Center in iOS 12.

Instructions in this article apply to iPads running iOS 12.

iPad Notification Settings

Push notifications are managed on a per-app basis. You can turn off the notifications of a particular app, but there is no global setting for turning all notifications off. You can also manage the way you are notified by each app.

  1. Launch the Settings app on the iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap Notifications in the left panel.

    Notifications tab in iOS settings on iPad
  3. Scroll down the list of apps to locate the one you want to manage. Each app name in the alphabetical list includes a description of the notification method(s) currently activated. They are Banners, Sounds, and Badges. An app may have one or all three turned on. If the word Off appears under the app name, no notifications are currently turned on for that app.

  4. Tap the app you want to manage to open a screen for that particular app's Notifications settings. If you want to turn off notifications for the app completely, flip the Allow Notifications switch to the Off/white position.

    Allow Notifications toggle in iOS settings on iPad
  5. If you only want to edit the notifications, leave the slider in the On/green position. Indicate whether you want the notifications for this app to appear on the lock screen, in the notification center, or as banners by placing a check mark under each option.

  6. If you check Banners, you must select a Banner Style, either Temporary or Persistent. You can also select an alert sound and turn Badges — the number that appears in the corner of the app icon — on or off. Additional options include whether to show previews during an alert and whether to repeat an alert

  7. With some apps, you'll see an additional entry at the bottom of the Notification screen for an app. For example, the News app shows News Notification Settings. This setting displays additional app-specific notifications you control.

    News Notification Settings in iOS Settings on iPd
  8. Tap News Notification Settings to open a screen of settings for the News app. Use the toggles there to select which News sources you want to notify you.

    News Notification toggles in iOS Settings on iPad

The content of these additional settings, when they exists, varies by app. For example, the additional notifications for the Podcast app can be managed to alert for new episodes for specified podcasts. The Twitter app offers notifications for Tweets, Mentions, Retweets, Likes, and a list of other activities on the app.

Using the Notifications Center

In iOS 12, Apple introduced the Notifications Center to help users manage multiple notifications. It displays the most recent notifications from your apps, grouped by app. To open the Notifications Center:

  1. Pull down on the top left corner of the iPad screen. The notifications are grouped by app. The most recent notification is on top with the app name,a preview, and the time it was issued, while previous notifications from that app are nested under it.

    The Notification Center

    Clicking the X at the top of the notifications screen while the notifications are all collapsed clears all the notifications on the screen.

  2. Tap the top notification to expand the stack of notifications for a single app.

    Expanding the notifications for one app
  3. Slide a single notification to the left to review the options. Tap Manage to open a truncated settings screen for the app and a link to other settings. View opens the story, link, or related post, and Clear removes the notification.

    Manage, View, Clear buttons in Notifications on iPad
  4. Tapping the X next to Show less for the expanded app notifications removes all the notifications for that app. Tapping Show less collapses the app notifications back to a single entry.

Notifications Aren't All Bad

Even if you are notification-averse, it's usually a good idea to keep notifications active for Mail, Messages, Reminders, and Calendar. It wouldn't do you any good to set a reminder if your iPad couldn't send you a notification of that reminder when the time came.