Create and manage notification channels

Starting in Android 8.0 (API level 26), all notifications must be assigned to a channel. For each channel, you can set the visual and auditory behavior that is applied to all notifications in that channel. Users can change these settings and decide which notification channels from your app can be intrusive or visible.

Check out the following video for an overview of channels and other notification features in Android 8.0.

The user settings for notification channels are available for each app in the system settings, as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1. Notification settings for the Clock app and one of its channels.

After you create a notification channel, you can't change the notification behaviors. The user has complete control at that point. However, you can still change a channel's name and description.

Create a channel for each type of notification you need to send. You can also create notification channels to reflect choices made by users. For example, you can set up separate notification channels for each conversation group created by a user in a messaging app.

When you target Android 8.0 (API level 26) or higher, you must implement one or more notification channels. If your targetSdkVersion is set to 25 or lower, when your app runs on Android 8.0 (API level 26) or higher, it behaves the same as on devices running Android 7.1 (API level 25) or lower.

Create a notification channel

To create a notification channel, follow these steps:

  1. Construct a NotificationChannel object with a unique channel ID, user-visible name, and importance level.

  2. Optionally, specify the description that the user sees in the system settings with setDescription().

  3. Register the notification channel by passing it to createNotificationChannel().

The following example shows how to create and register a notification channel:


    // Create the NotificationChannel.
    val name = getString(R.string.channel_name)
    val descriptionText = getString(R.string.channel_description)
    val importance = NotificationManager.IMPORTANCE_DEFAULT
    val mChannel = NotificationChannel(CHANNEL_ID, name, importance)
    mChannel.description = descriptionText
    // Register the channel with the system. You can't change the importance
    // or other notification behaviors after this.
    val notificationManager = getSystemService(NOTIFICATION_SERVICE) as NotificationManager


private void createNotificationChannel() {
    // Create the NotificationChannel, but only on API 26+ because
    // the NotificationChannel class is not in the Support Library.
    if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.O) {
        CharSequence name = getString(R.string.channel_name);
        String description = getString(R.string.channel_description);
        int importance = NotificationManager.IMPORTANCE_DEFAULT;
        NotificationChannel channel = new NotificationChannel(CHANNEL_ID, name, importance);
        // Register the channel with the system. You can't change the importance
        // or other notification behaviors after this.
        NotificationManager notificationManager = getSystemService(NotificationManager.class);

Recreating an existing notification channel with its original values performs no operation, so it's safe to call this code when starting an app.

By default, all notifications posted to a given channel use the visual and auditory behaviors defined by the importance level from the NotificationManagerCompat class, such as IMPORTANCE_DEFAULT or IMPORTANCE_HIGH. See the next section for more information about importance levels.

If you want to further customize your channel's default notification behaviors, you can call methods such as enableLights(), setLightColor(), and setVibrationPattern() on the NotificationChannel. Remember that once you create the channel, you can't change these settings, and the user has final control over whether these behaviors are active.

You can also create multiple notification channels in a single operation by calling createNotificationChannels().

Set the importance level

Channel importance affects the interruption level of all notifications posted in the channel. Specify it in the NotificationChannel constructor, using one of five importance levels, ranging from IMPORTANCE_NONE(0) to IMPORTANCE_HIGH(4).

To support devices running Android 7.1 (API level 25) or lower, you must also call setPriority() for each notification, using a priority constant from the NotificationCompat class.

The importance (NotificationManager.IMPORTANCE_*) and priority (NotificationCompat.PRIORITY_*) constants map to the user-visible importance options, as shown in the following table.

User-visible importance level Importance (Android 8.0 and higher) Priority (Android 7.1 and lower)
Makes a sound and appears as a heads-up notification.
Makes a sound.
Makes no sound.
Makes no sound and doesn't appear in the status bar.
Makes no sound and doesn't appear in the status bar or shade.

All notifications, regardless of importance, appear in non-interruptive system UI locations, such as in the notification drawer and as a badge on the launcher icon, though you can modify the appearance of the notification badge.

