Ok, I'm going to try and describe this and I hope it makes sense.

When I turn on my screen (while my phone is locked), I see all my notifications. For example, I will have some gmail notifications, some text message notifications, some calendar notifications.

While I'm looking at these notifications, or about to swipe them away, they rearrange themselves. It's not because I get a new email/text message. It's seemingly for no reason. While I'm looking at an email notification which is originally below my calendar notification, or about to swipe it away, maybe it'll shift locations to be above the calendar notification. And then it'll switch back. This behavior is especially prevalent when I "expand" a notification such as an email so that I can read part of the message from the lock screen. It happens seemingly randomly, and can cause me to swipe away a message that I don't mean to because it swaps locations when I'm not expecting. It's also terribly annoying to be reading a message and have other notifications going above and below it intermittently.

  1. Does anyone know how to keep notifications from rotating positions on the lock screen? (when no new notifications are even appearing)
  2. Is this a bug or is this the desired behavior? If it is the desired behavior, what purpose would this be for?

Does anyone else notice this happening to them? I wish I could capture a gif of this behavior to make it explicitly clear what I'm talking about.

I'm using Android 7.1.1 on a Pixel.

  • What device/Android version you using? I must admit I've experienced this on my 6P on 7.1.1. Very frustrating when you swipe away the wrong notification because of it! Feb 20, 2017 at 23:38
  • Coming from LineageOS with Android 7.1.1 on Nexus 5, I also experienced this for the first time. As far as I remember, it didn't happen on Android 6.
    – Andrew T.
    Feb 21, 2017 at 3:06
  • Just an FYI... I see this in my Moto X Pure edition since the Marshmallow (6.0) update as well, but it did not occur on Lollipop (5.1.1). Quite annoying sometimes.
    – acejavelin
    Feb 22, 2017 at 17:14
  • It autos based on the last notification app I.e. if I had 20 or so YouTube notifications at the top (fun fact - that's how 8pm looks to me) and then an email at the bottom, if I got another email They would jump to the top INCLUDING the old email.
    – Dan Brown
    Mar 2, 2017 at 15:42
  • 1
    That started free months ago with the update of I-dunno-which-app (because I did not updated the OS). This is making the whole notification section almost completely unusable! Can't read them, can tap them just in fractions of a second and they keep swapping and rearranging. That's a serious usability issue; do I have to stay with the bug or is there any solution to get a normal functionality back?? I want to come back to few months ago when this ridiculous behavior wasn't happening! Jul 14, 2019 at 11:43

1 Answer 1

  1. It does not appear to be possible to keep notifications from rotating positions on the lock screen in Android 7 Nougat. See explanation below, and the way to disable this action in Android Lollipop.

  2. This appears to be desired behavior. See explanation below.

Priority notifications rise to the top. See http://www.greenbot.com/article/2854634/master-notifications-in-android-lollipop-with-notification-priority-and-downtime.html and use ctrl+f ('Search on Webpage', for Desktop) to search for "Priority Notifications" (tried to find a better Source, welcome an edit) .

To change priority notifications in Android Lollipop (setting does not appear to be present in Android Nougat):

Swipe down Notification Bar, tap Settings Cog, hit "Sound and Notifications", hit "App notifications" (near bottom) - choose an APP to control individual APP's ability to rearrange itself.

Individual apps may decide for themselves to rise to the top by rerequesting to be first, like an "Arms-Race" or butting into line, such behavior is usually impolite and unwanted; it's use is discouraged, but what to do.

The Priority of individual Programs can be altered in rooted Android Devices (Phone or Tablet), that would result in obsessive Programs running slower and last; but ultimately running and performing the unwanted 'Notification Area spamming' eventually. Complaining about and/or boycotting such Programs is another avenue open to the User.

Here's a Programming example with a discussion about implementing this correctly (and politely): https://stackoverflow.com/questions/6189817/pin-notification-to-top-of-notification-area .

Android 'O' has better control over the Notifications (Dev version available) and there are APPs that allow more control. This Video provides a Demo of one claiming the same features as Android O: https://youtu.be/_Aj61Quj1Uo .

  • I'm not seeing the individual app's control to rearrange itself in the menus under the notification settings. Can you be more specific about where it is? I'm using 7.1.1 stock android. The article appears to be written for android lollipop and not nougat.
    – spacetyper
    Mar 2, 2017 at 17:04
  • While this answer provides a link to the history of the behavior in question, it does NOT provide a working answer to point #1 in my question for the software version in question. It should not be awarded the bounty.
    – spacetyper
    Mar 2, 2017 at 18:36
  • When you pull down the Notifications are in order of occurrence, then they 'realized' that they should rearrange and do that; if they were to subsequently 'discover' that they had expired (or they are a Download, for example, and had completed) then they would update. Every applicable Thread is not ran and each Process tested prior to it's presentation - another way of phrasing that is that the 'Spell Checker' is a separate Program that is used after (often during) the writing of the Book. If that doesn't address the point you referred to please specify exactly that point alone.
    – Rob
    Mar 3, 2017 at 18:59
  • Thanks for the attempted explanation. This doesn't explain the behavior of an app notification rearranging itself, and then, without any new notifications or changes, un-arranging itself. To use your spellcheck analogy, it would be akin to opening a static document, and seeing a word underlined, and then without any action by the user, the word is no longer underlined. And then it is underlined again (again, with no action by the user).
    – spacetyper
    Mar 8, 2017 at 21:09
  • 1
    Awesome! Thanks for keeping this answer up to date.
    – spacetyper
    Mar 23, 2017 at 21:58

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