Make it Stop: How to Reduce Unwanted Notifications (on Windows and Mac)
February 10, 2020
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with notifications.
We rely on notifications to ensure we’re on time for meetings and to know the moment that an important email comes in. Notifications can be a welcomed reminder.
Until they turn into an obsessive nagging alarm clock.
When you’re presenting in an important meeting or heads-down to meet a deadline, notifications can quickly become a frustrating, if not infuriating, distraction.
The good news is you can easily control the number of notifications you get, and when. Here’s how.
How to decrease notifications in Windows 10
From the Start Menu, go to Settings. Choose the System Category.
On the left, choose the sub-category for Notifications and Actions.
You have the option to disable a few general notifications displayed by Windows itself, including Windows welcome experience and tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows. Disabling these notifications will eliminate some of the unwanted distractions.
Scroll down to the header for Get Notifications from these senders. You will see a list of the applications on your computer that might display notifications.
Here, you have two options:
- To completely disable notifications for the application(s) that you want to ignore, click the toggle next to any application.
- To disable certain notifications within a specific application, click on an application from the list. Here you will see settings where you can choose which type of notifications you prefer and whether a sound will play with those notifications.
Learn more about decreasing unwanted notifications in my LinkedIn Learning course Windows Quick Tips.
How to decrease notifications in macOS Catalina
In the System Menu (Apple Menu), go to System Preferences.
Click Notifications. This will show a list of the applications on your Mac that can display notifications.
Select any application to change the settings.
Once you’ve selected an application from the list, you have two options:
- To completely disable notifications for the applications, turn off the toggle labeled Allow Notifications from…
- Leave notifications on, but choose which type of notifications you want to see (banners or alerts). Note that “Banners” pop up on the screen for a few seconds, but “Alerts” stay on the screen until you dismiss them. You can also choose whether you want to hear a sound with the notification.
Learn more about decreasing unwanted notifications in my LinkedIn Learning course macOS Catalina Essentials Training.
Remember, your computer should be working for you. If it’s doing something that you find distracting or annoying, it’s likely you can make a change in the settings.
Spend a few minutes with your notification settings now and you’ll save yourself from plenty of unwanted distractions later.
Other LinkedIn Learning courses you may be interested in:
- Windows Quick Tips with Nick Brazzi
- macOS Quick Tips with Nick Brazzi
- Productivity Tips: Taking Control of Email with Dave Crenshaw
- How to Feel Less Busy with How to Be Awesome at Your Job