Sending Push Messages

Send Push Notifications with OneSignal


Options for Sending Push Notifications

This page explains how to send push notifications from the OneSignal Dashboard. For other options to send push see:

Messages > New Push


Step 1. Audience


There are two options for selecting which devices are eligible to receive notifications.

Send to Subscribed UsersSends to your default segment which you can set. Otherwise, this defaults to all subscribed devices.
Send to Particular Segment(s)You can both include and exclude devices within segments from receiving the message.

- Targeting multiple segments, OneSignal will automatically filter out duplicate user records so the device only gets one push.
Exclude SegmentsAny device in the excluded segment will not get the push notification.


Segments can be Edited

Any selected segments can be edited and new segments can be created on the fly.

Step 2. Message

Add LanguagesSelect Add Languages to add multiple Supported Languages.
TitleWeb: Defaults to the Site Name set in Settings.
Android & iOS: Not required.
Huawei: required.
SubtitleSupported on iOS mobile apps.
MessageRequired for all platforms. Larger text input field.
ImageThis will populate the large image for all applicable platforms. See Notification Images Guide for details on recommended sizing.

You can override images for specific platforms below in platform settings.
Launch URLThe URL a user will be directed when clicking the push. https:// URLs will open the web page or an in-app browser on Mobile Apps.

Details on Deep Linking see Links, Deep-links and URLs.


Notification Appearance Guide

Details on Character Limits, Emoji Support and more in the Push Notification Guide.

Sending to Test Devices

If you set test devices use the Send To Test Device button. Test Messages will be available in Delivery tab > Source: Test Messages.

Platform Settings

Custom features available by platform.
Each Platform can be disabled (no push sent to those devices) by toggling the platform switch on/off

iOS Options

iOS OptionsDescription
BadgesRed Dots with numbers on the app icon.
- Don't set - no badge set
- Set to - specify exact badge count
- Increase by - increment the badge count by your desired amount
SoundThe sound that plays when this notification is received by the device. If no sound is specified, the device's default sound will play. Use nil to play no sound.
Content AvailableFor native iOS apps only. Wakes your app when the notification is received so you can do work in the background. See also Apple's 'content-available' documentation for more details.
CategoryThe UNNotificationCategory. Used with the UNNotificationContentExtension for action buttons.
Target Content IDUse to target a specific experience in your App Clip, or to target your notification to a specific window in a multi-scene App. Details in App Clip Support.
MediaRich media attachment. Image, sound, or video to show when viewing the notification. Skip if set already unless you want a different image for iOS.
Mutable ContentNative only code. Allows you do modify the notification from your app before it is displayed. See Apple's 'mutable-content' documentation for more details

Android/Huawei Options

Android OptionsDescription
CategoryHighly recommended for Android 8+ devices. Settings will carry over to android 7 and lower.
SoundThe sound that plays when this notification is received by the device. If no sound is specified, the device's default sound will play.

Recommended: Use Notification Categories instead.
LED ColorSets the device's LED notification light (if the user's device has one). If no LED Color is specified, the device's default color will show.

Recommended: Use Notification Categories instead.
Lockscreen VisibilityOnly applies to apps targeting Android API level 21+ running on Android 5.0+ devices.

Recommended: Use Notification Categories instead.
Small IconDefaults to a bell unless specifically added. Icon shown in the status bar. Also show to the left of the notification text unless a large icon is set. Do not include a file extension.
Large IconIcon that shows to the left of the notification text. Include a file extension or upload your icon. Do not include a file extension.
Big PictureShows up in an expandable view below the notification text.
Group KeyNotifications with the same Group Key will be stacked together as a single summary notification with the number of unopened notifications.
Group MessageOnly applies to Android 6.0 and older. By default '# new messages' will shown on the device when 2 or more notifications are received with the same group key. Enter a custom message with '$[notif_count]' in the message text so the count can be replaced.
Background DataLegacy option for pre 3.0 versions of the OneSignal Android SDK. Read our documentation for a new way to set this up.

Web Options

Certain browsers have limited features. Most features are Chrome only.

Web Push OptionDescription
IconDefaults to icon set in the Web Push Settings
ImageDisplays a large image on the notification content (Windows or ANDROID only).
BadgeReplaces the Chrome browser icon with your monochrome badge icon. The minimum recommended size is 72x72 pixels.
Action ButtonsExtra buttons that show on a push that can direct a user to a different URL.

Advanced Settings

Additional DataCustom key : value data pairs sent to your app through the notification. Use data when sending from our REST API.

