How to Turn on Do Not Disturb on Mac

Get some peace for awhile

MacBook Air displaying a do not disturb graphic on the screen.

AzFree/Jake Olimb/Getty Images


macOS notifications are useful for keeping you up to date with calendar events, emails, messages, and more while you work. But sometimes all those incoming alerts can prove to be a distraction, drawing your attention away from the things you need to get done.

Fortunately, Apple offers Do Not Disturb, a feature that lets you shut off all those alerts when you need to. Here’s how to turn on Do Not Disturb on Mac.

How to Quickly Turn on Do Not Disturb

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

    Notification Center icon on macOS
  2. Press and hold the Option key and click the Notification Center icon.

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

    Notification Center icon grayed out
  4. To turn off Do Not Disturb, simply press and hold the Option key and click the Notification Center icon again. Your notifications will start coming through again.

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

How to Activate Do Not Disturb from the Notification Center

Do Not Disturb can be easily activated within the Notification center.

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

  2. This opens the Notification Center tab.

    Notification Center pane on macOS
  3. Place your cursor on the Notification Center tab and use two fingers to swipe down on the Mac/MacBook trackpad or Apple Magic Mouse.

    Two-finger swipe down in Notification Center on macOS
  4. This reveals the Do Not Disturb toggle.

    Do Not Disturb section in Notification Center
  5. Click the Do Not Disturb toggle to turn it on.

    Do Not Disturb toggle in Notification Center on macOS
  6. To deactivate Do Not Disturb, repeat steps 1 to 5 and click the toggle again to turn it off.

How to Automatically Schedule Do Not Disturb

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

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

  2. Click the settings cog in the bottom right corner is a settings cog to open the Notifications settings window.

    Notification Center gear icon
  3. Locate Turn on Do Not Disturb and click the checkbox by the time boxes.

  4. Click the up and down arrows to set the schedule.

    Do Not Disturb schedule options

    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.

  5. If you want to receive calls while Do Not Disturb is active, you can set those preferences within the same window. Simply click the corresponding checkbox to allow all calls, or just repeated attempts from the same number.

    Phone call options for Do Not Disturb