Turn Off Notification Center in OS X Temporarily

Aug 10, 2012 - 7 Comments

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

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, both 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.

Turn On “Do Not Disturb” from the Menu bar of Mac OS X

All you need to do is this:

  • Option+Click the Notification Center menu bar icon, 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.

If you’re less of a keyboard fan and more of a gestures person, you can also hush notifications directly from the panel itself:

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

Note that for Macs running OS X Mavericks, 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.

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


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. New tip :) says:

    Lol, your welcome!

  2. Nick says:

    No problem :P

  3. 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

  4. Renato says:


  5. matsu says:

    ok, but how do i turn it off compleatly?

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