How to Turn Off Notifications on a Mac

Create personalized downtime without distractions

Mac notifications can be useful, as they provide a way to easily see upcoming events on your calendar, get a heads up about emails and messages, and even see updates from websites that you have subscribed to. It can all become a bit much though. If you're trying to get work done, need to mirror your screen for a presentation, or just need a bit of a break from constant notifications, here's how to turn off notification on Mac.

How to Temporarily Disable Notifications on Mac

MacOS provides a number of ways to disable notifications, allowing you a great deal of control over when and how apps are able to interrupt you with banners and alerts.

Here's a rundown of the ways you can disable notifications on your Mac:

  • Through the Notifications menu: This gives you the greatest deal of control. You can disable notifications for a specific period of time each day, prevent notifications based on a number of other criteria, and even control notifications on an app by app basis.
  • From the desktop: This is the easiest method and simply requires a key+mouse click combo, but it doesn't provide any advanced options.
  • From the notification center: This method is also really quick, but it lacks advanced options. If you use this method, notifications will turn back on the next day.

How to Disable Notifications on Mac Through the Notification Center

MacOS makes it easy to temporarily disable all notifications for a specific amount of time, allowing you to create a personalized downtime with no notifications, shut down notifications while you're at school or work, prevent notifications while you're asleep, or create a notification-free period each day for any other reason.

Here's how to temporarily disable notifications on a Mac for a specific amount of time each day:

  1. Click the Apple menu icon.

    The Apple Menu on a Mac.
  2. Click System Preferences.

    The location of System Preferences on Mac.
  3. Click Notifications.

    The Notifications option on Mac.
  4. Click Do Not Disturb in the left pane if it isn't already selected.

    The Do Not Disturb option on Mac.
  5. Enter the time period during which you don't want to receive notifications in the From: and To: fields, and check the corresponding box.

    A screenshot of the Mac notifications menu.
  6. Notifications will be suppressed during your chosen time period each day. If you want to go back to normal, simply return to this menu and remove the check mark to the left of From.

More About Mac Do Not Disturb Options

In addition to allowing you to set up a personalized downtime each day without distractions, the Do Not Disturb menu provides a number of other options. You can also set it to suppress notifications when the display is sleeping, when your screen is locked, and when mirroring to TVs and projectors.

The options to suppress notifications when the display is sleeping or locked are useful as they will automatically prevent notifications from going off when you aren't actually using your Mac. The notifications will collect in the notification center and display whenever you wake up or unlock your display.

The option to disable notifications when mirroring your display is great if you want to avoid embarrassing or personal notifications from popping up when other people are viewing your screen. It's also a bit more professional to avoid cluttering the display with notifications when you're giving a presentation.

How to Disable Notifications From a Single App

MacOS also allows you to disable notifications on an app by app basis. If you want to receive most notifications, but there are a handful of apps that are annoying you, it's easy to simply disable notifications from those specific apps while leaving everything else alone.

This option is useful if you want to turn off your calendar notifications, prevent websites from sending notifications through Safari, or just cut off any other app from sending you notifications.

  1. Open the Notifications setting menu by clicking the Apple menu icon and then navigating to System Preferences > Notifications.

    A screenshot of the Mac notifications menu.
  2. Click an app to access its notifications settings.

  3. Click the slider next to Allow Notifications from (App).

  4. That app will be prevented from sending notifications until you tap the slider again.

More About App Notification Settings

In addition to simply disabling apps, the same menu gives you a number of other options. You can change the alert style to allow alerts, banners, or no pop-up notifications at all. You can also choose whether to allow notifications from that app on the lock screen, choose when to see notification previews, whether or not the app can place notifications in the notification center, and whether or not it's able to play a sound when sending a notification.

How to Quickly Disable and Re-enable All Notifications

If you want to turn all all of your notifications immediately without digging through a bunch of menus, and re-enable them later just as easily, macOS allows you to do that as well.

Here's how to immediately turn off all notifications:

  1. Press and hold the Option key.

  2. Click the Notification Center icon in the top right of the menu bar.

    The notifications center icon on Mac.
  3. The icon will turn gray, and your notifications will pause.

    The notifications center paused on Mac.
  4. To turn notifications back on, press and hold the Option key and click the Notification Center icon again.

Another Way to Quickly Disable Notifications

In addition to the Option key method, there is another easy way to quickly turn on Do Not Disturb mode. Using this method, Do Not Disturb mode will turn off at the start of the next day or when you choose to end it, whichever comes sooner.

Here's how to quickly turn on Do Not Disturb mode on a Mac:

  1. Click the Notification Center icon in the top right of the menu bar.

    The notifications center icon on Mac.
  2. Swipe down in the notification center.

    The notification center on Mac showing the direction to swipe.

    Use a two finger swipe to accomplish this step.

  3. Click the slider next to DO NOT DISTURB.

    The Do No Disturb option in the Notifications Center on Mac.
  4. Do Not Disturb mode will turn on and suppress all notifications until the next day.

  5. To turn off Do Not Disturb mode, return to this menu and click the DO NOT DISTURB slider to disable it.