How to fix the Moto G notification LED

Motorola launched its new entry-level phone, the Moto G, in multiple countries around the world last week. And after using ours for the past few days we've noticed a strange quirk to do with the phone's notification LED — it doesn't seem to work at all, and there's no software switch for it anywhere in the Settings app. Emails, texts and missed calls all failed to trigger the flashing white LED, nor could we use third-party apps like LightFlow to activate it.

Moto G notification widget

The glitch is a side effect of restoring from your Google account to the Moto G, which is part of the setup process for the phone. The feature downloads apps and settings from the cloud, which is usually a good thing. But in some instances it can tell the Moto G to restore the notification LED setting from another phone, leaving the light disabled with no way to re-enable it.

Fortunately there's a simple fix for this issue, and it's one that apparently applies to some other Motorola phones too ...

Motorola has released a widget that lets you toggle the notification light on and off, so if you're affected by this bug simply download it, place it on a home screen and toggle it on. After that you can remove the widget and your notification light will continue to work.

Here's Moto's explanation of the bug and solution, which reveals that the RAZR HD is another affected device:

"On some devices (such as Motorola Droid RAZR HD), a small number of users found that the notification light was disabled after logging into their google account if it was disabled previously on other devices with the same google account. This widget restores the ability to control the light on devices without an exposed setting."

