iOS 16 notifications: How to change the new design

To coincide with the new Lock Screen widgets in iOS 16 last year, Apple also redesigned the notification system. Notifications appear at the bottom of your Lock Screen rather than at the top below the clock.

This change has proven to be controversial for many iPhone users over the past year, and iOS 17 doesn’t make any changes to the design. But there are a few settings you can tweak that might improve the experience for you…

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iOS notification changes

At the time, Apple said that the new bottom-up design for iOS 16 notifications was meant to reduce the clutter on your Lock Screen. The idea is that by moving notifications to the bottom, you can see more of your wallpaper. This also includes things like widgets, depth effect wallpapers, live wallpapers, and more.

This means that your notifications will automatically start appearing at the bottom of your Lock Screen. You can swipe up these notifications to view more of them and quickly delete them, tap on them, and manage notifications on a per-app basis.

But, there are ways to customize this design. If you head to the Settings app and tap on “Notifications,” you’ll see three different options. Each of these options is for customizing the appearance of notifications at the bottom of your Lock Screen.

iOS 16 notifications
From left to right: Count, stack, and list
  • Count: This replaces notifications on the Lock Screen with a simple piece of text that tells you how many unread notifications you have. You can swipe up to view a full list of your notifications.
  • Stack: This option takes all of the notifications from each individual app and “stacks” them up. So you have individual groups of notifications for each app on your Lock Screen and in the Notification Center.
  • List: This is the traditional iOS system for notifications from previous years. You’ll simply see a list of all your notifications that you can expand by swiping up from the bottom of the Lock Screen.

An interesting tidbit that I discovered from the MacStories review of iOS 16 last year is that you can also temporarily enable “Count” at any time by simply dragging downwards on notifications that are on your Lock Screen; this will minimize and only show the number of notifications.

Unfortunately, what you can’t change is the placement of the notifications. There’s no option to revert back to the “classic” notifications design that Apple used prior to iOS 16.

What do you think of the current design for notifications on the Lock Screen? Have you gotten used to the new bottom-up design, or are you still hoping for a way to revert? Let us know in the comments.

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