How to Manage Website Push Notifications in Safari for OS X

This article is only intended for users running Safari 9.x or above on Mac OS X.

Beginning with OS X Mavericks (10.9), Apple began giving website developers the ability to send notifications to your Mac desktop via the Push Notifications Service. These notifications, which appear in different formats depending on your individual browser settings, can even appear when Safari is not open.

In order to begin pushing these notifications to your desktop, a website must first ask for your permission—usually in the form of a pop-up question when you visit the site.

While they can certainly be useful, these notifications can also prove unwieldy and intrusive to some.

This tutorial shows you how to allow, disable and manage these notifications from within the Safari browser and OS X's Notification Center.

  • First, open your browser.
  • Under the Safari menu (upper left), select Preferences. Safari's Preferences dialog should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window.
  • Click on the Notifications icon. Safari's Notification preferences should now be visible. You can choose to either allow or deny alerts via the accompanying radio buttons or delete one (or all) websites from this list via the Remove and Remove All buttons found towards the bottom of the window. Below these buttons is an option, accompanied by a check box, labeled Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications. Enabled by default, this option allows websites to ask you if you'd like these notifications—usually when you first visit their site. To disable this option and prevent all sites from even asking permission to show alerts, remove its check mark by clicking on it once.

    To view more notification-related settings within the Notification Center itself:

    • Click the on the Notifications Preferences button.
    • The Notification Center's own settings should now be displayed.
    • Select Safari from the list of applications shown in the left menu pane. Notification preferences specific to the browser should now be shown on the right side of the window.

      The first section, labeled Safari alert style, contains three options—each accompanied by an image. The first, None, disables Safari alerts from showing up on the desktop while keeping notifications active within the Notification Center itself. Banners, the second option and also the default, informs you whenever a new push notification is available. The third option, Alerts, also notifies you but includes relevant buttons as well.

      Below this section are four more settings, each accompanied by a check box and each enabled by default. They are as follows.

      • Show notifications on the lock screen: When enabled, push notifications generated by your allowed websites will even display when your Mac is locked.
      • Show in Notification Center: Accompanied by a drop-down menu, this setting lets you specify how many of Safari's recent alerts appear in the Notification Center's list.
      • Badge app icon: When enabled, the number of Safari alerts yet to be viewed is shown in a red circle overlaying the browser's dock icon.
      • Play sound for notifications: When enabled, an audio alert will play each time a push notification is received.
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