Don’t like the bouncy blue musical note on your Samsung Galaxy watch? Get rid of it for good

ongoing notification icon at bottom of Samsung Galaxy Watch

Recently, a few of our readers asked us how to stop that blue musical note from appearing at the bottom of their Samsung Galaxy watch’s screen when they listen to music using apps like Spotify or YouTube music and other audio/video apps on their watch or paired phone.

It seems that the music note often overlaps and blocks watch face complications or even things like the date, weather, or other important watch face information. Well, that’s not good.

So the staff here at MyHealthyApple took a look, and we confirmed that this bouncing icon appears anytime we play music on both our Active2 and our Watch 4. And so, we ran some tests to figure out how to get rid of it.

The good news is that we figured out a few different ways to finally stop that icon from appearing and disrupting our watch face. And this article shares those tips with you.

So let’s get to it!

What the heck is that blue musical note icon anyway?

If you’re confused about what that icon is and why it keeps appearing and blocking parts of your watch face, you are not alone.

Believe it or not, this icon is meant to help you quickly access the app that’s playing at the time.

My Active 2 shows the blue music note on the bottom left.

Samsung calls these icons ongoing icon notifications and the idea is that the icon shows up at the bottom of your watch’s screen and watch face to allow you one-touch access to the important apps that currently run on your watch, like music apps.

Unfortunately, these ongoing icons often cause more trouble than convenience by blocking important parts of your screen or your watch face’s complications and other important data. Plus, the icons can sometimes get stuck at the bottom even after you stop using any music or video apps on your watch or phone.

Although most people complain about the blue musical note, there are actually a bunch of other apps that also push an ongoing icon to your watch face, including heart rate monitoring apps, workout apps, and more.

So you may notice not only the blue musical note, but a red heart icon or a green person running icon, or even something else. The key here is that all of these ongoing icons always appear at the bottom, usually at the center or the left, of your watch’s screen.

Tricks to stop the dancing blue musical note and other ongoing icons on your Galaxy watch

First of all, it’s a heck of a lot easier to turn this behavior off on the Tizen models than on the Wear OS 3 models.

That’s because when the Wearable app connects to a Tizen watch model like the Active2 or Watch 3, it offers a toggle to turn ongoing icons on or off.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple for Wear OS 3 watches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. The only way we found to remove that ongoing musical note icon was to turn on Developer Options and then make some setting adjustments.

How to remove the blue musical note from Samsung Watches that run Tizen

For Tizen watches like the Galaxy Watch 3 or Active 2, there’s a straightforward way to get rid of this ongoing notification.

  1. All you need to do is open the Wearable app on your phone.
  2. Open Watch settings.
  3. Choose Watch faces and tap the More button (three horizontal lines) at the top and choose Settings.
  4. Scroll down the list of options and turn off Ongoing Icons.

How to remove the blue musical note from Wear OS Samsung Watches

If you use a newer model Samsung Galaxy Watch, like the Watch 4, that runs Wear OS 3, you need to jump through a lot more hoops. That’s because the toggle to turn off these ongoing icons is not in the Wearable app. Instead, you need to use your watch’s developer mode to adjust some settings.

How to turn on your watch’s Developer Mode

  1. First, turn on Developer mode for your watch by opening the Settings app on your Samsung watch.
  2. Choose About watch, then choose Software.
  3. Locate the Software version and quickly tap it many times, usually around five times.
  4. Tap until you see a pop-up message that developer options are enabled. Developer option turned on for Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

How to use Developer mode options to get rid of ongoing icon notifications like the blue musical note

Now that you have turned on Developer options, or if you already had it turned on, make sure you close any open music/video apps and all other apps that show an ongoing icon on your watch AND your phone, and then proceed with the steps below.

  • You close an app on your phone by swiping up from the bottom of your screen, then briefly holding it when you get to the middle of your screen and see your app switcher. Locate your apps by swiping left and right. To close an app, swipe up on the app towards to top of your screen. You can also choose to close all apps.
  • To close an app on your watch, go to your home screen and tap the Recent app icon that looks like two overlapping circles. Swipe left or right to find your music apps and other apps that trigger ongoing icons. Swipe the app up towards the top of your watch’s screen to close an app. You can also choose to close all apps by tapping Close all.

