Block Android apps in Android Wear

It's easy to keep apps from sending notifications to your Android Wear smartwatch

If there's one thing you'll quickly learn using an Android Wear smartwatch such as the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live or Moto 360 — any wearable device, really — it's which notifications are important, and which ones you merely brush aside without thinking twice. On your watch, however, those otherwise ignored alerts are quickly magnified, taking up valuable time and head space. You're going to want to pare things down.

The good news is that it's easy to keep apps from sending notifications to your Android Wear device. A blacklist, if you will.

How to block notifications in Android Wear

Android notifications blocked

Google's gone the smart route and made the Android Wear app the gatekeeper for notifications that are sent to your watch. (Imagine the nightmare if you had to do it app by app.) So, to keep an app from sending notifications, all you have to do is:

  1. Open the Android Wear app.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Choose "Block Apps."
  4. Scroll through to the app you want to block, and choose it.

The bad news is that you still have to mute apps one at a time. We'd much prefer to see checkboxes so you can mute multiple apps at once — and it wouldn't surprise us in the slightest to see this added as an option at some point. But as of our updating of this article, we're still waiting.

So for now, it's what we've got. And it's simple enough to keep unwanted applications from sending notifications to your Android Wear device.

We've updated this article on Nov. 25, 2014, after Google changed the naming scheme from "mute" to "block."

 

Reader comments

How to block app notifications in Android Wear

20 Comments

By default will the watch follow suit to current notifications? For example, I have most already turned off. Would they still get sent to the watch?

Probably only available for the people who actually have the phones from Google IO. I imagine it will be in play store when phones start shipping.

That is exactly what I was thinking. With the amount of apps people typically have installed this would make much more sense.

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Yes, It would make more sense to use a White-list than a Black-list. Most of the notifications I get on my phone, I don't want on my wrist.

I'm hoping from more granular control over things like Gmail where I have multiple accounts. Some accounts I want watch notification and some I don't. Right now when an a mail notification shows up, I can't even tell which account it's from.

Gmail app > Settings in left menu > choose account > Manage Labels > set your preferences for each individual label

And - more granular control on Google Now. Some of the notifications from now are fine. Others - like live basketball scores are insane. I do want to see them when I go to Google Now on the phone - I most certainly not want my wrist bzzzing every minute or so.

@SBM_from_LA , I already do. I use K-9 for two email accounts I monitor, Gmail for four other accounts and Samsung's built in email for one more. @SEAJeff won't that shut them off completely? It's handy to have them on the phone but not so important I want them on my watch. @NealJ777 does that apply to notifications on the watch?

I am loving the quick notifications on my wrist because it lets me keep my phone on my desk at work rather than wedged into my pocket. With the notification on my wrist I can leave the phone on vibrate because I work in an open office.

Perhaps in a future release, Android Wear will let us tick a checkmark next to apps to block them en masse instead of doing it one at a time...

To bad you can't block them on a phone. I hate subway surfers because they always send annoying push notifications.

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Yeah I had to uninstall the game cause I couldn't then off the notifications and yeah I did try every single thing possible including App Ops.

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Has anybody successfully blocked the HTC radio app? It's on the list and it still shows up on my 360.

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