How to Fix Notifications Not Working on Mac

Notifications are an integral part of the macOS ecosystem, keeping users informed about emails, messages, calendar events, and more. However, encountering issues where notifications stop working can be frustrating and disruptive to your workflow.

Fortunately, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to diagnose and resolve this issue. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the various methods to fix notifications not working on your Mac, ensuring that you stay connected and productive.

Why Notifications Not Working on Mac?

Understanding the underlying reasons behind notification issues on your Mac can provide valuable insight into troubleshooting and resolving the problem effectively. Here are some common factors that can cause notifications to stop working:

Software Glitches: macOS, like any other operating system, can encounter software glitches or bugs that affect various system functionalities, including notifications. These glitches may arise from incomplete software updates, conflicts between apps, or other system inconsistencies.

Do Not Disturb Mode: macOS includes a “Do Not Disturb” mode that suppresses notifications during specified times or indefinitely. If this mode is enabled, notifications will not appear, leading users to believe that notifications are not working.

Notification Settings: Incorrectly configured notification settings can prevent notifications from appearing on your Mac. This could include settings within the Notification Center, individual app settings, or system-level permissions.

App-Specific Issues: Some apps may have their own notification settings that override macOS settings. If these settings are misconfigured or disabled, notifications from those apps may not appear.

Permission Settings: macOS requires apps to have permission to display notifications. If these permissions are revoked or not granted initially, notifications may not work as expected.

Outdated Software: Using outdated versions of macOS or third-party apps can lead to compatibility issues that affect notification functionality. Keeping your operating system and apps up to date is essential for ensuring optimal performance.

System Preferences: Changes made to system preferences or settings may inadvertently affect notification behavior. Checking and adjusting these preferences can help resolve notification issues.

Network Connectivity: In some cases, notification delivery may be hindered by network connectivity issues. A poor internet connection or network configuration problems can prevent notifications from reaching your Mac in a timely manner.

Fix Notifications Not Working on Mac

After going through the reasons let’s move on to the fixes.

1. Understanding Notification Settings

Before diving into troubleshooting steps, it’s essential to understand how notification settings work on macOS. Notifications can be customized for each app, allowing users to control their appearance, sounds, and other aspects. To access notification settings:

  1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select “System Preferences,” then choose “Notifications.”
  3. Here, you’ll find a list of apps with their respective notification settings.

2. Check Do Not Disturb Mode

Sometimes, notifications may not appear due to the macOS “Do Not Disturb” feature being enabled. This feature silences notifications during specified times or indefinitely.

To check if Do Not Disturb mode is enabled, click on the Notification Center icon in the top-right corner of the screen (it resembles three stacked lines). If the icon is darkened, it means Do Not Disturb is active.

To disable Do Not Disturb mode, click on the Notification Center icon and toggle off the “Do Not Disturb” option.

3. Restart Your Mac

A simple yet effective troubleshooting step is to restart your Mac. This action can resolve various software glitches and refresh system processes, potentially fixing notification issues.

Click on the Apple menu and select “Restart.” Allow your Mac to restart fully, then check if notifications are functioning correctly.

4. Ensure Notification Center is Enabled

If notifications aren’t appearing in the Notification Center, ensure that it’s enabled in System Preferences.

  1. Navigate to “System Preferences” > “Notifications.”
  2. Check the box labeled “Show in Notification Center” for each app you want to receive notifications from.

5. Check Notification Permissions

macOS requires apps to have permission to display notifications. If these permissions are revoked or not granted initially, notifications won’t work.

  1. Go to “System Preferences” > “Security & Privacy” > “Privacy” tab.
  2. Select “Notifications” from the left sidebar.
  3. Ensure that the checkboxes next to the apps you want to receive notifications from are checked.

6. Reset Notification Permissions

If notification permissions seem to be in order but notifications still aren’t working, you can reset permissions for all apps.

  1. Open Terminal from the Applications/Utilities folder.
  2. Enter the following command: tccutil reset All com.apple.notificationcenter
  3. Press Enter and restart your Mac.

7. Check App-Specific Settings

Individual apps may have their own notification settings, which could override macOS settings.

  1. Open the app experiencing notification issues.
  2. Look for notification settings within the app’s preferences or settings menu.
  3. Ensure notifications are enabled and configured according to your preferences.

8. Update macOS and Apps

Outdated software can sometimes cause notification issues. Ensure that your Mac’s operating system and all installed apps are up to date.

  1. Click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. Choose “Software Update” to check for and install any available updates.

9. Reset Notification Preferences

If all else fails, you can reset notification preferences for all apps, which will revert them to their default settings.

  1. Open Terminal from the Applications/Utilities folder.
  2. Enter the following command: defaults delete com.apple.notificationcenter
  3. Press Enter and restart your Mac.

Conclusion

Encountering issues with notifications not working on your Mac can disrupt your workflow and hinder productivity. However, by following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can diagnose and resolve the issue effectively.

From checking system settings to resetting notification preferences, these methods cover a wide range of potential causes for notification issues. By taking proactive steps and understanding the macOS notification system, you can ensure that you stay connected and informed without interruptions.

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