Once you close all the apps that trigger an ongoing notification icon on your Samsung Galaxy watch, try the following tips to prevent the ongoing icon from showing up on your screen and blocking watch face content.

Turn off app notifications for any music and audio apps

Sometimes, turning off these notifications doesn’t work, or it only works temporarily. We know that updating your watch’s software often returns these settings to their default “on”position. And sometimes, even rebooting causes them to go back to that original setting.

  1. Open the Settings app and choose Developer options. Samsung Galaxy Watch settings for developer options
  2. Scroll down and tap App notifications. Samsung Galaxy watch 4 app notification settings in developer options
  3. Choose All watch apps.
  4. Locate your music app, like Spotify, and tap it.
  5. Turn off Show notificationsToggle off show notifications for ongoing icons and apps for Samsung Galaxy watch 4
    1. Scroll down to Categories and also turn off Media Notification. It may be called something else like MediaSession for the Music app.Turn off media notifications for Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Wear OS 3
  6. Repeat for any other apps that show these ongoing icons on your watch face.
  7. Once done, open a music app and see if the icon shows up. If not, you’re good to go.
    1. In case the icon still shows up, first check that you did indeed close your app, and if not, close it and run through the steps again.
    2. If you closed the app(s), restart your watch and phone and check again.

So if that first suggestion didn’t work for you, try adjusting your watch’s animation setting(s).

Unfortunately, when you make changes to these settings, it might fix the problem of the ongoing notification icon, BUT it may reduce or even completely eliminate all animations from triggering on your watch, no matter what app you use. Changing these animation settings also impacts your system animations.

Turn off animation settings on your watch

  1. Open the Settings app and choose Developer options.
  2. Scroll down and select Window animation scale. Samsung Galaxy Watch turn off window animation scale
  3. Choose Animation off.

Once you turn this setting off, open one of your music apps and see if the ongoing icon notification shows up. If not, you’re done. When the ongoing icon still shows up, make sure you closed the app before running through these steps. If you closed the app, try restarting your watch and phone and check again.

Now, if the ongoing icon continues to remain despite turning off Show notifications and Window animation scale, try also turning off the additional animation settings in Developer options, including Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale.

If you still see ongoing notification icons on your watch face, try turning off all animation in developer options.

You might need to play around with these animation settings to figure out which one(s) turn off your ongoing icon notifications. But some people report that they need to turn two off or even turn them all off. For me, I only needed to turn off the Window animation scale and could leave all the others on.

What to do if ongoing icons like the blue music note get stuck on your watch’s screen

Follow these steps if you like seeing your ongoing notification icons but discover that they remain on your watch face even when you aren’t using the app.catio

  • Close all your music apps on your watch via the Recently used apps icon (two overlapping circles.) Samsung watch recently used apps icon on home screen
  • Close all your music and video apps on your paired phone.
  • Restart your watch.
  • Restart your phone.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, that troublesome blue musical note or another ongoing icon no longer shows up on your watch and isn’t blocking any important complications or watch face content!

What ended up working for me was to turn off the Window animation scale–and so far, that blue note has not reappeared. Unfortunately, when I changed the App notifications to off, they always popped back on! But I know a few of our readers had success with this method, so it works for some.

If you’ve discovered a different way to keep these ongoing notification icons from taking over our watch faces, please let us know so we can pay it forward.

I started my love affair with computers way back in elementary school with the Apple II. Since then, I've worked with technology in my career as a media educator and videomaker. I have an MFA in media making from Temple University, where I also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member. So I know a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides! After a cancer diagnosis, I turned to mobile technology like my Apple Watch to help me monitor my health throughout my chemotherapy treatment and later, to regain my wellness once in remission. I love sharing how to understand and use mobile tech, like smartwatches and phones, as a tool for empowerment to live our best and healthiest lives!

2 COMMENTS

    • Hi Panos,

      I just ran a test on my Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Classic using Spotify and it worked, and following the directions to access Settings > Developer options > App notifications > All watch apps > Spotify (or your preferred app) and turn off both Show notifications AND Spotify Media Notification.

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