How to Turn Off Annoying Mac Notifications

Here’s how to turn off all notifications temporarily, and configure which apps and websites can show them otherwise.

Disable All Notifications Temporarily with Do Not Disturb

The Do Not Disturb feature keeps you from seeing notifications or receiving phone calls when active. To turn it on,

  • Open up the Notification Center by clicking the icon at top-left, scroll up to reveal two hidden options. Like this:

  • Toggle the “Do Not Disturb” switch and you won’t see any notifications until tomorrow morning. If you want to do this automatically most days, you can do that by setting Do Not Disturb to a schedule.
  • Head to System Preferences > Notifications.

The first thing you’ll see are the Do Not Disturb settings.

  • Select the “From” option, and then set the times you want Do Not Disturb to be active. The default times turn Do Not Disturb on overnight, but you can set any time period you want.

You can set Do Not Disturb to turn on when your display is asleep, or when you’re reflecting to external displays like TVs or projectors. And, you can set your Mac to allow phone calls (or repeated calls from anyone during a three minute period) while Do Not Disturb is on. In this way, you’re just disabling notifications.

Disable Banner Notifications For Any App

If you only want to disable notifications from a specific app;

  • Head to System Preferences > Notifications, this time pay attention to the left panel. All application using notifications are listed here.

  • Find and select the app for which you’d like to disable notifications. You can use the right panel to configure how notifications come up. Let’s break this down, first looking at the alert style.

The default alert style for most apps is Banners – the notifications appear at the top right of your display, and later disappear after a few seconds. Alerts, on the other hand, stick around until you do something with them. Set the option to “None” and you’ll see no notifications at all for that app.

However there’s more! Below these options you’ll find four check boxes:

The first option allows notifications from this app appear when your screen is locked – if you disable this, it will be useful per security measures. The second option decides if the notifications show up in the Notifications Centre. Leave this option enabled in order for you to be able to review notifications for apps in the Notification Centre even when you’ve disabled alerts for the app.

The third option, “Badge app icon” allows you to disable the red dots that show up on dock icons. The final option allows you disable notification sounds.

This way, you can customize any app to your liking.

Disable Safari Website Notifications

If you use Safari, you may have noticed that some sites ask you if they can show notifications. In the case you may have allowed some and regretted it,

  • Open Safari, click Safari > Preferences in the menu bar. Head to the “Websites” tab and click “Notifications” in the left panel.

From this point, you can disable notifications for any website, and also stop websites from asking this question by disabling the “Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications” check box.

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