Is there a way to hide the notifications that a given application shows in the Ongoing Notification bar?

  • It depends on the application, AFAIK. Do you have any specific ones in mind?
    – gary
    Sep 27, 2010 at 12:53
  • Some applications don't have the option to remove the notification itself. Does that mean it's impossible to remove the notification?
    – Christian
    Sep 27, 2010 at 12:57
  • correct. What app are you using? Some apps put it in the notification bar such that the OS doesn't kill the app (such as Locale).
    – Bryan Denny
    Sep 27, 2010 at 13:15
  • It's my understanding that whether the OS will kill an app depends on how the app handles the application lifecycle events. The official documention doesn't indicate that it matters whether the app places a notification.
    – Christian
    Sep 27, 2010 at 13:38

4 Answers 4


As of Android 2.0, the system requires that apps that run constantly in the background, and that require a certain level of priority so that they don't get killed offhand (like music apps), put an Ongoing Notification. This was to prevent abuse of requesting this level of priority without letting the user know that it's occurring.

You can read about this here: http://developer.android.com/reference/android/app/Service.html#startForeground(int, android.app.Notification)

  • But some apps allow you to hide the notification but still allow it to run in the background. I use Gentle Alarm which allows this. I think it is an app by app basis.
    – Webs
    Sep 27, 2010 at 20:10
  • 2
    Gentle Alarm probably does not run constantly in the background, but rather schedules an "alarm" with the system for that app to be woken up at the proper time, which then sounds the actual alarm. My answer is specifically about apps that run constantly in the background (such as music apps).
    – Eric Mill
    Sep 27, 2010 at 21:10

Try Smartbar. I used to use it and it allows you to put shortcuts in the notification bar as well as hide icons in the notification bar. I can't remember off the top of my head if it hides the icons put there by other apps but I think it does. Sorry for the cheap answer, I just can't remember and I don't have time right now to download it and try it out to be sure.


As others have said, you can't remove an ongoing notification from the notification bar. It's there to alert the user that the app is constantly running, and without it the app could potentially be killed at any time by the OS.

That said, if you are running Jelly Bean (or newer), there is the option of disabling all notifications from an app. The setting is per-app and can be found in Settings > Apps > (select the app) > uncheck the "Show notifications" box. The one caveat to this method is that the app will no longer show any notifications in the notification bar, but if that's acceptable to you than I've found this method to be an easy way to stop my notification drawer from filling up with unnecessary notifications.


I would talk to the developers of apps and ask them is they plan to include the option to remove the app from the notification bar. They may oblige such a request. You could also leave a comment for the app and add that as a side note.

CM team and other ROM developers do create flashable updates to their ROMs so that icons and other items can be removed from the notification bar, but they usually do not do this for specific applications. You could check out information on this in the forum of the ROM you are using.

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