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Very interesting. Posted via Android Central App
  • Sarcasm?
  • Mine worked fine, but great to know there's an easy fix!
  • Motorola seems so on top of their stuff now. I hope this continues!
  • I know.
    Google is in charge now. I'm a huge fan of moto x
  • I just tried this on the droid maxx. Didn't work. The droid maxx says there is a "charging led" on it in the manual. I have never seen it light up though. I was thinking it may only work when its wireless charging? Posted via Android Central App
  • Not sure about the Maxx, but the Moto X actually has an LED in the earpiece, but it will only light if the phone is too dead for the screen to light up. I have only seen it once, and it was when the phone was new... plug in to charge, and until the OLED would light, the green light was on under the earpiece. You have to be on a wall charger as well This may be what the Maxx has.
  • it only works when the battery is almost dead and there isn't enough power to support the on screen notifications. i've been looking for a way to enable the led on my maxx as well, it appears to be something set in the framework or kernal of the phone software and without an unlocked bootloader i don't believe it can be altered if it's even possible.
  • When can I get one in NY? Posted via Android Central App
  • closer to January, as Mototrola said. It will ship with KitKat right away when it launches in the US
  • Rant -- As AC continues to fall head over heals about the Nexus 5, anything Moto, and the HTC One (all fine very phones I'm sure), there are some of us who have S4's. We were notified through AC that AT&T released 4.3 for the S4, but no mentioned was made of a subsequent problem. Many of us still don't have 4.3 (not AC's fault I know). Please care about the S4 among your flock just a little bit more. By the way, about the plastic vs. metal vs. fake metal vs. rubbery plastic, etc, most people seem to cover up (protect) their phones with cases and screen protectors (especially if they're smart and even if their phones are steel and surrounded by glass). End of rant.
  • Moto G is a new phone, like the Nexus 5 before it. New stuff takes up a lot of time and focus while it's new because folks want to know about it. The S4 is definitely not a forgotten phone :)
  • The s4 is old news sorry. When its, announced or leaked there will be an article about when you'll get 4.3 and what the update included. But b4 then what is there to talk about? You bought a Samsung phone. Unfortunately for you that means you won't be getting prompt updates if you get em at all. Posted via Android Central App
  • Because many choose to cover their phones, it doesn't give the right to Samsung to make crappy exterior phones.
    I just switched from GS4 to Moto X and couldn't be more happier. Also, Moto G is a brand new phone... Obviously expect more coverage
  • Samsung has the right to make phones as cheap as they want. (Not that I think they make cheap phones, I'm a proud note 2 owner). But even if they did they have every right to do so. They don't owe you anything. If you don't like the way they build their phones then don't buy them, which I see you did. And that's cool. But that's like saying MacDonald has no right to put their special sauce (1000 Island staying) on a Big mac. Some people like the shiny plastic. But don't take my word for it just check the numbers.
  • Counter rant..... Samsuck is not the only android maker. Unfortunately, for the unwashed masses, Android = Galaxy. Thankfully, AC recognizes that Android =/= Galaxy. It is because of the proliferation of Samsung phones that fragmentation is so bad. Samsung has released hundreds of devices. Each one is usually stuck on what ever Android was out at the time. Rather than support it's devices, Samsuck chooses to just release new phones. This has lead many a person to Apple. Thankfully, AC is able to push other phones, that way people can see that there is more to Android than the laggy Touchwhiz and Android is indeed updated on a the regular. Keep up the good work AC. Catch up Samsuck.
  • I know I exaggerated when I said hundreds. It's still around 100 though. Consider there are 7 versions of the S3. I went to get mine fixed, the tech at the kiosk at the mall showed my his documentation as to how many variants of each phone there are. There are 7. Each one for a different carrier, each one needing a separate update also. yeah. go go Moto and Nexus!
  • You know how I know your just a hater?
  • Bro... to bad, so sad!
    Especially since you're so... err... smart.
  • I haven't seen anything recently about the One other than the comparison between it and the N5 and the article about the GPe update (but there was also an article about the GS4 update). Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.
  • The only thing I want to add to all this is if Samsung were to have done this, we would not be praising them for the quick action they took to fix the problem. We would be talking about how crappy TW and the plastic phone maker should have never had the problem in the first place. Also, Google =/= to Motorola. Many manufacturers are stepping up the update/bug fix turn around and I believe that is a direct result of HTC not Google.
  • Agree... even though I am on CM on my SIII.
  • lol Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.
  • Well, TW is rather crappy, and they ARE the slowest to release updates in the US, so it's not like the reputation or supposed reaction is unwarranted. I haven't kept up with the update trend lately but for the S3 and earlier it seemed like their update schedule wasn't too far behind other manufacturers, in Europe, but in the US ALL carriers seemed to delay Samsung's updates longer (or they just weren't getting them from Samsung in a timely fashion, no way to know). It almost seemed like the Samsung/carrier relation was rather strained, wouldn't surprise me since they tried harder with each Galaxy generation to put that brand ahead of the carrier's (rightfully so mind you, every other OEM followed their path there, good OEM marketing sells phones, period). I'm not sure how much of an effect anything that HTC has done has had on other OEM tbh, and I like HTC... I mean I had three HTC phones in a row and was pleased as punch with their update rollout for those (though the EVO flaghips were also ahead of other HTC phones for updates). Their market share isn't exactly forcing anyone's hand on anything. In any case, I think a big reason Moto is getting a lot of praise for things like this is not just the timing but the way they're releasing these updates (camera one etc), that is, in the Play store, sidestepping the carrier entirely and allowing for even easier updates down the line.
  • Tw is ugly, not crappy and ugly can be cured. Crappy would be if it had or served no function at all and that is impossible to say with a straight face. They have been slower on the updates as of late, but I think the competition will make them step up the game a bit. Let's not forget history. For the longest time they supported 2 yeah old flagship phones and updated them. No one else really did. On the other hand, I do like the idea of all these apps being updated from the Play store instead of a massive update twice a year, kudos to Motorola for that and I would like to see more of it Posted via Android Central App
  • Ouch!
  • Sucks that they're is a problem, glad there's an easy way to fix it! Posted via Android Central App
  • RANT- ok so lets get down to it mentioned by one was samsuck that is very inventive and please notice that is sarcasm lol So plastic is being refferd to as cheap but yet plastic is used on many things t.v's, cars, playstations, toys, hifi systems, dam i cant be assed listing everything that consists of plastic but its only phones that it is ever in question. Why because this whole premium feel and look. So would it please everyone that everything was made of metal for that premium feel and look? Its daft and Samsung has made the best use of the plastic and that is even more prevelent on the Note 3 which is fantastic :-) To the mentioned Bloat hmmm is a swiss army knife also seen as bloat? No its usefull- I have owned the S3, S4 and still have the mega and now the Note 3 and have Never experianced lag, ocasional app crash yes but thats about it. If you dont like Samsung and its not for you again your not obligated to purchase. There are the few on AC that provide a sensible and constructive critisism and thats what its about. However there are some that type just waffle. To the topic an easy fix so all will be happy to hopefully have a working notification led :-) Posted via Android Central App
  • iPhones do not have a notification light, right. Therefore, there is no proper need for any phone to have one. It must be just an unecessary gimmick.
    End of Story
  • Must.... Not... Feed... Thing... Under..
    Bridge Posted via Android Central App
  • I think it was sarcasm... hard to tell though. Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the AC app.
  • Just purchased the Moto X. Had the original Droid, then went back to a 'dumb' phone. The only thing I've missed on my dumb phone is the fact that it didn't have a notification light on it. Must constantly check for missed texts and calls (not that there were that many, mind you), but I was really looking forward to having this back. And as a side note. My bf had an iPhone for two months after a series of Droids. He left it at a restaurant, and it left with someone else. Back to his old Droid phone, and he loves it! We only think the grass is greener on the other side of the cell phone...
  • This is something a software update can't fix? Posted via Android Central App
  • I bought the note 3 ..and whilst it's a cracking phone will be my last Samsung ..I'm not prepared to pay over£600 for a SIM free phone and then be dictated to how I can use it ..
    My next purchase shall be the HTC max...bye bye Samsung ... Posted via Android Central App
  • Eh that is all fair and well but the only dictation is the locked bootloader as for the reigion lock thats not really an issue is it, if you have read anything Samsung related that is. As for the statement bye bye Samsung im sure in you saying that Samsung are now in a state of alarm and panic lol Posted via Android Central App
  • So you think it's ok for a phone manufacturer to dictate to you where you can use your SIM free phone ...why should I be forced to pay to have a region lock removed if I want to use my phone in another country...stuff that ...HTC can have my money I prefer sense anyway for Samsung being bothered...I couldn't care less....they are just one fish in a big sea... Written using my superb HTC one .... Posted via Android Central App
  • How about Light Flow? android central app
  • Where can I get those wallpapers from the Moto G?
  • Had this issue two years ago with a Moto Razr.... still no fixed. wow
  • Mine works. On Orange in UK. Posted via Android Central App
  • Mine is working just fine. I wish I could change the color though... and THERE IS a switch in settings.