Turn Off Notification Center in Mac OS X Temporarily

Aug 10, 2012 - 9 Comments

Enable Do Not Disturb in Mac OS X

Looking for some temporary peace and quiet from alerts and notifications but don’t want to completely disable Notification Center on your Mac? There are two quick ways to temporarily hush all notifications in OS X, silencing and stopping both the pop-up alerts and sound effects with the notifications, these two methods last until the next day before automatically resuming.

For most cases, the easiest way to turn off Notification Center is by using the Mac menu bar icon for the service.

How to Turn On “Do Not Disturb” from the Menu Bar of Mac OS X

To toggle Do Not Disturb ON and temporarily halt all notifications and sounds from Notification Alerts, you just need to do is this:

  • Option+Click the Notification Center menu bar icon in the upper right corner of the Mac screen, it will turn grey when disabled

This turns off all notifications in OS X for 24 hours.

You can think of Option+Clicking the Notification icon on a Mac is like hitting the Do Not Disturb moon button in iOS.

To re-enable Notifications again, just option+click the menu bar icon again. It will turn black to signify that it’s active again.

Turning On “Do Not Disturb” from the Notifications Panel in OS X

If you’re less of a keyboard fan and more of a gestures person, you can also hush notifications directly from the panel itself, the verbiage of this is different depending on the version of OS X in use.

For OS X Yosemite, OS X Mavericks, and newer:

  • Swipe open Notifications Center, pull down to reveal “Do Not Disturb” and switch the toggle switch to OFF

For Mountain Lion, and Lion:

  • Swipe open Notification Center, swipe down, and flip “Show Alerts and Banners” to OFF

Turn Off Notification Center alerts and notifications in OS X on a temporary basis

Note that for Macs running OS X Mavericks and Yosemite or newer, this has been renamed to “Do Not Disturb”, but the functionality remains the same.

Flipping the switch back to ON, or option+clicking the icon works to re-enable alerts again.

Here is a quick video showing both of these methods in use under OS X Mountain Lion, but the trick is identical in OS X Mavericks, OS X Yosemite, and beyond too:

If you want to continue to be alerted by are annoyed with the sounds, remember that you can mute notifications on a per-app basis too.

Thanks to everyone who sent in these tips.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:

Related articles:

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


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. PPanah says:

    you welcome šŸ˜‰

  2. New tip :) says:

    Lol, your welcome!

  3. Nick says:

    No problem šŸ˜›

  4. africano says:

    Thanx for this!! Was getting really annoyed watching films and keep getting interrupted by FB et al. As usual, the solution was neat and simple. Cheers

  5. Renato says:


  6. matsu says:

    ok, but how do i turn it off compleatly?

  7. Yes, but how do we disable notifications for HolidaysĀ ā€” the mandatory calendar that we can’t remove and is duplicated with every new account? I don’t want to eradicate notifications altogether, but have to stop crap like this happening:


    • Yup says:

      The Holiday notifications drive me nuts as well, they are completely irrelevant and meaningless for many users. I don’t get holidays off work, and the major ones are obvious. Don’t worry Apple, I know when Christmas and Thanksgiving are. And I like JFK and all, respect his legacy, appreciate the history, but why do I care that his birthday is tomorrow? What does that tell me? It has no impact on anything, it’s just an annoying alert. It’s not even a holiday for anyone…

      There is no way to turn this off for now without disabling Notification Center entirely or Calendar entirely.

Leave a Reply


Shop for Apple & Mac Deals on Amazon.com

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates