Disable Growl Notifications

May 17, 2010 - 15 Comments

disable growl notifications Growl is a desktop notification system that allows applications to publish updates and items to floating windows on your desktop. This allows you to see things like updates, information, and status changes to whatever application is publishing the Growl notification.

The advantage to Growl is that regardless of what application has the focus, you’ll see the published status update. This is also the disadvantage, there are many times when you are using an application and you simply don’t care to see updates from another application printing to your desktop. I find Growl updates to be of a particular nuisance when you are using a Mac with a smaller screen resolution, when display real estate is valuable any additional clutter can really get in the way.

With all this in mind, here are a few ways to disable Growl notifications, both on an application specific basis, and on a system wide basis by disabling Growl completely.

Disable Growl Notifications for specific applications

You can specify applications to disable Growl notifications for by using the Growl control panel, here’s how:
* Open System Preferenecs
* Click on the “Growl” icon
* Click on the Applications tab
* Select each application you want to disable Growl support for by unchecking the checkbox next to the application name.

disable growl notifications

In this screenshot example, Cyberduck, TextWrangler, and Transmit have had Growl support disabled but Facebook Notifier for Mac is still allowed to publish Growl notifications to the desktop.

* Once you have unchecked the ‘Enabled’ checkboxes next to the application names, close the Growl system prefs and your changes will take effect immediately for those applications.

Disable Growl Notifications completely

OK so you’ve determined that there is no app worthy of dumping status updates all over your desktop, I can relate. Here is how to completely disable Growl notifications from appearing on your Mac:
* Launch System Preferences
* Click on the Growl icon
* Under the ‘General’ tab, click on the ‘Stop Growl’ button
* Disable the ‘Start Growl at login’ item
* Close System Preferences, changes take effect immediately.

disable growl

Now it doesn’t matter what application has Growl support, the notifications won’t popup on your desktop. If for whatever reason you want to leave Growl running but you don’t want to see any notifications, you can hide all the Growl notifications by going to the same menu as above, and instead of stopping Growl, just click the checkbox next to ‘Hide all notifications’. This leaves Growl running but you won’t see any of the status updates.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

15 Comments

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  1. kevin says:

    excellent, I don’t like growl at all I find it annoying

  2. Gary says:

    Umm…if you don’t like it, don’t install it. Otherwise, why not just customise how long the notifications stay on screen? I have mine set to 5 seconds but you can easily change it from 0 to 10 seconds in the Growl Pref Pane. You can even change the opacity of the notification.

  3. dra says:

    I dislike growl strongly as it reminds me of windows, which is why I returned to macs. What are they thinking? Thank you so much for the info on doing away with it. I tried uninstalling it and was not successful. dra

  4. What Haveyou says:

    “I dislike growl strongly as it reminds me of windows, which is why I returned to macs.”

    What? That makes no sense. The Mac is (and has always been) the platform that is littered with floating windows and on-screen clutter. When you combine that with the bad decision to make all apps share one menu that’s stuck to the top of the screen, you spend half your time rolling the cursor around and herding windows instead of getting things done.

    The whole noob strategy of claiming that anything you don’t like “reminds you of Windows” is played out. Really, really tired.

    • ecg says:

      The comment would have had some value without the product chest-thumping.
      The instant I saw the “and always has been” comment I moved on to the next comment. Being an apple os fan boy is very very tired and has been for endless years. If you like it use it, and if you don’t like the other thing, then don’t use it, and stop boring and annoying people.

  5. Eric says:

    What I think dra meant when he said “it reminds me of Windows” is that, in general, OS X doesn’t use pop-up boxes the way Windows does for system notifications.

    Think of all the crap that pops out from the bottom right hand side of the Windows desktop. Notifications about Windows Updates, Java updates, Adobe updates, antivirus attention needed, the network connection being lost, not all network drives were able to be reconnected, take a tour of Windows XP, etc., etc., etc.

    In general, OS X doesn’t use those pop-up notifications. So this nonsense from Growl is in fact quite “Windows-like.”

    To each their own, of course. But I love the Mac’s single menu bar. Why do I need to see multiple menu bars on my screen? It’s not like I can use multiple programs simultaneously.

  6. greg says:

    how do you stop growl from being installed by other apps like acrobat?

  7. onepercentyellow says:

    Thanks so much! That was getting really really annoying!

  8. Maca says:

    “What? That makes no sense. The Mac is (and has always been) the platform that is littered with floating windows and on-screen clutter. When you combine that with the bad decision to make all apps share one menu that’s stuck to the top of the screen, you spend half your time rolling the cursor around and herding windows instead of getting things done.”

    What??? THAT makes no sense, learn to use the shortcuts, master your machine, I have no problem running many apps and loads of screens.

    Who’s the noob??

  9. Marshall says:

    Anyone know how (or if possible) to have Growl turn off when specific programs are running. For example, I have a game for my son, Diego Dinosaur Rescue. When it runs, it occupies the full screen. The Growl popups during this game are distracting for a 4-year-old. It would be nice if Growl could auto shut off (as a preference) when this program runs then turn back on when the program ends.

    Anyone know if this is possible?

  10. Dana K says:

    Thank you so much. My GAHD, Growl is annoying! Now I don’t have to look at that stupid paw every five minutes!

    You da man.

  11. Carynfs says:

    I don’t have Growl installed on my computer, but an icon pops up constantly asking me to download. How do I stop this??

    thanks

  12. randy says:

    thanks for posting this. fair or not, i’m uninstalling growl over this issue. not cool.

  13. [...] Turn off all desktop notifications on your computer. If you’re an Outlook user, turn its desktop alerts off. If you’re an OS X User, and have somehow ended up with Growl installed on your computer, turn off all notifications. [...]

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