Fixing Google Inbox Notifications on Your Android Device

UPDATE:  I am updating this post as it is still one of the most read articles on the site.  Please check out the post I made on an update to Gmail.  In that post, I outline the back end changes Google made to Gmail that has fixed this issue for Marshmallow users.


Google Inbox is the new and improved email app for Gmail that been met with mix feelings.  It is certainly a more clean email app that puts your emails into bundles (think categories) automatically to decluter your device.  It works but if you are a hardcore Gmail user on your Android phone or tablet, it will take some time to adjust.  But personally I like it and encourage you to give it a try.  Google Inbox is another app that Google has ported out of their builds of Android as stand alone apps much like Google Calendar.

An reoccurring theme with Google Inbox is the notifications not activating properly.  The Google Play Store have plenty of reviews pointing this out and while Google has updated the app several times, it still is a problem for some.  I was one of those and after a lot of trying to sort it out, I was just about to uninstall the app.  Then I figured it out and since then – over two weeks now – it has worked flawlessly.  In this How To I’m going to show you the way that I disabled Gmail notifications and got Google Inbox notifications working.  It isn’t rocket science and certainly will fall into the “duh” category for some of you but if you are like me, I found it a bit challenging to sort out.

I should point out that this how to is really aimed at those who have been using the Gmail app and want to switch to the Google Inbox app.  Which is probably 99% of those reading this article.  The trick is you have to work in both apps to get this notification switch over to happen.  If you have never had Gmail or used Gmail on your phone and want to start using Google Inbox straight

Google Inbox for Android
Google Inbox for Android

away, you likely will not run into any issue.

If you go into Gmail and navigate to Settings from the hamburger menu, you will see the option to “turn off Gmail notifications”.  This is not where you need to change this setting.  This setting seems to be the source of the problem quite frankly as by doing this I never was able to get this to work.  Instead, go to the Gmail app.

In the Gmail app, go to the hamburger menu then Settings and then to your Gmail account.  Scroll down and you will see a check box for Notifications.  Uncheck this box and close the app.

Now go Gmail.  Got to the hamburger menu, the Settings and tap on your Gmail account.  Go down to Notifications and slide the switch on.  Notifications in Google Inbox should now work.

Notifications in Gmail for Android
Notifications in Gmail for Android

From another account and test it and see.  As I put in my opening of this article, I used this technique and I’ve not had any issues with notifications on my Android phone (a OnePlus One) and my Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.

If you have been having issues with Google Inbox notification, give this trick a try and see if it solves the problem for you.  Leave me a comment here or on Google+ and let me know if it works for you.


12 Replies to “Fixing Google Inbox Notifications on Your Android Device”

          1. Thank you for the effort, but you instructions are v. confusing. You keep referring to “Google Mail” as in: “If you go into Google Mail”, but such thing does not exist. There are only: Gmail, Inbox, and standard browser version of Gmail. So what is Google Mail? You wrote that you refer to Gmail by saying “Google Mail”, but then your instructions don’t make sense:

            “If you go into Google Mail and navigate to Settings […]. This is not where you need to change this setting. […] Instead, go to the Gmail app.”

            So to parapharse, do not go to Gmail… go to Gmail instead?

  1. Inbox drives me nuts. It will work fine for a while and then suddenly no notifications. In fact, it’s as if the app isn’t fetching mail at all because when I go into it I can see it refresh and pull in the new mail at that moment. Sadly this article didn’t help. It still seems to have a problem with app names, as it describes going into GMAIL, turning off the setting and then going back into GMAIL and turning on the setting. The second instance should be INBOX. Anyway, those were the settings that I already had. I’m going to try to uninstall gmail to see if that fixes it. Either that or inbox.

    1. Thanks for commenting Todd. Sorry this didn’t work for you. It seems that notifications in both Inbox and Gmail are a bit touchy right now and sometimes this works for some and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a bit hard to predict.


  2. I really appreciate the effort here, but this guide is extremely confusing.

    “If you go into Gmail and navigate to Settings… This is not where you need to change this setting… Instead, go to the Gmail app.

    In the Gmail app… Settings … check box for Notifications. Uncheck this box…

    Now go Gmail… Settings … Notifications and slide the switch on. Notifications in Google Inbox should now work.”

    At least one of these paragraphs must have been intended to read Inbox, not Gmail. You say if you look in Gmail, you’ll see a slide setting, but it’s the wrong one, so go to Gmail and find a check box setting. Now go to gmail and find a slide setting. Never does it say to go into Inbox settings, which I assume is what was intended.

    Assuming I did what you were intending, I’m sad to say that’s how my settings are already set up (Gmail check box is unchecked, Inbox slide is enabled).

  3. totally appreciate u trying to help us…but sorry to highlight that u helped send us more nuts!
    Dude…keep it simple; there are two apps…one is Gmail and the other is Inbox.
    u can refer to each as ‘one’ and ‘two’ if that’s easier for u…or even use a red color font when u mean Gmail and a blue one for Inbox. But i regret to inform u that ur all over the place. Get some traction and would immensely appreciate it if u could update this post to be a fixed solution. Thanks

  4. Trying all the possible combination in this post didn’t help. Deleting the inbox cache didn’t help either. There is an additional step that did the trick on my phone. Here is what apparently fixed it. Hoping it will work also for others:

    1. Uninstall both Gmail and Inbox
    2. Install Gmail and try it with Notification ON (notification should correctly work for Gmail)
    3. Switch notification OFF
    4. Uninstall Gmail
    5. Install Inbox

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