How to Manage Notifications on Macs and iPhones

Sometimes sounds and popups inundate us, and other times we miss important items. Read on to learn how to control notifications on Macs and iPhones.

What do notifications on a Mac or iPhone look like

A notification can have several different looks. Some notifications stay on your screen until you dismiss them. Others display for a few seconds and then disappear. Still others are persistent numbers in a little red circle. Sounds can also be included in notifications.

On a Macintosh computer, the notification center can be accessed in the upper right corner of the screen. Depending on your settings, these notifications can display and disappear on their own, or stay in the corner of the screen until you attend to them.

Badges and sounds are also very prevalent notifications on a Macintosh computer. They are most useful when used thoughtfully so that they don’t overwhelm the user.

On an iPhone there may be notifications on the lock screen, which display until you unlock the phone.

Or a notification may pop up on the home screen and stay until you dismiss it.

One popular notification type is called a badge. This shows a small red circle with the number of notifications the app has for you. In this case they is one unread email, 74 missed calls in GoToConnect, and one unread message.

How to set notifications on Mac or iPhone

Notifications are set in System Preferences on a Mac, and in Settings on an iPhone. In either case, you select the app you are interested in, and then choose the settings for the notifications. Each app will have it’s own set of notifications.

Turning off notifications for an app does not interfere with the functioning of the app in any way. Many apps have very little need for sending notifications, because not that much happens in the app when you aren’t using it. It is the apps that generate the most notifications that you should focus on, such as email, or your calendar.

This is what the notifications for the Calendar app on a Macintosh computer look like. In this case, although the notifications are turned on, they are set in such a way that they will not pop up on the screen.

Notifications for the same app, Calendar, on an iPhone have more detailed settings. In this case, there are several kinds of events that might send notifications and can each be set separately.

Setting the notifications for upcoming events on the iPhone looks like this.

If you are bothered by things popping up when you don’t expect them, you may have your notifications set incorrectly. Each person has different needs for knowing what their apps are doing.

It is very easy to change the notification settings, so go ahead and give it a try. Play around with them until you get them set the way you like.

If you would like help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you! If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

Scroll to Top