How to Disable Heads Up Notifications on the Pixel and Pixel XL

Pixel Disable Heads Up Notifications

Android allows notifications to peek in from the top of the screen, but you can follow these steps to turn off heads up notifications on the Pixel phones.

With the introduction of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google changed how they handled and displayed notifications on the screen. With KitKat and earlier, the information inside a notification would actually be scrolled throughout the status bar like a ticker. Lollipop brought the notification cards to Android and this allowed Google to show these notifications on screen without making you leave your current application.

This received an update with Marshmallow and it was also renamed to Peeking, as the notification ‘peeks’ in from the top of the screen. In Marshmallow, we had a way to disable this peeking feature for notifications of a specific application. With Nougat though (for some reason), Google has kept this customization feature, but bundled it with other ‘silent’ options for notifications. Meaning that, when you turn off peeking notifications will also silence alert sounds and the vibrate function of an application as well.

You will need to turn off heads up notifications for each app you don’t want it for.

Pixel Disable Heads Up Notifications

  1. Launch the Settings application
  2. Scroll down and tap on the ‘Notifications’ option
  3. Locate and tap on the application you want to silence
  4. Then tap on the ‘Show Silently’ option
  5. And press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen


I’m not sure why Google didn’t keep this customization option separate. I know that I would like to specifically disable peeking on some applications, but still be alerted via sound or the phone vibrating. They had it this way with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, so I’m not sure why they changed it. So to start, you’ll need to launch the Settings application and then scroll down so you can tap on the Notifications option.

From here, you’ll get a list of all the applications you currently have installed on your Pixel or Pixel XL. Scroll through this list and then tap on the application you no longer want notification to peek in from the top of the screen. This takes you to the notification options for an application, which can also be accessed by going from Settings to Applications, tapping on an application and then tapping on the Notifications option.

Pixel Disable Heads Up Notifications Example

This is an example of what the peeking notification looks like as it pops in from the top of the screen.

Once you get here, you should see a Show Silently toggle on this page. Along with disabling the heads up notification, toggling this Show Silently feature on will also prevent Android from playing a sound alert and vibrating the phone when a notification comes in for this application. At this time, you have to turn this peeking notification feature off at a per app level, and I would like to see Google give a toggle that lets us doing system wide.

Google may bring this option back in a future update, but for now we have to deal with it for each application we no longer want to see heads up notifications for. There are some 3rd-party solutions that can also take care of this, but you have to grant the application full access to your notifications (and I know everyone doesn’t like the idea of this). I’ll cover these apps (or the best one I can find) in a future article here.

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About the author


I'm working to create an organized and easy to follow central repository of Android tips, tutorials, guides and everything you need to know. With a focus on device specific tutorials now, my goal is to branch out and do more universal tips and tricks that will work on all Android devices.