When an app is first installed, occasionally it asks if you would like to receive push notifications for that app. Normally I click 'No' and never think about it again. But yesterday, I accidentally clicked 'Yes', and would now like to turn push off for that app so as to save battery life.

If I go to notifications in the settings app, I can easily change the type of notification to 'None', however is this actually disabling push, or just hiding the notification?

Some of the apps that I am pretty sure I clicked 'No' to push notifications have this setting set to 'Banner' - making me think that these settings aren't related to whether push is turned on or off for that app.

What is the correct way to enable/disable push after initially selecting an option on app installation? Are the notifications settings related to push?

  • Why would you ever want to do this for ALL notifications?
    – Alexander
    Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 2:41
  • @XAleXOwnZX not all, I get mail and one or two others pushed. But really, I don't want a million "tagged in a Facebook photo" or "new content available for this app" notifications like I used to - I get enough mail/messages as it is! Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 2:50
  • in which case, entirely disabling push isn't ur goal… which is exactly what one can establish from reading ur question
    – Alexander
    Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 3:49
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    @XAleXOwnZX that's not what the question says if you read it, I said "turn push off for that app". The title could probably be clearer, but anyway... Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 4:03

9 Answers 9


There is no way to disable push notifications. They are handled by Apple's servers and will be sent to your device even if you uninstall the program.

Disabling all the app's respective settings under the Notification Center will only hide them. Refer to Apple's developer Push documentation for more details.

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Specifically, look at the Apple Push Notification (APN) Service, which "transports and routes a notification from a given provider to a given device." Apple says the following about the APN:

Sometimes APNs might attempt to deliver notifications for an application on a device, but the device may repeatedly refuse delivery because there is no target application. This often happens when the user has uninstalled the application. In these cases, APNs informs the provider through a feedback service that the provider connects with. The feedback service maintains a list of devices per application for which there were recent, repeated failed attempts to deliver notifications. The provider should obtain this list of devices and stop sending notifications to them.


In short, Push notifications are handled outside of the device. To stop them, once a program has been installed, means the developer of the program must remove your device from the list (or the notification must fail enough for the APN to stop sending them entirely). As a user, there is not way to "stop" them, just hide them from within iOS.

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    Thanks. It's not very intuitive IMO though. I guess it makes sense, but personally I think the title 'Push Notifications' rather than 'Alert Style' would make it a lot more intuitive for users. Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 4:18
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    @Jordan No it isn't. Apple really should put a "master" slider at the top that reads: Disable push notifications for this app. Marking that should grey out (or better yet remove) all the options above. Would make it a lot clearer and easier to understand.
    – user10355
    Commented Oct 23, 2011 at 4:31
  • Not so sure that this answer is correct now. The same app that I set to 'none' still received a badge notification without me opening it - which means that by clicking 'yes' to the original push notification notification (that's a mouthful..) it doesn't really seem to be possible to actually turn push off for that app, save from setting each individual setting to 'off'. For apps that I originally clicked 'no' to, the badges are still turned on, although push doesn't seem to work for them. Maybe I'm missing something, but this seems like pretty complicated and confusing behavior. Commented Oct 27, 2011 at 12:12
  • @Jordan that's normal and doesn't mean push is working, just that badges are enabled. Push notifications are different than mere notifications. Look at Reeder. It has the ability to display badges for unread news feeds but no push functionality. Same with Mail (if you choose to use fetch instead). Apps will still show alerts but they won't be pushed, but displayed when info is fetched.
    – user10355
    Commented Oct 27, 2011 at 20:13
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    @cksum: It is just hiding the notifications. Push is very much active.
    – bobbyalex
    Commented Nov 21, 2011 at 12:39

You need to turn all 5 setting off for that app in Settings ->Notifications

Turning Notification Center off only removes that app from the Notification Center (swipe down from the top of the screen). It doesn't turn off alerts, badges, sounds or the lock screen.


Under Settings, go to Notifications Select Alert Style: NONE



The original question (asked by Jordan, I believe) has a comment that indicates there may be confusion between Push Notifications and Email Notifications.

He mentioned not wanting to get so many email messages about activity in his apps. All of these answers are just for Push Notifications (which are pop-ups on your device), but even if you manage to turn those off, you'll still get the loads of email notifications.

Some apps, like Pinterest, do not have a place in the mobile app settings to control Email Notifications. You have to login to the app online to access the full settings and turn the Email Notifications off.

Then your inbox will stop filling up!


Uninstall and reinstall and when the prompt appears about notifications, click "No". Your first choice is absolute.

  • This seems to be the only possibility. Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 11:28
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    I don't think this works for all apps. I've uninstalled/installed the twitter app, but it didn't prompt me if push should be active/inactive or not. Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 15:46
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    The push settings is saved for 24 hours when uninstalling an app. I can't find where I saw this, so you'll have to take my word for it :) Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 13:34

Apple seems to support the theory that disabling the various notification settings will disable push for that app.

"Turn off push notifications: Some applications from the App Store use the Apple Push Notification service to alert you of new data. Applications that extensively rely on push notifications (such as instant messaging applications) may impact battery life. To disable push notifications, go to Settings > Notifications and disable notifications for select applications. Note that this does not prevent new data from being received when the application is opened. Also, the Notifications setting will not be visible if you do not have any applications installed that support push notifications."



When you disable all notifications for a specific app (alerts,badges, etc) you also disable "push" so data will only be received when you open the app. I verified this with whatsapp.


Settings -> Notifications -> turn on/off (for apps you want to change it)

  • 3
    I think you're reffering to iOS 4 and earlier. This is about ios 5. Commented Nov 1, 2011 at 20:29

The APNS servers seem to keep a list of enabled push notifications for a device, so at least theoretically, they could filter out everything that is not enabled on a particular device to conserve energy.

I've verified this by observing the traffic patterns on the APNS socket from an iOS 7 device to Apple's push notification servers while modifying the notification settings of an installed app.

The following settings cause traffic to be sent to Apple when toggled:

  • Badge app icons
  • Sounds
  • Banners/Alerts

As long as one of those three is enabled, changes to the remaining two don't cause messages to be sent on the connection, so presumably there is a binary state (interested/not interested) stored on the server, and the details are handled on the device.

Changing the settings for the notification area, switching between banners and alerts, and the settings for the lock screen also seem to be handled locally.

Additionally, when the application is uninstalled, the push servers also seem to be notified.

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