How to Turn on Do Not Disturb on a Mac

Get some peace for awhile

Notifications in macOS keep you up to date with calendar events, emails, messages, and more. But sometimes, those incoming alerts can prove distracting, drawing your attention away from the things you need to be working on. Apple offers Do Not Disturb, a feature that lets you shut off all those alerts when you need to.

Instructions in this guide apply to Mac devices with macOS or OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) and later.

How to Quickly Turn on Do Not Disturb on a Mac

Follow these instructions to turn on Do Not Disturb mode on a Mac.

  1. Locate the Notification Center icon in the menu bar (upper-right corner of the screen).

    The Notification Center icon in macOS
  2. Press and hold the Option key and select the Notification Center icon.

  3. The Notification Center icon will be grayed out, indicating that Do Not Disturb is active.

    The Notification Center icon with DND on
  4. To turn off Do Not Disturb, press and hold the Option key and select the Notification Center icon again. Your notifications will start coming through again.

    If you don't manually reactivate notifications, Do Not Disturb automatically turns itself off the following day.

How to Activate Do Not Disturb from the Notification Center

Do Not Disturb can be activated within the Notification center.

  1. Select the Notification Center icon in the menu bar.

    Alternatively, swipe left with two fingers from the right edge of the Mac trackpad.

    The Notification Center icon in macOS
  2. Scroll up in Notification Center to reveal two options: Night Shift and Do Not Disturb.

    On older versions of macOS or OS X, scroll down.

    Scroll down to reveal more options in Notification Center
  3. Toggle the Do Not Disturb switch to the On position (blue).

    The Do Not Disturb option in Notification Center
  4. To deactivate Do Not Disturb, toggle Do Not Disturb to the Off position (gray).

How to Automatically Schedule Do Not Disturb

You can set Do Not Disturb to activate and deactivate on a daily schedule. You can also set custom rules in case you want to be notified of calls during these periods.

  1. Select the Notification Center icon in the menu bar to open the Notification Center tab.

    The Notification Center icon in macOS
  2. Select the settings cog in the lower-right corner to open the Notifications settings window.

    The settings gear in Notification Center
  3. Under Turn on Do Not Disturb, select the check box next to the time boxes.

    The checkbox to schedule Do Not Disturb
  4. Select the up and down arrows to set the schedule.

    Additionally, you can choose to automatically activate Do Not Disturb when your Mac's display is in sleep mode or when it's connected to a TV or projector.

    The time range for scheduling Do Not Disturb
  5. To receive calls while Do Not Disturb is active, set those preferences within the same window. Click the corresponding check box to allow all calls or repeated attempts from the same number.

    Call options for Do Not Disturb
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