How to Remove Android Status Bar Icons

Use the System UI tool to manage notification icons

What to Know

  • Dismiss notifications: Swipe down from the top to open the Notifications Drawer. Swipe left or right on each one.
  • Turn off persistent notifications: Swipe left/right on notification > gear icon > toggle off Show Notifications.
  • Turn off app notifications: Go to Settings > Notifications. Tap toggle switch next to app.

This article explains how to dismiss Android notifications and turn off persistent app notifications. Instructions apply to Android 9 and higher.

How to Dismiss Android Notifications

The easiest way to get rid of notifications (and status bar icons) is as follows:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Notifications Drawer.

  2. Review the notifications to make sure you're not getting rid of anything important.

  3. After you have reviewed your notifications, swipe the notification either left or right to dismiss it, or tap Clear all.

    To keep track of snoozed or recently dismissed notifications, go to Settings > Notifications > Notification history.

    Swipe down on the Android home screen and swipe left or right in the Notifications drawer

How to Turn Off Persistent Android Notifications 

Sometimes a status bar icon alerts you to an app that's running. Occasionally, you'll have notifications that can't be swiped off-screen. There are a few reasons this can happen.

If the notification is displaying the status in a currently-running app, shutting down the app should do the trick. Similarly, a previously running app may have started a service in the background that's still going. There should be something on the notification to stop the service.

Some apps put up notifications you can't dismiss. In this case, the notification won't disappear when you swipe, but it will reveal a gear icon that will take you to the notification settings for that app. Toggle off Show Notifications, but bear in mind this is turning off all notifications for the app, so make sure there's nothing critical you'll miss by doing so.

Notifications Settings Icon on Android

How to Turn Off Android App Notifications

Even if you don't get the gear icon when you swipe an Android Status Bar Icon notification, you can still turn off notifications for any app. Here's how:

  1. Go to Settings.

  2. Tap Notifications > App Settings.

    In some versions of Android, you'll see your list of apps on the Notifications screen. Tap See All.

  3. Find the app with the notifications you want to turn off, and tap the toggle to turn off notifications.

    Notifications, App settings, and toggle switch in Android Settings
  4. Tap the app to see more options. From here, you can turn off certain types of notifications specific to the app.

    Alternatively, go to Settings > Apps, choose your app, then tap Notifications to change the notification settings.

  5. Go back to the Notifications settings screen to see more general options for notifications.

    For example, you can hide sensitive notifications on your lock screen or turn on Do Not Disturb mode. (If you don't see these options, select Advanced Settings).

    Instagram notification settings and Advanced Notifications Settings in Android Settings

What Are Android Status Bar Icons?

Android Status Bar icons are notifications in the graphical user interface (GUI) from apps running on your device. These notifications can contain text, graphics, and even controls. They can represent information about your wireless connection, cellular network, or home Wi-Fi, and they can tell you you've received a text message. When the system UI gets a message, it responds by putting it in the Notifications Drawer at the top of the screen.

Android's Notification Drawer icons

How Android Status Bar Icons Work

Once you receive an Android status bar icon notification, you need to open the Notifications Drawer to access the one each icon represents. Then, you can usually tap the alert to open its corresponding app. Depending on the app, you may be able to take other actions, such as pausing and playing music.

When you tap a notification, you'll go to the app, and it will disappear. But in the event you don't want to jump around a dozen apps to clean up the top of your screen, you can also Dismiss notifications easily.

Is System UI Available on All Androids?

System UI is the user interface on your Android device. All Android devices have System UI, though some might have another user interface installed over the Android System UI, such as those manufactured by Samsung. In the case of Samsung phones, the user interface is called One UI.

All Android devices, including Android tablets, will display notifications using Android status bar icons, including Samsung One UI installed.

  • How do I get the status bar back on Android?

    If your Android status bar disappeared, try turning off the Google Now application: Go to Settings > Apps > Google Now and tap Force Stop. If this doesn't work, turn off Easy Mode: Go to Settings > Display and tap Easy Mode to turn it off.

  • How do I hide the status bar on Android?

    With a stock Android phone, press and hold Settings until System Settings appears. Select System UI Tuner > Status Bar, and turn off all the options. Another option: Download a third-party "immersive mode" app (be sure it's a reputable app, or you run the risk of malware infection).

  • What is the star on the Android status bar?

    The star on your Android status bar indicates you have priority notifications turned on instead of "no notifications" or "all notifications." In Settings, you can designate specific apps as being priority.

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