How To Turn Off Notifications On Mac & Stay Focused

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how to mute notifications on Mac

Notifications on your Mac can help stay up-to-date on new emails, messages, calendar events, and more. However, constant notifications popping up on your screen can also be distracting and interrupt your workflow. Fortunately, macOS provides easy ways to manage your notifications, ensuring your only receive the ones that matter to you. 

In this guide, we will explain different types of notifications on Mac and how to turn them on or off selectively. We will also cover how to disable notifications temporarily and set “Do Not Disturb” schedules. 

how to mute messages on Mac

Follow the steps below to take control of notifications on your Mac and configure them to best suit your needs and preferences.

Also read: How to Check Your Mac’s CPU and GPU Temperatures | Prevent Overheating Your Mac

Types of Notifications on Mac

There are different kinds of notifications you may see on your Mac:

  • Banners: These pop-ups slide down from the top right of your screen when a new notification arrives. They disappear after a few seconds.
  • Alerts: Pop-up windows that require you to take an action before dismissing. For example, replying to a message.
  • Badges: Small red or blue dots that appear on app icons in the Dock, indicating the presence of new items, such as the number of unread emails.
  • Sounds: Audio cues, like beeps or dings, that accompany the delivery of a notification.

Each app can trigger any or all of these notification types. You can configure them individually as per the app, which I’ll explain how to do later.

Top Ways to Manage Notifications On Your MacBook

There are a few ways to manage your notification settings on Mac:

Per-App Notification Settings

You can delve into the notification settings for individual apps to turn off specific notification types or categories. For example, you can disable email banners from Mail, while retaining badges and sounds, offering precise control.

Do Not Disturb

Enabling Do Not Disturb blocks all notifications temporarily until you disable it again. You can also set a schedule for Do Not Disturb to activate automatically during specific times.

Notification Center

The Notification Center gives you an overview of recent notifications. You can disable badges and sounds from all apps at once.

How To Turn Off Notifications On Mac

Now let’s look at how to use each of these notification management features on your Mac.

Part 1: To configure notifications for a specific app on your Mac:

Step 1: Click the Apple menu in the top left corner and select “System Preferences”. Select “Notifications” to open the notifications settings pane.

Step 2: On the left side of the pane, select the app you want to configure like Messages, Calendar, or Mail. On the right side, you will be displayed various notification types supported by that app. Sliders allow you to toggle each notification type on or off independently.

how to stop notifications on Macbook

Step 3: Check the types of notifications you want to enable or uncheck those you want to disable.

Step 4: Repeat the action for other apps you want to configure.

Some common notification types you may want to disable include:

  • Banners – Slide-down alerts that disappear after a few seconds.
  • Badges – Red circles with numbers on the app icons.
  • Sounds – Beeps, dings, or other audio cues.

Once you save the changes, the selected notifications will be disabled for that app. Feel free to tweak these settings until you get notifications configured optimally for your needs.

Also read: How To Enable Airplane Mode On Mac

Part 2: Use Do Not Disturb to Mute Notifications

Do Not Disturb provides a quick way to temporarily mute all notifications on your Mac. It blocks banners, alerts, and sounds until you disable it again.

Here’s how to enable Do Not Disturb:

Step 1: Click the Apple menu and select “System Preferences”. Select “Notifications.”

Step 2: Check the box next to “Do Not Disturb” at the top.

how to silence notifications on Mac

Step 3: When enabled, Do Not Disturb will mute all notifications system-wide. You’ll see a moon icon in the menu bar indicating it’s active. Just uncheck the box to resume notifications.

Step 4: You can also set a schedule for Do Not Disturb to automatically activate during specific  times. Just click “From” and “To” to set start and end times for the mute period each day.

Also read: How to Turn on Do Not Disturb on Mac

Part 3: Manage Notifications in the Notification Center

The Notification Center provides an organized overview of recent notifications. It also lets you quickly mute badges and sounds for all apps.

To access the Notification Center:

Step 1: Click the Notification Center icon in the top right corner of the menu bar. It looks like three stacked lines.

how to turn off notifications on Mac

Step 2: The Notification Center will slide out from the right with a list of your latest notifications.

At the top, there are two quick toggles you can use to globally mute Badges and Sounds for all apps. Just click them off if needed.

When you’re done, click the Notification Center or swipe left to close it and get back to work distraction-free!


That concludes our exploration of the key methods to take control of notifications on your Mac! The built-in tools provide excellent flexibility to mute notifications selectively.

Feel free to tweak the per-app settings to suit your preferences. Disable distracting banner pop-ups and sounds first if you find them interrupting your concentration during work.

Do Not Disturb can instantly mute everything with one click or on a schedule. Just don’t forget to re-enable your important notifications when needed them.

With these notification management techniques, you can stay focused, avoid distractions, and customize your Mac to best suit your work style. Silencing unnecessary alerts makes it easier to stay productive. Give it a try!

Also read: Best Calendar Apps For Mac


Q1: How can I turn off notifications on my Mac?

Open System Preferences > Notifications and uncheck the boxes next to the apps you want to disable notifications for. You can also turn off all notifications using Do Not Disturb.

Q2: What are the steps to stop notifications on a MacBook?

Go to System Preferences > Notifications, select the app, and uncheck Banners, Badges, and Sounds to disable its notifications. You can also use Do Not Disturb.

Q3: Is there a way to mute all notifications on my Mac quickly?

Yes, enable Do Not Disturb by opening System Preferences > Notifications and checking “Do Not Disturb” at the top. This mutes all notifications.

Q4: How do I silence notifications on my Mac without turning them off?

Enable Do Not Disturb on a schedule or manually when you need to mute notifications temporarily. They will resume when you disable it.

Q5: How can I mute message notifications specifically on my Mac?

Go to System Preferences > Notifications > Messages and uncheck Banners, Badges, and Sounds to disable notifications for new messages.

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