How to Restart Notification Center in OS X

Sep 18, 2012 - 2 Comments

Restart Notification Center in Mac OS X

Notification Center in OS X is great but it can act up every once in a while and either stop updating completely or freeze up and become inaccessible. If you encounter any such issue, or modifications were made to Notification Center and just need to reset it, here’s all you need to do:

  • Hit Command+Spacebar to bring up Spotlight and type “Activity Monitor” followed by the return key, this launches the task manager app Activity Monitor
  • Use the Search bar in the upper right corner Activity Monitor and type “Notif”, then click on “Notification Center”
  • Now click the red “Quit Process” button, and choose “Quit” to relaunch Notification Center

Notice the Notification Center menu bar icon disappears and reappears when you kill it from Activity Monitor, this indicates it has been restarted.

The short video below demonstrates the process:

If you previously disabled Notification Center by using launchctl, killing it will not cause a restart and instead it will stay shut. In that case, you’d have to reload through launchctl before it would open again.

Thanks to Louis for the tip idea

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


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  1. Mystic says:

    Cool. I’ve had Notification center freeze up on me on some occasion.
    Nice to know of this quick fix, as opposed to rebooting the whole system.

  2. Wim says:

    It appears to me that this is happening frequently: my hangs when logging in early in the morning, mostly by displaying some birthday or another iCal issue. Trying the procedure above 5 to 6 times does not help. It simply stays on top of my screen, when mousing over the coloured ball….

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