How to Turn Off iMessage on Mac

Reduce distraction by signing out of iMessage on your Mac

What to Know

  • Open Messages > click Messages > Preferences > iMessage > Sign Out > Sign Out.
  • Disable notifications: Apple menu > System Preferences > Notifications > Messages > toggle Allow Notifications from Messages to off/white.
  • Temporarily block notifications: Notification Center > Notifications > move the Do Not Disturb slider to on/blue.

This article explains three ways to manage or turn off iMessage on a Mac.

This article was written using macOS 10.15 (Catalina). The basic concepts apply both to earlier and later versions of the macOS, but the exact steps may vary slightly depending on your version of the operating system.

How Do I Turn Off iMessage On My Mac?

As mentioned earlier, you have two options when it comes to turning off iMessage on a Mac: disabling the program completely or just hiding notifications.

How to Completely Turn Off iMessage On a Mac

If you don't ever want to get text messages through iMessage on your Mac, turn the program off by following these steps

  1. Open the Messages app.

  2. Click Messages.

    The Messages app, with the Preferences menu highlighted.
  3. Click Preferences.

  4. Click the iMessage tab.

    The iMessage preferences screen.
  5. Click Sign Out.

  6. In the confirmation pop-up, click Sign Out again. With this done, iMessage is turned off and you won't get any more messages to your Mac until you sign into your account again.

    The iMessage preferences screen with the Sign Out confirmation window.

How to Hide iMessage Notifications On a Mac

If you still want to get and send texts on your Mac, but just don't want to be bothered by iMessage notifications, disable those notifications by following these steps:

  1. Click the Apple menu.

    The Mac desktop, with the Apple menu open and System Preferences highlighted.
  2. Click System Preferences.

  3. Click Notifications.

    The System Preferences window with Notifications highlighted.
  4. Click Messages.

    The Notifications Preferences screen for Messages.
  5. Move the Allow Notifications from Messages slider to off/white. With this done, you can stay signed into Messages, and still get and send texts, but you won't get notifications popping up to distract you.

Want to block notifications from iMessage temporarily, or to schedule the times you when block messages and the times when you allow them? You need Do Not Disturb, a feature built into the macOS. Learn all about using Do not Disturb on a Mac.

How Do I Stop My iPhone From Syncing Messages to My Mac?

Maybe you want to use iMessage on your Mac, but to keep the messages sent and received on your Mac separate from those on your iPhone. That's tricky, but it can be done.

Apple's basic assumption in designing the Messages app is you'll want access to your messages on all devices where you're signed in: Mac, iPhone, iPad. So, there's not a single setting to stop your iPhone from syncing messages to your Mac. That said, if you follow these steps, it can work.

This may end up creating a confusing experience for you and could lead to fragmented conversations across the two devices. If you're OK with that, continue on.

  1. To start, on the Mac, go to the Messages app > Preferences > iMessage.

    The Messages app with the Preferences menu highlighted.
  2. On that screen, uncheck your phone number. This will prevent texts sent to your phone from showing up on your Mac.

    The Messages Settings screen with a phone number deselected.
  3. Next, make sure to only check an email address. That way, all of the messages sent and received on your Mac will only be tied to the email address.

  4. Now, on your iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.

  5. Uncheck any email addresses shown here and make sure only your phone number is checked. That way, messages won't come to your email addresses, since you want to only use those on the Mac.

    The iMessage send and receive settings on iPhone.
  6. In the Start New Conversations From section, make sure only your phone number is checked. Again, this will keep all messages on your iPhone tied only to your phone number and will stop them from syncing to your Mac.

  • How do I turn off autocorrect on iMessage for Mac?

    Open the Messages app > select Edit > Spelling and Grammar > and then deselect Correct Spelling Automatically. To turn off autocorrect on a Mac across all apps, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Text > and uncheck Correct spelling automatically.

  • How do I turn off the iMessage sound on a Mac?

    To turn off the iMessage notification sound, go to System Preferences > Notifications or Notifications & Focus. From the Notifications tab, select the Messages app from the apps list and check the option beside Allow Notifications. Then uncheck the box next to Play sound for notifications.

  • How do I turn off iMessage preview on Mac?

    Like turning off message preview on iPhones, you can hide message contents on your Mac. Open System Preferences and select Notifications or Notifications & Focus > Notifications > Messages. Look for the Show previews drop-down menu and select Never.

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