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Use HeadsOff to disable Lollipop pop-up notifications

Want to avoid seeing pop-ups for each notification on your Android Lollipop device? With this app, you can return to the original notification delivery style.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

Lollipop brought many new style adjustments to the Android platform. Among these changes was the new style for notification delivery. Instead of showing as an alert in the notification bar with ticking (scrolling) text, the alerts pop up in a banner at the top of the screen -- even when using another app. Some users may enjoy this in-your-face approach to notifications, but if you're not one of them, there's an easy fix.

HeadsOff is an app dedicated to bringing back the original notification style (ticker) to your current Android device, and offers a handful of other customizations, too. Here's how to get started:

  • Grab a copy of HeadsOff for your Android device. Since the app handles Lollipop notifications, it is designed to work on Android 5.0 and up.
HeadsOff for Android 5.0. Nicole Cozma/CNET
  • After opening the app, tap on Start the app in the top left-hand corner. In Notification access list that appears, check the box next to HeadsOff and press OK.
HeadsOff settings menu. Nicole Cozma/CNET
  • If you want to see the text for each alert in the notification bar, you'll also need to head to Settings > Show ticker text and check the box there.

To see a sample of what notifications will look like now, tap on Test notification in the Settings menu. If you're having any issues getting the app to work on your device, you can try enabling Custom ticker text in Settings.

HeadsOff ticker-style notification. Nicole Cozma/CNET

Now all notifications will appear in the notification bar at the top of the screen, and no longer pop up on top of other apps. An upgrade to Pro will unlock the ability to adjust the background color, hide notifications with a single tap, or adjust the scroll speed.