What is message history and how do you use it on your Android device?

Do you ever get a little happy and end up deleting multiple messages that may or may not have been important? How do you get it back? Fortunately, there is a small feature called Notification History on Android for Pixel, Samsung devices and OnePlus phones and is intended for just that scenario. That is how it works.

What is message history?

If enabled, the notification history on Android saves your most recent messages, even after rejection. If you delete a notification, it immediately goes to the Notification History tab, where you can very easily find it again.

A notification is only displayed here after you reject it. The message history page is not a place that shows you both past and present messages, just past. Either way, it is an extremely useful tool, especially if you get a little distracted and swipe one too many times.

How long do notifications stay in the notification history?

As mentioned, as soon as you delete a notification, it will be sent to the Notification History page. From that moment on, it will stay there for 24 hours. After this 24-hour period, the message will be permanently deleted. More often than not, you do not need more than a full day to recall old notifications. If you need more than that, there are apps that store messages for up to 30 days, e.g. FilterBox.

How to view message history on Android

Notification History is one of the features that has become a staple across devices whether they run Android for Pixel, One UI on Samsung Galaxy phones or OxygenOS with OnePlus. Across the board, the process is extremely similar, so if you know how to find the Message History page on one device, you’ll probably be able to find it on another. That said, we’ll review the process on Google Pixels stock Android 12, Samsung’s One UI 4 and OnePlus’ OxygenOS 12.

Android 12

  1. On your Pixel, go ahead and go to Settings by iron down twice and press gear settings.
  2. Find and tap in Settings Messages.
  3. Right towards the top is a button marked Notification history. Go ahead and tap it.
  4. There is a button at the top marked Use notification history. Turn it on.

And UI 4

  1. On your Galaxy device, find your settings by swiping down from the Home screen and tapping gear settings towards the top right of the screen.
  2. Scroll down and press Advanced settings.
  3. The third option will be Notification history. Go ahead and tap it.
  4. There is a contact marked Onto be tapped.

OxygenOS 12

  1. Find the settings on your OnePlus device by swiping down from the center of the screen on OxygenOS 12 and pressing gear settings under the brightness slider.
  2. Scroll down and press Messages and status bar.
  3. The third option will be Manage messages. Press it.
  4. The next page will have a name Moreto be tapped.
  5. Press Notification history on the top.
  6. On the page that appears, Press the button to turn on Notification History.

Shortcut to message history

On any of these devices, messages start to appear after the setting is turned on and only after. Notifications are also displayed in order of recent, so you can easily find the one you are looking for. If you tap a rejected notification on the Notification History page, it takes you to the app that sent it to begin with, just like a new notification.

You can easily find this page once you have turned it on. Once beaten, a small History the button appears in the notifications panel. That button takes you to all your recently rejected messages. If you have no messages, you can still access the message history shortcut by pressing No messages.

Once configured and functioning properly, you’ll be able to look back at your most recently rejected notification history on Pixel, Samsung, and OnePlus devices. This tool is great to have enabled. You never know when you’ll have to revisit an unanswered notification.

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