In this lesson for macOS, I look at the Notification Center on the Mac and how you can customize notifications for applications on the Mac.
Video Transcript (video also has closed captions):
Introduction: In this video, we’re going to look at notifications and the notification center on the Mac. Let’s go to my Mac.
Let’s first go and open up the calendar. I have an event there, and I have an alert or notification set up with it. Now, I’m going to go down to my calendar here, and you’re going to see I have a happy hour at 4:35. I’m going to double click on this. What I have is, I have it set to alert me one hour before. It’s going to alert me at 3:35. We can see it is now 3:32. I have a couple more minutes before we see that notification.
Notification Types: Let’s talk about the types of notifications while we’re waiting. With notifications on the Mac, there are two types of alerts. We can have a banner, and then we can also have an alert. It’s going to show in the upper right-hand corner over here with a banner, and then, it will disappear after a few seconds. When you receive an email, by default, they are set up as a banner. You’ll see the email, and then, a few seconds later, it’ll disappear. With alerts, what will happen is, it’ll come across the top of the screen in the upper right-hand corner, and then, it’ll stay there until you interact with it. An alert requires some form of input before it disappears.
I’m going to go ahead and close my calendar here. With both types of these notifications, we’re able to interact with that notification depending on the app. As an example, with the mail app, what I’m able to do is I’m able to trash the mail. If it’s junk mail, I can just click on the trash button in the actual notification. With the calendar, what I’m able to do is either close it or snooze it. Depending on which app is sending the notification, you may have other options. With some apps, you will not have any options. It’ll just disappear. We have alerts that will stay there until you interact with it, and then, we have banners, which will show, and then, they will disappear.
The calendar notification is going to be an alert. It’s going to stay there until I interact with it. I either have to close it or what I have to do is I have to snooze it. We’re going to get that notification here very shortly. It’s going to come across in the upper right-hand corner here. There’s our notification. We can see it’s happy hour, and it’s set for 4:35. Again, I can either close it or snooze it. With the calendar app, if I click and hold on snooze, I can set how long I want to snooze it for. If I wanted to snooze this for one minute, I select one minute, and now, it disappears. It’ll come back in one minute.
Notification Center: In addition to getting that notification, we can also view our notifications in the notification center. Let’s say, I can’t remember when I set that notification for, and I want to view that notification. We do this through the notification center. I’m going to go ahead and snooze this again, and let’s go with 30 minutes. Now, what I want to do is I want to view that notification. To do that, we go to our notification center. The notification center is located on the right side. What we have to do is, we have to click on these three horizontal lines. When I click on this, I’m going to have two options. It’s either going to show me the today view or the notification center. It all depends on what you looked at last.
I’m going to click on this, and we can see that I looked at my notifications last because it shows my notifications. If I go over to the today view, I’m looking at my today view– I’ll talk about the Today view in another lesson. I close this. Now, when I go back up to my notifications, what it’s going to do is it’s going to show me the today view again. Now, what I need to do is, I need to go into notifications, and there is my notification. What I can do is, I can click on this, and it’ll open up that notification in the calendar app.
Let’s go back over to my notification center. I have a trackpad. Another way of getting to the notification center is by going to the very right edge of your trackpad and then swipe over to the left with two fingers. I’m going to swipe over to the left with two fingers on the right edge of my trackpad, and I have my notification center. I can also close this by clicking on the X. I want to see when this notification is going to come across again. Remember, I snoozed it. I moved my cursor outside here, and we can see it says, in 29 minutes. In 29 minutes, I’m going to get this notification again. That’s how we receive notifications and the different types of notifications, banners, and alerts, and how we can view them in the notification center.
Notification Preferences: Now, let’s take a look at our preferences for notifications. How do we tell the app that we want to receive an alert or a banner? Well, we do that through our system preferences. We have a couple of different ways to get to it. If you’re in the notification center, all you have to do is click on the gear in the lower right-hand corner. When I click on this, it opens up my system preferences, and it goes to notifications. Now, if you do not have your notifications open, I’m going to quit out of this, what you can also do is go down to your system preferences, and then, go over to notifications. Click on it, and now, we’re looking at preferences for notifications.
Do Not Disturb: Our first option here is for do not disturb. What we can do is we can set our Mac to do not disturb us, so if there’s a notification, it actually won’t notify us. What we can do is, we can set that for a specific time. If I were to turn this on, I would not receive any notifications from 10:00 PM until 7:00 AM. I can also set it not to receive any notifications while the display is sleeping and while I am mirroring my Mac to a TV. Also, when we have do not disturb turned down, I can set it to allow calls, FaceTime calls, from everyone, or allow repeated calls. If you allow repeated calls, if you get a second call from the same person within three minutes, it’ll let that call. The first time you get a call from it, it will not let it through. What they’ll have to do is, they’ll have to call you twice within three minutes, and then, you’ll get that call.
Now, we can also turn do not disturb on from our notification center. I’m going to go back over to my notification center. I click on the three horizontal lines. If I swipe down here, I’m going to swipe down on my trackpad; you’re going to see I have do not disturb. All I have to do is turn this on, and now, I will not receive any notifications until tomorrow. You can also access this. I’m going to turn it back off. We can also access this from the Today view. Click on it; I’m looking at my today view again. Again, I’ll talk about the Today view in another lesson. If I swiped down here, I still have access to my do not disturb.
Now, let’s go back over to our system preferences. Our next options here are for individual apps. Remember how I said that the calendar app is set up for alerts, which means it’s not going to go away until I dismiss it? I click on it, and we can see we have calendar alert style. I can set it for none, which means I’m not going to get a notification at all, I can set it for banners, which will disappear, and then, I have alerts, and we can see that alerts is blue, which means that is what this is set for. If I wanted to change this to banners, all I have to do is click on banners. Now, when I get a notification from my calendar, it’ll show up for a few seconds, and then, it’ll disappear. I’m going to bring it back over to alerts.
Notifications on the Lock Screen: We can also set if we want to show notifications on the lock screen. If your computer is locked, you’ll still receive notifications when this has checked. I can show the notification preview. If the app supports preview, I’ll be able to see what the notification is such as messages. Then, I also have an option to show it in the notification center. Remember how, when we go up to our notification center, we can see that notification? Well, it’s because of this is selected.
We have our badge app icon. If we look here, my OmniFocus has a badge app. I have seven alerts or seven notifications here. If I no longer want to see this, what I would do is, I would go over to OmniFocus here in my list and then turn off the badge app icon. Then our last option is to play sound. If you do not want to have a sound when that notification comes through, you just turn this off. Our last option here is for the sort order. Right now, it is set for recent, which means it’s going to show my most recent notification at the top. I can also have it sort by app or manually by app.
That’s notifications and the notification center on the Mac.