How to disable notifications for an app on macOS

Mac apps, like desktop apps for any other platform, can show notifications on the desktop. On iOS, apps have to ask for a user’s permission to show notifications but the same rules don’t apply on macOS. Apps that you install assume, by default, that they can show you notifications. Here’s how you can disable notifications for an app on macOS.

Disable app notifications

You can disable app notifications on macOS on a per-app basis. macOS may not ask you to allow apps to send notifications on a per-app basis but, that doesn’t mean you can’t turn them off selectively.

Open the System Preferences app and select Notifications.

how to disable notifications for an app on macos How to disable notifications for an app on macOS

The Notifications panel will list all apps that are installed on your system. Select an app from the column on the left, and in the pane on the right, select the ‘None’ option to disable notifications for that particular app.

how to disable notifications for an app on macos 1 How to disable notifications for an app on macOS

macOS has the same types of notifications that iOS has; Banners, and Alerts. Alerts tend to stick around until a user dismisses them. This is the sort of notification you want to select for apps that send important updates e.g., an email client, or a chat app. The Banners will automatically dismiss themselves if you don’t do anything and are more suitable for apps that show low-priority notifications e.g., a browser that tells you a download is complete.

If you want, you can also exclude notifications from a particular app from stacking in the Notification Center. To do that, go to the notifications menu for an app in System Preferences and disable the ‘Show in notification center’ option. The notifications, whether they are alerts or banners, will no longer appear in the Notification Center however, be warned that this will also prevent you from re-visiting a missed notification.

Like iOS, you can also set up sound-only alerts. You can set the notification type to None, but leave the ‘Play sound for notification’ option enabled. Likewise, if you prefer silent notifications, whether they’re banners or alerts, to be sent to your desktop, you can choose either one and disable the ‘Play sound for notification’ option.

Since this feature mimics mostly what iOS has, it also has the same limitations. You cannot, for example, enable do not disturb on a per-app basis. It’s a simple enough feature and most users would appreciate it on both a phone and a desktop but it just isn’t there and Catalina doesn’t appear to have added it either.

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