Disable Notification Center & Remove the Menu Bar Icon in OS X Mountain Lion
Notification Center is a great addition to OS X but not everyone likes it, sometimes just muting the alert sounds and turning them off per-app is not enough, and you may want to disable it completely. Furthermore, if you don’t use Notifications on the Mac then you probably don’t want the menu bar icon sitting in the corner of your screen either. We’ll show you how to disable Notification Center and remove the icon.
Disable Notification Center & Remove the Menu Bar Icon in Mac OS X
This is the preferred method:
- Open Terminal and enter the following command:
- Next type the following command to kill NotificationCenter:
- Finally, quit out of Terminal and return to Finder
launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist
This unloads Notification Center for the current user only and does not require admin access. To re-enable Notifications with this approach:
- Launch Terminal and enter a similar command – notice load instead of unload:
- Hit Command+Shift+G and go to /System/Library/CoreServices/ then find “Notification Center” and double-click it to launch it again
launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.notificationcenterui.plist
Thanks to ganbustein for the launchctl method!
This is the older approach that is less preferred, but it does work in OS X Mountain Lion:
- From the OS X Finder, hit Command+Shift+G and enter the path to /System/Library/CoreServices/
- Locate “Notification Center.app” and click on the name to rename it to “Notification Center-disabled.app”, authenticate the change when prompted
- Now launch Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities/ and type the following command:
- Quit out of Terminal
Notifications will no longer be posted, alerts will be gone, and the menu bar icon is no longer visible. If you do attempt to get to Notification Center either through a keyboard shortcut or the sideways swipe, you’ll be presented with a blank side of the screen.
The entire thing can be completed in less than a minute, as demonstrated in this quick walkthrough video:
Re-enable Notification Center & Bring Back the Menu Bar Icon
Notification Center is not permanently disabled though, you can always turn it back on and get the icon back to to the menu bar just as easily.
- Return to /System/Library/CoreServices/ and rename “Notification Center-disabled.app” to “Notification Center.app” again
- Double-click “Notification Center” to relaunch the service and bring back the icon
Notifications will be working as normal again, as will the icon.
Thanks to Paul for the tip idea!