When some conversations are important, you don’t want to miss any messages. Thanks to the latest Android updates, you can prioritize conversations directly from the notification center.

The option has been available on most Android phones, but it remains one of the least known features. If you want to change how and where conversations appear in notifications, follow us in this article as we show you how to do it.

What are priority conversations?

Priority conversations are notifications from messaging or texting apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack and others that, when enabled, will appear first in your Android’s notification shade. The option was first introduced with the arrival of Android 11 and also made its way into Android 12.

Android notifications on devices running these versions of Android come with 3 settings attached:

  • Mute – represents the lowest priority setting. It mutes any notification sound or vibration when enabled, whether it comes from a texting app or any other app.
  • Default – this setting displays notifications from conversation apps in order of arrival, while playing the default sound or vibration.
  • Priority – Notifications from conversation apps set to Priority will appear first in the notification shade above all others, in a separate section. They will also ignore any restrictive settings, such as Do Not Disturb mode. So even if your phone is in DND mode, important notifications will still come through (with sound alerts).

While the setting is small, it gives you better control over all the notifications you receive. If tons of app notifications flood your phone every day, make sure you don’t miss important messages.

There are two ways to set selected conversations as priority. We will guide you through both in the following.

Set conversation priorities from the notification tone

You can set the priority of a conversation from the notification tone. But first, you will need to receive the text notification from the person whose messages you want to prioritize. Once the notification arrives, follow these steps to set it as a priority.

Step 1: expand the notification tone by swiping down from the top of the screen on your Android.

Step 2: Press and hold the message. The three notification settings should appear on the screen: Priority, Important, and Other.

Step 3: Select Priority.

Step 4: Tap Apply in the bottom right corner.

Step 5: A small window should appear at the bottom of the screen to alert you that the conversation has been set as a priority. You can tap “Understood” or decide to go to Settings. You will directly access the Conversations section under Notifications.

Once you change the setting of a conversation to priority, the way the application displays notification of those changes. For example, if you have set a WhatsApp conversation as a priority, a small orange circle will appear in the lower left corner when you expand the notification shade. In addition, the notification will display the person’s profile picture at the top of the notifications screen.

How to set priority conversations through settings

If you do not want to wait until the person sends you a message to set your communication as a priority, you can set priority conversations from the Settings app. However, your phone must be running at least Android 12.

Step 1: Open your phone’s Settings application.

Step 2: Tap on Notifications. Depending on your phone model, you can access it by going to Applications and Notifications, select Notifications and choose Advanced below.

Step 3: Scroll down until you find Conversation.

Step 4: At the bottom of the screen, you will see a list of your recent conversations. Tap the one you want to set as priority.

Step 5: Select the Priority setting.

Interestingly, in Android 11, you may not be able to see the list of recent conversations. Therefore, you will need to use the above to set your conversations as a priority. You will see a list of ‘conversations you have made changes to’, so if you have not manipulated your settings recently, they will not appear there.

Anyway, once you have prioritized a conversation, open the Notifications menu in the Settings app again. You will see all conversations marked as priority. You can de-prioritize any of those conversations from there.

Never miss a message again

To avoid missing important chats in a flood of notifications, it’s crucial to mark the relevant ones as priority. When it comes to SMS, you can send your text messages from your PC.

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