How to Control Your Notifications With Android Marshmallow

Keep distractions on your Android phone or tablet to a minimum

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Android Marshmallow 6.0 introduced Google Now on Tap and several other convenient features to improve the user experience. Marshmallow gives users better control over notifications and volume and makes the battery smarter. Learn how to disable notifications and how to get notifications back in Marshmallow.

Instructions in this article apply to all smartphones and tablets running a specific version of Android OS, but most steps also work in newer versions of Android.

How to Manage Notifications in Android Marshmallow

Android smartphones have a Do Not Disturb mode, which you can customize to your liking.

Do not disturb icon in Android

Select Do Not Disturb from the pull-down menu to see three options:

  • Total Silence: Block all incoming calls, messages, and notifications.
  • Alarms Only: Block everything except for alarms.
  • Priority Only: Allow selected alarms, reminders, events, messages, and calls.

Tap the option you want, then tap Done.

Total silence, Alarms only, Priority only options in Do not disturb for Android

The Alarms Only setting is a great way to prevent random, unimportant notifications from waking you in the middle of the night. Use Priority Only to select which contacts are allowed to call or message you. You can also allow for emergencies in this mode by letting through contacts who call you twice in 15 minutes.

How to Customize Your Notifications

You have the option to set a specific time frame for when you want Do Not Disturb to be active. You can choose Until you turn this off, which keeps Do Not Disturb on until you manually turn it off, or For one hour. If you want to turn off notifications for more than one hour or for less than an hour, tap Plus or Minus to add or subtract time.

Until you turn this off, For one hour options in Android Do not disturb

There are also automatic rules, which you can create if you want this mode to turn on automatically at certain times, such as weekend, weeknight, or based on a specific event. To enable automatic rules, go to the Do Not Disturb menu, tap More Settings, then tap Automatic rules.

Automatic rules in Do not disturb settings for Android

How to Get Notifications Back in Android Marshmallow

When you enable Do Not Disturb, the name of the specific mode you chose replaces Do Not Disturb on the swipe down menu. To restore notifications to their default settings, tap it again to turn off Do Not Disturb.

Priority only view for Do not disturb in Android notifications

How to Keep the Volume Under Control

Have you ever ended a phone call and launched a game only to have the sound at a deafening level? Fortunately, Marshmallow gives you greater control over audio volume.

When you press a volume button, tap the down-arrow beside the volume slider to access a drop-down menu for notifications, music, and alarm settings. This way, the alarm can be loud enough to wake you, but notifications won't jolt you out of your seat. Having a dedicated music volume is also important, especially if you use headphones.

Alarm volume slider in Android

Do Not Disturb vs. Doze Mode

Doze mode sounds a bit like Do Not Disturb, but it's entirely different. Doze isn't a feature that you interact with; it's part of the Marshmallow operating system. Doze puts your smartphone to sleep when it sits idle for a time to conserve battery life. If you touch your device or wake up the screen, Doze mode is interrupted.