iMac System Preferences: The Notifications Group

By Mark L. Chambers

You can customize the notifications you will receive on your iMac. Check out the Notifications group below. Each application that can display notifications appears in the list at the left of the pane.

iMac Notifications
You can individually configure each application that uses notifications.

Click the Do Not Disturb entry in the list at the left to set Do Not Disturb mode, where Notification banners, alerts, and sounds are disabled. You can specify a time period, turn on Do Not Disturb when your iMac is in sleep mode, or turn on Do Not Disturb when you’re mirroring (or sending) the video from your iMac to a TV or projector. You can also optionally allow FaceTime calls from anyone while Do Not Disturb is active or just from those you’ve marked as Favorites in FaceTime. If you select Allow Repeated Calls, a FaceTime caller can call a second time within three minutes without being disabled.

Click an application in the list at the left to configure its notifications. Different applications display different options in the settings pane, but the settings can include the following:

  • Alert Style: These three buttons specify which type of alert should appear under the Notification Center icon in the menu bar. You do not need to display the Notification Center to see alerts, which appear on your Desktop. Choose None to disable alerts for this application. Choose Banners to display alert messages that automatically disappear after a delay. Choose Alerts to display alert messages that remain onscreen until you click the confirmation button in the Alert dialog.
  • Show Notifications on Lock Screen: Select this check box to allow notifications even if your iMac is displaying the Lock screen.
  • how in Notification Center: To display notification messages from this application in the Notification Center, select this check box. You can also specify how many recent messages from this application are displayed.
  • Badge App Icon: This check box toggles on and off the display of this application’s icon in alert boxes and in the Notification Center. It also activates the numeric display of pending items on the icon itself (for example, unread mail and messages).
  • Play Sound for Notifications: To play a sound when alerts appear, enable this check box.

You can change the order that notifications are sorted in the Notification Center using the Notification Sort Order drop-down list box at the bottom of the pane. The default sort is by most recent, but you can choose Recents by App to sort recent notifications grouped by applications. For the ultimate in custom notifications, choose Manually by App from the drop-down list box and drag the applications in the list at the left into your desired order!