More details on this below in our FAQ How To Use Additional Data.
Collapse Key/IDCurrent notifications with the same id/key will be replaced instead of showing a whole new notification on the device. Limit of 64 characters.
Web Push TopicSet different values to show multiple web push notification at once to a user. If not set, then newer notifications will replace current notifications on device.
PrioritySets the Delivery Priority. Can override certain device and browser settings. Some devices de-prioritize notifications to show at a later time if the battery is low. This will attempt to show the notification even if the device has low power.

For Android 8+ you must use Importance for Display Priority instead. This is set in the Notification Categories and this will override the Priority flag for Android 7 and lower devices.
Time To LiveThe default time is 259,200 seconds (3 days) but can be any value from 0 to 2,419,200 seconds.

The notification will expire if the device remains offline for these number of seconds.

Affects iOS, Android, and Chrome Web Push.
Action ButtonsAndroid and iOS mobile apps only.

Buttons show on the notification itself. Works on iOS 8.0+, Android 4.1+.

Step 3. Scheduling


You can schedule a notification up to 30 days in advance.

The OneSignal Dashboard detects timezone according to your Operating Systems time.

Selecting Begin sending at a particular time will allow you to set when the notifications will start to be sent. That time is displayed on the bottom right circled in red in the image.

Notifications will be delivered to users based on the Per-User Optimization selection.


Per-User Optimization Limitation with Throttling

If you selected the Throttling option, then Intelligent Delivery and Timezone sending will be ignored.

Message Throttling takes precedence over Intelligent Delivery and Timezone sending.

Intelligent Delivery

Intelligent Delivery is a unique feature of OneSignal that optimizes notification delivery time based on when each user most frequently access your app or website and is the best way to optimize notification open rates.

Each time a device accesses your website or mobile app with our SDK active, our SDK tracks their Last Session and notes the hours in which these devices most commonly return. This is based on up to a 3 month rolling average of a user's past actions.

With Intelligent Delivery, each user will receive your notification within 24 hours of you initiating delivery. For example, you sent a message at 7 PM and the user is most likely to open the app/site at 1 PM, the notification will be delivered 18 hours later (at 1 PM the following day). If your notification is very time-sensitive we instead recommend either Sending Immediately (which initiates delivery right away to all users, regardless of their activity or timezone) or Time Zone optimization (to deliver at the same time across user timezones).

Optimize by the user time zone

Once you schedule the notification to go out, you can set the delivery based on each device's set timezone. This is based on the device's settings.

So if you want a notification to be delivered to all your users in different timezones at 1PM for example, you can do this with OneSignal!

Keep in mind that if a timezone has already passed when you start sending this notification, they will get the notification at the set timezone, the next day. So it is important to make sure you start sending 24 hours before


How do I send a notification to a single user?

If you're looking to send notifications to a specific user device:

1. Get the user's userId/playerId with the getUserIds method on the Web Push SDK or getPermissionSubscriptionState method on the Mobile SDK you are using.
You can also send OneSignal your own unique user ids as "external_user_ids" using our setExternalUserId method on all our SDKs.

  • For testing you can use the 'Player ID' shown in Audience > All Users (you can force kill your app and open it again to bring your device to the top of the list.)

2. You can use this user id while in the app to send with our postNotification method and/or we recommend saving this id to your database. More in our Internal Database, DMP, & CRM guide.

3. Set include_player_ids (or include_external_user_ids) to the userId on the PostNotification SDK method or on the Create notification POST REST API call.

More details can be found in our User-User Messages or Transactional Messages guides.

How long can notifications be?

See Concepts: Appearance.

How to schedule recurring notifications?

Using the above steps, you can setup recurring notifications ahead of time. One at a time.
It is better to use our OneSignal API for this, but this is still only one at a time.

You can also setup Automated Messages but there is no guarantee on when exactly the user will receive them.

Another option you have is to use the Zapier | OneSignal integration.

Can notifications get re-ordered with the Intelligent Delivery Option?

Yes, if you send multiple notifications with Intelligent Delivery that should be delivered on the same day, then users may get the notifications in different orders.

This is due to how our SDK interprets the rolling average of a user's predicted-active time on your site or app.

For example, if my current predicted-active time is 3:00pm and you send notification1 to me with Intelligent delivery. Our system will set this notification to be received by me around 3:00 pm.

If I visit your site or app at 2:00 pm. My predicted-active time may now change to an earlier time, so notification2 may be received before notification1.

How can I use Additional Data?

OneSignal allows up to 2048 bytes of data to be passed within the Additional Data or API data parameter of a notification.

This is generally used for Deep Linking or passing data into the push to run code upon receipt using our SDK Handle Notification Methods.

When using the Dashboard to send the push, this can only take key: value pairs of data. To send nested JSON object as a value, you would need to use our API Create Notification POST call.