How to Completely Disable Notification Center in Mac OS X

We’ve covered some Notification Center tips at TekRevue, but what if you just don’t want Apple’s notification platform at all? Here’s how to indefinitely banish it from your Mac.

Note: this tip was originally written in April 2013 and tested on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Like all system modifications, it may not work with newer versions of OS X.

First, launch the Terminal app from /Applications/Utilities, enter the following command, and press Return:

launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/

You’ll see the Notification Center icon disappear from your Mac’s menu bar. You may notice that there’s now a blank space between your rightmost menu bar icon and the edge of your screen. Simply click your Desktop or a Finder window to refresh the menu bar and watch as your icons line up perfectly, with Notification Center banished for good.

Disable Notification Center

Notification Center is now disabled

If you have a change of heart and want to restore Notification Center, hop back into Terminal, enter this command, and press Return:

launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/

Just as fast as it disappeared, Notification Center will pop back into your menu bar and all of its features will be restored.

Disable Notification Center

Notification Center is back in action

Disabling Notification Center via this method will survive a reboot and only affects your individual user account. Guest accounts and other users on the same Mac will not have access to Notification Center altered by this command.

17 thoughts on “How to Completely Disable Notification Center in Mac OS X”

Avatar Sabine says:
Says : Operation not permitted while System Integrity Protection is engaged
Avatar greg_takemoto says:
Notifications overrides the “select all” command A commands in all of my apps. How do i stop that?
Avatar RexFlex says:
Hi All,
I used the method described above, which worked fine.
However, after the Yosemite Update the Notification Center icon reappeared.
The Notification Center is still disabled but the icon stuck in the menu bar.
Any suggestions on how to get rid of it?
Avatar Mark Barner says:
It doesnt work on my mac
Avatar Freedom in our lifetime! says:
This doesn’t make a blank space appear on my bar, it keeps the notification center icon it just doesn’t work any more.
Avatar Joseph Picone says:
This doesn’t seem to work for Yosemite.
Avatar Ellen Eschenbrenner says:
Does not work 10.10.2 – notification center still appears in system preferences and is fully functional, all red badges on my app store application still appear, as well dock and launch pad icons. Tried copy/paste into Terminal, tried typing – I’m hoping this just needs an update because it sounds like the perfect fixed.
Avatar Tony Batista says:
THANK YOU , this was so easy and effective it was pure beauty
Avatar babyfasty says:
Avatar taigeair says:
the button is still there on the menu in yosemite but it’s not working.
Avatar ch says:
exactly, the button is there but its not working. any workaround guys for Yosemite ? 10.10
Avatar taigeair says:
also you know the app screen? when i swipe across the different app panels, it lags. Does that happens for you? I have a new MB air.
Avatar ch g says:
nopes bro, have not used “app screen” not sure what is that btw :D
Avatar Ongaku says:
I just found bartender, helped me get rid of NC as well as several other.
Avatar markvickers says:
Same here: button stays on menu bar. When I use the second command, nothing changed except I get a couple of alert bubbles. Grasping at straws, I tried Today Scripts. No difference at all. So having trusted this ‘handy tip’, the only way I can get my Mac back as it was is to format is and start from scratch.
Thanks a bunch, Jim!
(iMac mid-2010 21.5, Yosemite, 16GB, 500GB HD, 500GB SSD.)
Avatar TekRevue says:
Sorry about that Mark. As you can see from the byline, this tip was written in April 2013, which was the Mountain Lion era. After I saw your comment come in, I added a note before the instructions to clarify that. I wish it were possible, but there’s no way I could go back and edit every single article each time Apple updates its software (this entire site is practically a one-man endeavor and there’s already well over 1,200 articles with more each week). That’s why it’s important to look at the date of any article (on any site, not just here) to ensure that you’re working in the correct context.
If you haven’t already reformatted your Mac, did you try Bartender as one of the previous comments suggested?
Avatar Ongaku says:
let me know if you find a solution, I have no use for the notification center and want it gone comepletely
Avatar Ongaku says:
I just found bartender, helped me get rid of NC as well as several other. plenty options.
Avatar Jonathan says:
This saved me when notification center was running away with CPU and causing my fans to scream. I disabled and re-enabled and the problem was solved — thanks!!!!
Avatar RexFlex says:
Right after the NC icon reappeared i tried to remove the icon using the “launchctl unload -w” command from above.
However, it said that it cannot find the service.
Also, the re-enabling of the NC doesn’t work as well.
Avatar Bruno says:
Thank you very much! My notification center gone missing somehow, and now I could manage to bring it back to life.
Avatar D. V. Ahluwalia says:
works great!
Avatar Junio Vitorino says:
Put this aliases in your .bashrc or .zshrc and thus you can “change your heart” several times.
Avatar neogomo says:
Thanks, great tip! BTW, could you share a link to those nice polished SSD icons, depicted on the article’s screenshots? Thank you!
Avatar TekRevue says:
Avatar neogomo says:
Thank you very much!
Avatar joSefus says:
Avatar orionrush says:
Those last two lines seem to contradict each other. Does it only affects your individual user account, or all users?
Avatar TekRevue says:
“Disabling Notification Center via this method will survive a reboot and only affects your individual user account. Guest accounts and other users on the same Mac will not have access to Notification Center *altered* by this command.”
I think you’re just misreading it. This command does not affect other user accounts on the same Mac. As stated, other accounts’ access to Notification Center will not be altered.
I hope this clears up the confusion!

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