Once you submit the channel to the NotificationManager, you can't change the importance level. However, the user can change their preferences for your app's channels at any time.

For information about choosing an appropriate priority level, see "Priority levels" in the Notifications design guide.

Read notification channel settings

Users can modify the settings for notification channels, including behaviors such as vibration and alert sound. If you want to know the settings a user applies to your notification channels, follow these steps:

  1. Get the NotificationChannel object by calling getNotificationChannel() or getNotificationChannels().

  2. Query specific channel settings such as getVibrationPattern(), getSound(), and getImportance().

If you detect a channel setting that you believe inhibits the intended behavior for your app, you can suggest that the user change it and provide an action to open the channel settings, as shown in the next section.

Open the notification channel settings

After you create a notification channel, you can't change the notification channel's visual and auditory behaviors programmatically. Only the user can change the channel behaviors from the system settings. To provide your users easy access to these notification settings, add an item in your app's settings UI that opens these system settings.

You can open the system settings for notification channels with an Intent that uses the ACTION_CHANNEL_NOTIFICATION_SETTINGS action.

For example, the following sample code shows how you can redirect a user to the settings for a notification channel:


val intent = Intent(Settings.ACTION_CHANNEL_NOTIFICATION_SETTINGS).apply {
    putExtra(Settings.EXTRA_APP_PACKAGE, packageName)
    putExtra(Settings.EXTRA_CHANNEL_ID, myNotificationChannel.getId())


Intent intent = new Intent(Settings.ACTION_CHANNEL_NOTIFICATION_SETTINGS);
intent.putExtra(Settings.EXTRA_APP_PACKAGE, getPackageName());
intent.putExtra(Settings.EXTRA_CHANNEL_ID, myNotificationChannel.getId());

Notice that the intent requires two extras that specify your app's package name (also known as the application ID) and the channel to edit.

Delete a notification channel

You can delete notification channels by calling deleteNotificationChannel(). The following sample code demonstrates how to complete this process:


// The id of the channel.
val notificationManager = getSystemService(Context.NOTIFICATION_SERVICE) as NotificationManager
val id: String = "my_channel_01"


NotificationManager notificationManager =
        (NotificationManager) getSystemService(Context.NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
// The id of the channel.
String id = "my_channel_01";

Create a notification channel group

If want to further organize the appearance of your channels in the settings UI, you can create channel groups. This is a good idea when your app supports multiple user accounts, such as for work profiles, because it lets you create a notification channel group for each account. This way, users can easily identify and control multiple notification channels that have identical names.

Figure 2. Notification channel settings with groups for personal and work accounts.

For example, a social networking app might include support for personal and work accounts. In this scenario, each account might require multiple notification channels with identical functions and names, such as the following:

  • A personal account with two channels:

    • New comments

    • Post recommendations

  • A business account with two channels:

    • New comments

    • Post recommendations

Organizing the notification channels into groups for each account lets users distinguish between them.

Each notification channel group requires an ID, which must be unique within your package, as well as a user-visible name. The following snippet demonstrates how to create a notification channel group.


// The id of the group.
val groupId = "my_group_01"
// The user-visible name of the group.
val groupName = getString(R.string.group_name)
val notificationManager = getSystemService(Context.NOTIFICATION_SERVICE) as NotificationManager
notificationManager.createNotificationChannelGroup(NotificationChannelGroup(groupId, groupName))


// The id of the group.
String groupId = "my_group_01";
// The user-visible name of the group.
CharSequence groupName = getString(R.string.group_name);
NotificationManager notificationManager =
        (NotificationManager) getSystemService(Context.NOTIFICATION_SERVICE);
notificationManager.createNotificationChannelGroup(new NotificationChannelGroup(groupId, groupName));

After you create a new group, you can call setGroup() to associate a new NotificationChannel object with the group.

Once you submit the channel to the notification manager, you can't change the association between notification channel and group.