Open Notification Center with a Keyboard Shortcut in OS X

Aug 5, 2012 - 6 Comments

Notification Center opened through a keyboard shortcut in OS X Mountain Lion

Notification Center of OS X can be summoned either with a click of the menu bar item or a two-fingered swipe left on a trackpad, but you can also set a custom keyboard shortcut to see your notifications or alerts.

  • Open System Preferences from the  Apple menu and choose “Keyboard”
  • Click the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab and select “Mission Control”
  • Locate “Show Notification Center” and click to the right of the text to enter an input box, then hit the keyboard shortcut you want to assign to open Notification Center
  • Test it out to confirm the shortcut works, then quit out of System Preferences

Keyboard shortcut to open Notification Center

F8 is a good key shortcut to assign for Notification Center since it doesn’t serve a use otherwise outside of iTunes, but you can set it to whatever you want, just be sure it doesn’t conflict with another keyboard shortcut that you use often. You can also assign multiple keystrokes to see the notifications if you want.

As a Mac user who tends to spend a lot of time in Terminal and typing in general, I find keyboard shortcuts to be much faster than using touchpad gestures or the mouse to click the icon.

Now that Notification Center is part of both OS X and iOS it’s more useful than ever, check out some more tips on the topic if you’re interested.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Raj says:

    Is there a way to turn on/off “Show Alert Banner” with keyboard shortcut?

  2. Paul says:

    Any terminal hacks for completely disabling it?? I just don’t want it running on my system at all.

  3. Will says:

    Paul, I think the best you can do for now is drag *everything* below the ‘do not show’ line. I shall have a rummage around and see if I can find a quick solution to completely disabling it.

  4. Juan says:

    This is a great tip. For some time now I have had Dashboard fully disabled making my F4 key utterly useless, but with this tip, along with FunctionFlip I was able to remap the key to open Notification Center. Works like a charm!

  5. Crick says:

    My favorite tool to control and manage all my shortcuts is BetterTouchTool: A fantastic OSX tool that lets me assign actions by application or globally.

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