How to turn off annoying Mac notifications

Notifications can be a great way of reminding yourself of tasks you need to complete, or appointments you need to get to. They can also be useful for, say, telling you when an update to an app you use is available. However, they are now used by so many apps and websites for purposes that have little benefit to us, the user, that they are often more of an inconvenience than anything else. Fortunately, the are easy to manage and even disable completely. Here’s how to turn-off annoying Mac notifications.

Turn off notifications temporarily using Do Not Disturb

Do Not Disturb allows you to temporarily turn off notifications, according to the schedule you have set. 

  1. Click on the three horizontal lines at the right hand side of the menu bar to display Notification Center.
  2. Choose Notifications.
  3. Scroll up to reveal the Night Shift and Do Not Disturb toggle switches.
  4. Set the Do Not Disturb switch to On. Notifications will now be blocked until whenever Do Not Disturb is set to end.

Here’s how to schedule and manage Do Not Disturb.

temporarily notifications
  1. Click on the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  2. Press on Notifications.
  3. Select Do Not Disturb.
  4. Set the time schedule if you want Do Not Disturb to run automatically each day.
  5. Check the boxes below that correspond to the options you want to choose.
  6. Quit System Preferences.

How to turn off notifications for apps

  1. Launch System Preferences from the Apple menu or Dock.
  2. Choose Notifications.
  3. Go through the list of apps on the left, one at a time, clicking on each one to review its settings.
  4. To switch off notifications altogether for an app, select None for alert type.
  5. If you don’t want to switch them off altogether, choose Banners or Alerts and then check the boxes below that correspond to your chosen behaviour.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for every app in the list.

How to turn off notifications for websites

One of the most annoying aspects of notifications is that macOS allows individual websites to display them. They must ask permission first, so the easiest way to deal with them is top always say no when they ask. However, websites are persistent and will ask every time you visit. It’s all too easy to accidentally allow them. So, here’s how to turn off Safari website notifications.

websites notifications
  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Click on the Safari menu and choose Preferences.
  3. Choose the Websites tab.
  4. Select Notifications on the left hand side.
  5. Review the list of websites that have requested permission to show notifications.
  6. Make sure each one is set to to ‘Deny’. If not, click on the drop down menu and choose Deny.
  7. Uncheck the box at the bottom of the window that says: ‘Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications’.

How to turn off Chrome notifications

  1. Launch Chrome and type the following into the address bar: chrome://settings
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose Advanced.
  3. Select Content Settings under Privacy and Security.
  4. Click on Notifications.
  5. Toggle the slider switch at the top of the page so that it reads ‘Blocked’.

How to turn off notifications in Firefox

  1. Launch Firefox and click on the three lines icon at the top right of the window.
  2. Choose Options then Privacy & Security.
  3. Scroll down to the Permissions section.
  4. Click on Settings, to the right of Notifications.
  5. You will see a list of all the websites you’ve previously given permission to show notifications. Press on Remove all Websites.
  6. Check the box next to Block all requests asking to allow notifications.

How to turn off pop ups on your Mac from hidden apps

When you review apps in the Notifications section of System Preferences, it will show you the apps in your Applications folder. However, not all the processes you run on your Mac are from apps in the Applications folder. Some may be from Launch Agents, Login Items, or even malware that has found its way onto your Mac.

If you see a notification from an app that you didn’t deliberately install on your Mac, you should uninstall the app. I’ve found that the easiest and quickest way to do that is to use CleanMyMac X, especially if you need to uninstall lots of apps at the same time. CleanMyMac can also remove launch agents, login items, and scan your Mac for malware, so it’s well worth checking out. I recommend that you do.

Here’s a list of my ‘hidden” Launch Agents found by CleanMyMac X:

Launch Agents found by CleanMyMac X

This app is notarized by Apple and available for a free download here

The malware tool is particularly useful when it comes to dealing with notifications, as some adware and other malware displays annoying pop-ups on your Mac. Typically, this type of malware is a tech support scam, such as the one known as ‘Official Apple Support’ and another called ‘Mac malware alert’. These scams display a pop up on your Mac telling you that it’s infected and that you should either click a link or call a phone number to get help. Obviously, you should never do either. Here’s how to remove this, or any other kind of malware, from your Mac.

  1. Install, and launch CleanMyMac X — a link to download free edition
  2. Choose the Malware Removal tool in the sidebar.
  3. Press scan.
  4. If it finds anything, CleanMyMac will tell you. Press Remove.

Desktop pop-ups, alerts in your web browser, or other types of notifications are frequently intrusive and annoying. Fortunately, Apple has made it easy to control and block them from apps and websites in macOS. And You can easily stop them in Chrome and Firefox, too. Some pop-ups, however, originate from malware, and to get rid of those you should use an anti-malware tool like the one in CleanMyMac X.

CleanMyMac X CleanMyMac X
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.